Student Rules



1. The Pontificial University of the Holy Cross issues these Student Rules in order to facilitate the organization and correct running of its educational end research activities with particular reference to its student community.

Norms and objectives of the regulations

2. These norms regarding the academic community and Behaviour Code are valid for all students, notwithstanding any eventual canonical, civil, administrative or criminal repercussions, besides the University Statutes and its Code of Conduct.

3. The Student Rules, despite their obligatory nature, have been drawn up mainly for educational purposes. To this end, the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross is committed to promoting its diffusion and understanding. The rules contain already established behavioural norms and disciplinary measures, which will be clearly explained.

Enrolment and definition of student status

4. Students are all those who have enrolled in a study course for their educational benefit and maintain continued relations with the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross until the end of their enrolment period.

5. Students may either be regular or guests. Regular students are those who enrol in a study cycle in a Schoolfaculty or institution of the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross and are entitled to gain academic credits. Guest students are those who participate in only selected courses that form part of the university’s programme as a personal study programme and without the objective of gaining academic credits. Among these are also those who choose to follow courses out of personal interest without the intention of sitting the relevant exams.

6. The following is necessary in order to enrol as a student:

a1) Holy Ministers, seminarians or members of Holy Orders must present the authorization of their Holy Order or direct superior in order to follow their chosen course. Residents of the Holy City should observe the relevant ecclesiastical disciplinary.
a2) Lay persons must present a testimony of their moral conduct written by a Holy Minister as stipulated by the Catholic Educational Congress and the Secretary of the Vatican State.
b) To have achieved the titles required for enrolment in their own country or in whichever they have studied.
c) To have any other relevant academic qualifications required for their relevant study course.
d) Non-Catholic persons must present a letter of presentation written by a Catholic ecclesiastical authority. If Christian and non-Catholic, a letter of presentation written by an authority in their relevant religion is sufficient. The specific directives of the Catholic Educational Congregationss (note prot.1535/94/7 of 20/03/1995) apply in these cases.

7. Students should have a good knowledge of classic and modern languages in order to follow courses and research. In particular Italian, which is the standard language of the lessons. Documentation or the passing of a language test should demonstrate this knowledge.

Students’ Rights

8. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross recognizes the students’ absolute rights as free and responsible persons who make up an academic community. Each student is equal notwithstanding his or her religious or lay status, race, sex or religion.

9. Among these rights are:

  • the right to freely express their personal opinion;
  • the right to socialize with others;
  • the right to receive timely and transparent information regarding their position as students and their educational progress.

10. Students who believe to be victims of an administrative injustice may appeal to higher authorities including the Rector in order to protect their rights.

11. In order to protect students’ rights, the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross offers several services designed to facilitate their formation and academic life in general. Among these are:

  • advice regarding scholarships and financial aid;
  • a library service in accordance with the Library Regulations;
  • information services, student registration, internet access, activation of an email account, online services and access to the computer room;
  • a canteen service run by a contracted service.

12. The above-mentioned services are in constant improvement and therefore may evolve with time. Students have the right to use these services in accordance with their availability and relevant norms.

Students’ Obligations

13. Students are obliged to maintain the study commitments, which they assume on enrolment. They should behave in an appropriate manner in order to facilitate the smooth running of lessons, examinations and research and to study in the best possible conditions.

14. Students are obliged to treat the structures that house the university with care and to act with respect towards the university community.

15. All lessons must be attended. If a student misses more then a third of course lessons they are not allowed to sit the exam.

16. Lay students are obliged to dress in an appropriate manner that demonstrates respect for the academic institution.

Forbidden behaviour

17. The following are activities, which can create inconvenience or damage to objects or structures and are therefore forbidden. Such behaviour is subject to disciplinary action.

  • Any action that creates disruption to academic activities, damages the structures, furnishings or properties of the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross. Any action that creates disruption for teacherprofessors, university employees or fellow students. The cost of any damage caused will be charged to the student involved.
  • The use of cell phones or other electronic devices, which must be switched to silent mode. The use of electronic games or multimedia devices. The use of laptop computers unless necessary for the lesson.
  • The use of email or Internet on the university network for reasons other than study, research, teaching or general academic activities.
  • Taking materials out of the library without the library staff’s consensus.
  • The illicit copying of any materials provided by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross that are covered by copyright laws.

18. It is forbidden to smoke or bring animals into the classroom and – without explicit authorization – eat or drink.

19. Plagiarism or claiming that another’s intellectual property is ones own is forbidden. This act is extremely serious in an academic or research context and is hereby further explained.


20. The most common instance of plagiarism is the insertion of a text by another author in a written paper, presenting it as his or her own original work and not referencing the source.

21. Plagiarism can be found in works consigned for an academic test. For example: degree or doctorate doctoral papers (even in part), written examinations and written works commissioned by teacherprofessors. If the above-mentioned occurs in a non definitive work that has been consigned for evaluation, this does not constitute as plagiarism in the strictest sense of the word but is, nonetheless a betrayal of trust

22. As an example, the following is a list of types of plagiarism in order of seriousness:

a) when a text by another person is presented as an original work, even with the agreement of the original author;

b) when quotes are used, even in short or translated form from another work and the original source is not referenced (i.e. without quotation marks text reference);

c) when one intentionally uses a passage from another author without quoting the reference, even if in the public domain or by an unknown or group of authors (for example information available on the Internet).

23. It is not an act of plagiarism to use information that is believed to be part of general and academic culture, even though it is advisable to indicate the source when possible. When using information from commonly accessible sources including the Internet, the source must be indicated.

24. Students are responsible for all work submitted and thus guarantee that they are the authors of the entire work.

Punishable behaviour

25. The following are examples of activities that are liable for disciplinary action independent of where they occur except in cases judged specifically stipulated. The seriousness of the issue can be increased if it is a case of moral scandal committed by a student of the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross:

a) public demonstrations against faith or moral issues;

b)  disobedience or irreverence towards the university’s teacherprofessors or officials. Insults, either by word or action, directed at any member of the academic community;

c) scandalous moral failings or crimes;

d) transgressions against their code of behaviour by a member of a religious order;

e) collective disobedience against the university’s norms, the tumultuous disturbance of academic activities;

f) sexual harassment;

g) any behaviour that is seriously damaging to a person’s dignity;

h) visiting pornographic, violent or racist websites or any websites that are morally offensive;

i) coming to the university in a state of drunkenness or the abuse of alcohol in or near the university;

j) coming to the university under the influence of drugs and their use or detention at the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross, except in the case of prescribed pharmaceuticals;

k) the sale or offer of drugs in or near the university;

l) the cultivation of any plants from which drugs can be obtained in or near the university;

m) the writing or presentation of any false certifications or auto certifications including false declarations of attendance;

n) cheating in examinations. For example by copying, receiving of information or papers from others, bringing into the room any other papers, using books or other materials that are not allowed, substituting another student, allowing others to copy your work;

o) plagiarism of another’s work when presenting work eligible for an academic grade (for example a thesis or doctorate);

p) plagiarism of another’s work when presenting a paper for an exam.  

Disciplinary procedures

26. The enforcement of disciplinary procedures will be reasonable and fair, based on the nature of the violation, the facts and the evidence. Disciplinary action will be applied taking into consideration the eventual damages caused and the circumstances. The student concerned maintains the right to appeal against any decision he retains is unfair.

27. The directive committee of the relevant faculty or institute regulates disciplinary procedures. The violation must be formally presented to the student concerned in written and registered form (except in the case of verbal warning) before any disciplinary action is taken. Verbal warning must take place in the presence of at least one member of the faculty or institute’s directive committee.

28. Within ten days of the accusation, the student concerned may present their defence to the authorities who issued the proceedings either in written or verbal form. Either a member of the vigilance commission or a student representative may assist the student. They may also ask to be assisted by a permanent member of the teaching staff. This assistance may include accompaniment at any eventual hearings.

29. Within twenty-five days of the formal accusation the university will issue a written communication expressing the result of the procedures. This could consist of its dismissal if the student’s defence is accepted.

30. Possible disciplinary procedures, according to the gravity of the violation, could be:
a) a verbal warning (in the case of a minor violation);
b) a written warning;
c) temporary suspension for a maximum of twelve months;
d) expulsion from the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross.

31. Temporary suspension is imposed by the Deacon on recommendation of the Studies Coordinator having consulted the members of the directive committee. Expulsion is imposed by the Rector on recommendation by the Council and faculty directive committee.

32. In the case of very serious violations, having consulted the directive committee, the Deacon may order the removal of the student from the university until the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings.

33. In the case of Holy Ministers or seminarians, members of Holy Orders or religious communities, their Order or direct superior will be informed of any eventual suspension or expulsion.

34. Disciplinary procedures that do not end in dismissal will be registered in the student’s academic history and eventual certificate of discharge. Expulsion is communicated to at least all other Vatican educational institutions.
The Pontificial University of the Holy Cross does not admit students who have been temporarily suspended from other educational institutions.

35. In the instance of plagiarism, copying or false ideologies or materials, if these violations are observed during or in preparation of examinations, the handing in of theses or doctoral dissertations, the following are imposed in addition to the relevant disciplinary measures:
• the annulment of the test and grade and the cancellation of any eventual academic credits;
• the annulment of the work, thesis or dissertation;
• the annulment of the eventual grade obtained in a misleading manner and the communication of such to the Catholic Educational Congress.

Academic fees

36. The Pontificial University of the Holy Cross is able to carry out its educational functions thanks to the contribution of numerous donors, many of who remain anonymous. We thank these donors for their generosity and bear a great sense of responsibility for such. Academic fees cover just a part of the university’s running costs and as such, students are obliged to meet the payment of such.

37. Any students who are not up to date with payments may not receive certification regarding grades obtained. The university also reserves the right to refuse entrance to such students to tests and examinations.

38. The Pontificial University of the Holy Cross does not grant scholarships, as it does not have funds destined for such purpose. The Student Advice Office offers assistance regarding the easing of payment terms and scholarships offered by other institutions. Easing payment terms and conditions may include the delay or reduction of payment, in the case of enrolment fees or academic examinations. These possibilities are available only to students in conditions of verified financial difficulty or disability and who have a positive academic record. Such requests will be evaluated in accordance with the resources available. The Study Assistance Commission’s decision is final.

39. In some cases, the university may employee students under the form of collaboration scholarships. These will be assigned based on the needs and requests in no particular way and will be reimbursed according normal rates or to compensate any eventual debts with the university.

Student Representation

40. Students have the right to participate in the running of the Pontificial University of the Holy Cross through the student representation in accordance with the rules and norms stipulated in the relevant Regulations hereby attached. The organization’s objective is to promote any legitimate interests and aspirations. The student representative body has a validityvalidity limited to the university environment and may not have any associations with any other political parties, groups or associations. Each student also has the right to express their own personal opinions and requests to the academic authorities and to socialize with other student independently of the student representative body.