Policies & procedures: Student records & confidentiality

Under the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and provisions of state law relating to public records disclosure, the University of California Policies Applying to the Disclosure of Information from Student Records (PDF) and the Berkeley Campus’ implementation of that policy (PDF) assure Berkeley students the following rights regarding their academic and personal records.  Please refer to the Office of the Registrar for a complete list of these rights and answers to frequently asked questions about disclosure of your information. Please consult this chart (PDF) for a quick guide to who can access your student records.

Access to your records

In compliance with university policies applying to the disclosure of information from student records, Engineering Student Services (ESS) has established the following procedures that are applicable to former as well as currently enrolled students:

Public records: Inquiries made in person, phone or e-mail will be answered only in the case of clear necessity. Unless specifically requested by the student not to do so, the following information is considered public and will be provided to individuals upon written request: verification of registration; major; date of admission, attendance, graduation or proposed date of graduation; honors and scholarships received.

Confidential records: All information contained within the student’s ESS file, whether maintained in a hard-copy or electronic form, is confidential. This can include but is not limited to all transcripts or test scores; all correspondence; all notes from meetings with ESS Advisers whether in person, by phone or via e-mail; any documentation provided by third parties such as work slips, medical excuses or medical records.

Records maintenance

Access to records: The following staff personnel have access to student records: staff of the Engineering Student Services and Dean’s offices, engineering deans, faculty of the college and the ombudsperson. Other campus personnel have access to records on a need-to-know basis as determined by Engineering Student Services.

Procedures for access to records:

  • Students: Please submit a written request to review your file. The ESS Adviser will contact you to set up an appointment within two working days of receipt of the written request.  Materials from your file can be duplicated upon request. Extensive copying may require additional time, in which case you will be given a specific time to return to ESS for your copies
  • By third party: Access to records by a third party (other than those listed under access to records, above) is available only with your written consent.  Although information may be released without your consent for the following reasons: judicial order, to accrediting organizations, in case of health or safety emergencies or for research purposes. For additional information about disclosures, please consult the University of California Policies Applying to the Disclosure of Information from Student Records (PDF). Your ESS Adviser can provide you the Waiver of Confidentiality if you wish to grant third party access to your records.
  • Challenge and hearing: A staff member of ESS will explain information in a student’s record upon request. If you believe the record is in error or misleading, you can speak with the Director of Advising. If you are still not satisfied with the explanation, you may appeal in writing to the Executive Associate Dean of the College of Engineering. If the matter is still not resolved, you should consult with the ombudsperson. Challenge of grades and evaluation of student work is not within the scope of the hearing. Students should consult the grade appeal process in the Undergraduate Guide.