University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Maintaining Records of Student Work: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

Policy Statement

Instructors and academic units are responsible for maintaining records of student work and grade books, as follows:

  1. Instructors and academic units should either return submitted student work to the student, or retain it for 30 days after grades for the class are posted to the student’s transcript. This provides students the opportunity to retrieve or review their work, as appropriate.
  2. After 30 days, any retained student work may be discarded securely (following applicable University document-destruction procedures).
  3. A student may request that retained student work be retained until 30 days into the next semester (not including summer, so a request in the spring would require a unit to hold the work until 30 days into the following fall semester). A student must make this request to the instructor no later than the last day of instruction for the class.
  4. Instructors must maintain the privacy of student work and follow FERPA, Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), and University policy in retaining and returning student work as documented in Administrative Policy: Managing Student Records. For example, student work may not be left in hallways or other public places where anyone may see it, see Procedure: Accessing and Using Student Education Records.
  5. Academic units must retain grade books or their equivalents for a minimum of one year or, if a grade is appealed, until the end of the appeal. Instructors leaving the University must give all grading records to the department.
  6. Academic units must also be aware of and follow Administrative Policy: Managing University Records Retention.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth Campus.

Reason for Policy

To comply with state and federal law regarding data privacy and to establish a reasonable time period after the end of a term during which students are able to retrieve or view their work while recognizing the physical storage space limitations in units.




Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does this policy apply to online classes or student work submitted electronically?

    Yes. Work may be returned electronically or stored electronically to meet the requirements of this policy.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact Carin Thoms 612-626-0075 [email protected]
Twin Cities Campus Carin Thoms 612-626-0075 [email protected]
Crookston Campus Jason Tangquist 218-281-8424 [email protected]
Morris Campus Marcus Muller 320-589-6011 [email protected]
Rochester Campus Parry Telander, Registrar 507-258-8023 [email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
  • Carin Thoms
    Associate Director, Continuity & Compliance - Academic Support Resources


Student Work
Materials a student has submitted for a class, including but not limited to, papers, projects, exams, problem sets, artwork, and architectural models.
The process of keeping student work where it can be safely stored and accessed, whether submitted physically or electronically.


Academic Units
Maintain grade books or their equivalents for a minimum of one year, or until the end of an appeal if a grade is appealed.
Return student work or retain it for 30 days after grades are posted to a student’s transcript. Maintain the privacy of student work.
Before the last day of instruction, request their student work be retained for 30 days into the next semester.

Related Information


August 2021 - Comprehensive Review.
  1. Minor changes to improve clarity including linking to a related policy and procedure to help instructors better understand how to return student work properly.
  2. Added FAQ to provide guidance on returning student work in accordance with this policy.
January 2017 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. 1. Clarifies obligations when work has been returned earlier than the 30-day requirement for retention. 2. Revise to use “course” and “class” clearly in policy. 3. Title Change:  Maintaining Course Records changed to Maintaining Records of Student Work.
December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
April 2009