Policy on Academic Integrity

POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Academic Integrity

DATE OF ISSUANCE: This policy was approved by Presidentís Council on April 11, 2013 and replaces the Universityís Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism, which was originally issued to campus on June 16, 1980 as Organization Announcement #297, and then revised in 1990.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT: Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Questions on policy content should be directed to the dean, Office of Student Affairs, 412-268-2075.

ABSTRACT: Academic credit awarded to an individual should represent the work of that individual. Therefore, students at Carnegie Mellon are expected to produce their own original academic work. Collaboration or assistance on academic work to be graded is not permitted unless explicitly authorized by the course instructor(s). The citation of all sources is required. When collaboration or assistance is permitted by the course instructor(s), the acknowledgement of any collaboration or source of assistance is likewise required. Failure to do so is dishonest and is the basis for a charge of cheating, plagiarism, or unauthorized assistance. Such charges are subject to disciplinary action.

MISC: For disciplinary action procedures that apply to charges of cheating, plagiarism, or unauthorized assistance, see:

         Undergraduate Student Academic Disciplinary Actions Procedures

         Graduate Student Academic Disciplinary Actions Procedures

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Students at Carnegie Mellon are engaged in intellectual activity consistent with the highest standards of the academy. The relationship between students and instructors and their shared commitment to overarching standards of respect, honor and transparency determine the integrity of our community of scholars. The actions of our students, faculty and staff are a representation of our university community and of the professional and personal communities that we lead. Therefore, a deep and abiding commitment to academic integrity is fundamental to a Carnegie Mellon education. Honesty and good faith, clarity in the communication of core values, professional conduct of work, mutual trust and respect, and fairness and exemplary behavior represent the expectations for ethical behavior for all members of the Carnegie Mellon community.

Policy Statement

In any manner of presentation, it is the responsibility of each student to produce her/his own original academic work. Collaboration or assistance on academic work to be graded is not permitted unless explicitly authorized by the course instructor(s). Students may utilize the assistance provided by Academic Development, the Global Communication Center, and the Academic Resource Center (CMU-Q) unless specifically prohibited by the course instructor(s). Any other sources of collaboration or assistance must be specifically authorized by the course instructor(s).

In all academic work to be graded, the citation of all sources is required. When collaboration or assistance is permitted by the course instructor(s) or when a student utilizes the services provided by Academic Development, the Global Communication Center, and the Academic Resource Center (CMU-Q), the acknowledgement of any collaboration or assistance is likewise required. This citation and acknowledgement must be incorporated into the work submitted and not separately or at a later point in time. Failure to do so is dishonest and is subject to disciplinary action.

Instructors have a duty to communicate their expectations including those specific to collaboration, assistance, citation and acknowledgement within each course. Students likewise have a duty to ensure that they understand and abide by the standards that apply in any course or academic activity. In the absence of such understanding, it is the studentís responsibility to seek additional information and clarification.

Policy Violations

Cheating occurs when a student avails her/himself of an unfair or disallowed advantage which includes but is not limited to:

1.      Theft of or unauthorized access to an exam, answer key or other graded work from previous course offerings.

2.      Use of an alternate, stand-in or proxy during an examination.

3.      Copying from the examination or work of another person or source.

4.      Submission or use of falsified data.

5.      Using false statements to obtain additional time or other accommodation.

6.      Falsification of academic credentials.

Plagiarism is defined as the use of work or concepts contributed by other individuals without proper attribution or citation. Unique ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged in academic work to be graded. Examples of sources expected to be referenced include but are not limited to:

  1. Text, either written or spoken, quoted directly or paraphrased.
  2. Graphic elements.
  3. Passages of music, existing either as sound or as notation.
  4. Mathematical proofs.
  5. Scientific data.
  6. Concepts or material derived from the work, published or unpublished, of another person.

Unauthorized assistance refers to the use of sources of support that have not been specifically authorized in this policy statement or by the course instructor(s) in the completion of academic work to be graded. Such sources of support may include but are not limited to advice or help provided by another individual, published or unpublished written sources, and electronic sources. Examples of unauthorized assistance include but are not limited to:

1.      Collaboration on any assignment beyond the standards authorized by this policy statement and the course instructor(s).

2.      Submission of work completed or edited in whole or in part by another person.

3.      Supplying or communicating unauthorized information or materials, including graded work and answer keys from previous course offerings, in any way to another student.

4.      Use of unauthorized information or materials, including graded work and answer keys from previous course offerings.

5.      Use of unauthorized devices.

6.      Submission for credit of previously completed graded work in a second course without first obtaining permission from the instructor(s) of the second course. In the case of concurrent courses, permission to submit the same work for credit in two courses must be obtained from the instructors of both courses.

Procedures for dealing with allegations of these policy violations are detailed in the universityís Academic Disciplinary Action Procedures for Undergraduate Students and the Academic Disciplinary Action Procedures for Graduate Students, which are published in The WORD student handbook. Periodic review of these procedures will be overseen by the Dean of Student Affairs or her/his designee in consultation with Faculty Senate and the relevant student governing bodies. Any amendments to these procedures are subject to the approval of Faculty Senate. Additional guidelines and procedures for graduate students may exist at the college/department/program level, in which case they are communicated in the college/department/program graduate student handbook.