Academic Integrity


Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their college work; violations of academic integrity are serious offenses. Students found guilty of any form of academic dishonesty -- including, for instance, forgery, cheating, and plagiarism -- are subject to disciplinary action.

Forgery includes the alteration of college forms, documents or records, as well as the signing of such forms or documents by someone other than the proper designee.

Cheating is the dishonest or unauthorized use of materials for academic work. Examples of cheating include:

*Copying another’s papers or notes during an exam
*Talking about a test or looking at another’s paper during an exam
*Altering a graded exam or paper without informing the instructor and resubmitting it for re-grading
*Gaining unauthorized access to past exams from a course
*Removing tests from a classroom or office without prior consent
*Discussing an exam you have taken with other students, either from your class or from another section of the same course, who have yet to take that exam
*Providing false or exaggerated excuses to postpone due dates
*Lying to an instructor or college official to improve your grade or to get special privileges
*Submitting work done in another class without prior permission of both instructors
*Having another person do your work for a course (including unauthorized collaboration)

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person’s work (words, ideas, data, etc.) in a graded or published piece or in a speech. The following are examples of plagiarism:

*copying all or parts of another person’s paper, article, or notes and representing it as your own
*submitting a paper copied in full or in part from one purchased from a paper writing service or obtained electronically
*failing to fully cite (author, article title, book or journal, page number, date of publication) each instance where you have incorporated another's ideas or quoted words into your own written or oral work.

While instances of forgery and cheating are often clear cut, cases of plagiarism can be more complicated. Plagiarism can be intentional, as when a student knowingly submits as one’s own work a purchased paper, or a paper that was written entirely or in part by another student. But plagiarism may also be the result of misuse of sources, which occurs when writers cite information incorrectly or incompletely. In this case, the author may make a good faith effort to acknowledge the sources, but because this is a learning process, a student author may make errors in documentation and integrating quotes and paraphrases into their own work. While unintentional, the misuse of sources is still plagiarism. It is very important, therefore, for students to make sure they understand how to properly cite sources, to take advantage of the research and writing assistance provided by staff in the library and the MAX Center, and to confer with their instructors when they are unsure if they are using sources appropriately.

Procedures and Sanctions

When a faculty member suspects a student of academic dishonesty, the faculty member should consult the student about the suspected violation.

1. After this consultation, if the matter appears to be a violation, the faculty member is responsible for gathering the pertinent and necessary information and reporting the violation to the Director of Academic Programs.

2. The Director of Academic Programs then meets with the student, confirms the violation, and determines the appropriate sanction depending on whether it is a first, second or third violation.

a. A first violation typically results in a grade of zero for the assignment in which the violation was found. In addition to this sanction an educational component through the library typically accompanies a first violation. For additional information about this module see the associated link on the library’s website,

b. A second violation typically results in suspension for a semester. The suspension may occur at any point during the semester and will result in the student being withdrawn from all classes and removed from the residence halls. The student remains responsible for all fees associated with the semester. Readmission to the college is possible after the suspension period.

c. A third violation will result in suspension, and typically dismissal, from the College. Dismissal entails the same aspects of separation from the college as suspension; however, readmission is not possible. A dismissed student is permanently excluded from the College and forfeits all rights and degrees not already conferred at the time of dismissal.

Students may appeal decisions regarding academic integrity policy violations and sanctions. Appeals will be considered on the basis of: procedural errors that unfairly and/or materially affected the outcome of the case; actions taken that are arbitrary, unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence; or, new information that was not available at the time of the original decision.

1. Appeals must be written and sent to the Director of Academic Programs. After ensuring the appeal includes all of the relevant facts pertinent to the decision, and articulates a rationale for appealing, the Director will send the appeal to the Academic Standing Committee.

2. The Academic Standing Committee, minus the Director of Academic Programs, is the final body responsible for acting on the appeal. If the Committee finds no grounds for the appeal the violation and sanction stand.

Additional Information and Resources

Students can learn more about how to document sources and how to avoid plagiarism from writing resources on the MAX (Macalester Academic Excellence Center) website and from the Library website.

Faculty may find Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism:  The WPA (Writing Program Administrators) Statement on Best Practices, a useful resource in creating assignments and developing strategies to help students understand and learn to avoid plagiarism.  The statement is available at

Academic Integrity sample syllabus statement:

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their college work; violations of academic integrity are serious offenses. Students found guilty of any form of academic dishonesty -- including, for instance, forgery, cheating, and plagiarism -- are subject to disciplinary action. Examples of behavior that violates this policy, as well as the process and sanctions involved, can be found on the Academic Programs website,