Academic Integrity

Students at the University of Delaware are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors. It is the official policy of the University of Delaware that all acts or attempted acts of alleged academic dishonesty be reported to the Office of Student Conduct or Graduate College for resolution.

Following is an explanation of the University’s policy and general procedures for handling undergraduate student cases of academic dishonesty. All graduate student infractions should be referred to the Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies. For additional information, refer to the Student Guide to University Policies.



Encouraging academic honesty among students

  1. Include a statement in the course syllabus regarding academic honesty as it relates to that particular course.
  2. Discuss the issue of cheating, academic misconduct, fabrication, and plagiarism at the beginning of each semester and before examinations.
  3. When assigning term papers, discuss the issue of plagiarism, make certain that students understand referencing requirements, the specific extent of collaboration on class/term projects, assign specific topics and set a time limit.
  4. Give essay tests, instead of multiple-choice tests, when appropriate and where class size permits.
  5. When using proctors, more than one should be present for over forty students. Instruct proctors about their responsibilities during exams.
  6. Require positive identification from students (University student identification card, driver’s license) when students enter the classroom to take an examination or when they turn in their answer sheets if the students are not familiar to you. This is particularly important in large size classes.
  7. Have each student sign his/her answer sheet. Signatures can be compared if a question arises over who actually took the examination.
  8. Keep examinations in a secure location, e.g., locked desks, locked files, etc. Faculty offices may not be a secure location for examinations.
  9. All waste copies of an examination should be destroyed.
  10. Number exams and count the number distributed and returned.
  11. Alternate forms of the same examination, particularly with multiple choice examinations, should be administered during the test period. Color-coding of the alternate forms will emphasize the difference.
  12. When bluebooks are used for examinations, faculty should collect the bluebooks from students and redistribute them before the examination begins.
  13. Clearly indicate what materials students may have in their possession during an exam (e.g. textbook, formula sheet, scrap paper, calculator, etc.) It is recommended this information be shared in multiple formats (include in syllabus, verbal reminder before exam is distributed or released, listed on physical exam or as first part of electronic exam.)
  14. Design a pre-arranged seating plan or sign-in sheet by seat number, so that the location of each student may be determined.
  15. When possible, students should be seated so that at least one seat exists between students during an examination.
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Protecting oneself from being charged with academic dishonesty

  1. Familiarize yourself with the University’s Code of Conduct, especially for information regarding academic dishonesty.
  2. Check each course syllabus for information regarding course expectations. Faculty members may have additional information beyond the University’s standards. If you cannot find a written section in the syllabus, ask the faculty member what their expectations are.
  3. Prepare yourself thoroughly for examinations and assignments.
  4. Take the initiative to prevent other students from copying your exam or assignments by shielding your work. In exams, if you feel someone is trying to copy from you, ask the proctor if you may move.
  5. Do not look around, particularly in the direction of other students’ papers, during an exam since it may appear you are trying to copy from others.
  6. Do not make any marks on a graded exam if there is any chance you may submit it for a re-grade. Make notations on a separate paper.
  7. Do not share assignments you have finished with other students. Do not leave your finished assignments in a place where another student might be able to copy them.
  8. Do not share your current or former assignments, projects, papers, etc. with other students to use as guides for their work. Such a practice could lead to claims of collaboration if another student uses your work, partially or entirely. Sometimes friendly assistance may escalate into claims of blatant dishonesty.
  9. When taking an exam, be certain you know what authorized materials are permitted (i.e. textbook, formula sheet, scrap paper, calculator.) Ensure you bring only authorized materials.
  10. Should there be any doubt, clarify with your instructor how much collaboration, if any, is permitted or expected when working on projects or assignments with other students.
  11. When working on a collaborative exercise, complete all written assignments individually unless the instructor specifically tells you otherwise.
  12. Acknowledge the contributions of other students on collaborative projects by citing their name(s) on all written work turned into the instructor.
  13. When completing take-home exams, do not collaborate with other persons unless approved by the instructor.
  14. Consult with the University Writing Center, talk with your professor, or use a recognized handbook for instruction on citing source materials.
  15. Protect your computer login identifications and passwords. Other students could use them to access your work and subsequently implicate you in a cheating case.
  16. Do not allow anyone to copy or use your file storage devices (such as flash or USB drives.)
  17. Check with your instructor and get permission before turning in a paper or project you submitted in another course.
  18. Keep rough drafts and copies of your work, for reference as as support should concerns of dishonesty arise.
  19. Encourage honesty among other students.
  20. Refuse to assist students who cheat.
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It is the student’s responsibility to understand the expectations of faculty members. If you require assistance with a course, contact:


  • Plagiarism
  • Fabrication
  • Cheating
  • Academic Misconduct

For a full definition of each type, plus examples of behaviors that would constitute each type, please see the Academic Honesty Policy in the Code of Conduct


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Students who are found responsible for violating the Academic Honesty Policy and receive as an academic penalty a course grade of “X” (a failure of the course with a transcript notation) may enroll in the non-credit Academic Integrity Seminar coordinated by the Office of Student Conduct. Upon completion of the seminar, the “X” will be removed and replaced with an “F.”

Students are typically invited at the start of each semester to enroll in the seminar. They may do so during the semester of their choice, but must complete the seminar before graduating. Transcripts cannot be altered after a degree has been conferred.

For further information about the seminar please contact the Office of Student Conduct at 831-2117.


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