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Violations of Academic Integrity:
What are the Consequences?

The consequences of academic dishonesty are serious.  Students can face both academic and disciplinary consequences.  A violation may result in suspension or expulsion.  Faculty members will decide how to handle violations of academic integrity on a case-by-case basis. 

In some cases, a faculty member will resolve the matter directly with the student.  If a faculty member determines that there was academic dishonesty, the faculty member may assign any grade for the work at issue deemed appropriate, which may include failing the student on the work or in the class.  Students who believe they have been graded unfairly have recourse through the grade appeal procedures established by each school.

Independent of the faculty member’s grade determination, a formal complaint may be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct regarding any matter of academic dishonesty.  The Office of Student Conduct will then investigate the case.  Detailed guidelines to the steps followed in every case may be found at

Faculty have the authority to assign grades based on their evaluation of a student's work. The grade may reflect a faculty member's judgment that the work violated the norms of academic integrity but the grade is not a disciplinary sanction. For more information, see the Pennbook's statement on "Faculty Authority to Assign Grades and Academic Integrity".

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This guide has been adapted from one produced at MIT entitled Academic Integrity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  A Handbook for Students.  We are grateful for their permission to use and revise the work for students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Written by Patricia Brennecke, Lecturer in English Language Studies
Edited by Professor Margery Resnick, Chair of the Committee on Discipline, and Joanne Straggas, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education.  Prepared with the support of Professor Robert P. Redwine, Dean for Undergraduate Education at MIT.

Adapted in Fall 2006 for use by graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and published as the Handbook for Students, Ethics and Original Research by Professor Barbara Fuchs, Romance Languages, Dr. James B. Lok, Professor of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Linda Meiberg, graduate student and Karen Lawrence, Assistant Director of Education.

This edition edited, amended and produced by:

The University Honor Council and the
Office of Student Conduct
University of Pennsylvania
Fall 2008