Academic Integrity

“Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, the University's Code of Conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.

Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.”

—From Penn State's University Faculty Senate Policy 49-20

Academic Integrity Statements and Resources

Each Penn State campus and academic college interprets and applies academic integrity procedures consistent with University policy. Campus or college Academic Integrity Committees maintain guidelines on ranges of appropriate sanctions for given types of infractions. These Academic Integrity Policies and Statements by College/Campus reflect University policy and unit-specific implementation.

Statements explaining an instructor's academic integrity policy for a course must be included in the course syllabus.

Resources for learning about academic integrity, plagiarism, and copyright are available on these sites: iStudy for Success, Teaching & Learning with Technology,and the Office of Student Conduct.

An instructor accusing a student of academic dishonesty must follow the University's procedure for handling allegations of academic dishonesty. Sanctioning guidelines for academic integrity violations are presented.

Impact on a Student's Record

A student who is in violation of the academic integrity policy may receive a lower grade or a failing grade as an academic sanction. A student may also receive a disciplinary warning, disciplinary probation, or an XF symbol on his/her transcript as a disciplinary sanction.

XF Symbol and Grade: If there has been an egregious act of academic dishonesty (e.g. breaking into an instructor's office to steal tests and selling them), then, with the concurrence of the instructor, college committee, and the Office of Student Conduct, a grade of F is recorded as the student's quality of performance in the course. The grade is accompanied by the symbol X indicating a sanction for academic dishonesty. The symbol (X) remains on the student's transcript for the period of the sanction, and the F grade remains on the student's record.

Course Drop or Withdrawal: A student who has been found responsible for academic dishonesty in a course may not drop or withdraw from the course. If the student processes a regular drop, late drop, withdrawal, or a retroactive late drop or withdrawal for the course, the action will be reversed and the appropriate grade and symbol will be recorded on the student's transcript.


Last Update: August 2014

Reference(s): Senate Policy 49-20