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Northwestern University

Academic Integrity

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Academic integrity policies and procedures

Violations of academic integrity

The Northwestern brochure Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide contains a non-exhaustive list of behaviors that violate standards of academic integrity. These include:

Each is described in more detail in the brochure.

Plagiarism includes more than just copying someone’s work. Northwestern's "Principles Regarding Academic Integrity" defines plagiarism as "submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one's own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source." The brochure Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide contains a discussion of the proper citation of sources. Northwestern's Writing Place provides more tips for avoiding plagiarism.

Consequences of violations

Each school at Northwestern has a procedure for handling reports of suspected academic integrity violations. The school offering the course in which the behavior occurred evaluates whether integrity standards were violated. If the judgment is that a violation occurred, the course instructor then determines how this should affect the student’s grade, and the student’s home school (e.g., Weinberg College for Weinberg students) decides on other sanctions.

The brochure Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide includes a non-exhaustive list of possible sanctions. Considerations include the severity of the violation, as well as mitigating and aggravating circumstances. Students should be aware that a violation can result in a failing grade and also suspension and even permanent exclusion from the University.

Reporting a suspected violation

A student who suspects that another student has violated academic integrity standards is encouraged to bring his or her concern to Dean Ricardo Court ( The student can be assured that the conversation regarding the matter will occur in the strictest confidence and nothing will happen unless the student who is reporting the incident gives his or her consent for the dean to act on the report.

A faculty member who suspects that a student has violated academic integrity standards should report this to Dean Ricardo Court ( as soon as possible. If the faculty member is unsure whether what occurred constitutes a violation, he or she should feel free to discuss the concern with Dean Court in order to explore the question. For additional information, faculty can consult the handbook Teaching in Weinberg College (see Teaching Guides and Resources), or the Chairperson’s Handbook, which also provide suggestions for minimizing instances of academic integrity violations.

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