Skip to main content
Northwestern University

Procedures for Cases of Alleged Violations of Academic Integrity

Jump to:
For Students

Investigation and Notification:

Meeting with the Assistant Dean for Academic Integrity:

Cross-College Cases:

When a student from another school is alleged to have committed a violation in a Weinberg class:

When a Weinberg student in another school’s class is alleged to have committed a violation:

The deans working on academic integrity consult with each other to maintain cross-college consistency as much as possible.


Sanctions that may be imposed by the ADAI include, but are not limited to:

Suspensions are noted on the student’s unofficial transcript. Permanent exclusion is noted on the student’s official transcript. Northwestern University is obliged to report suspensions and exclusions to Federal background investigators. Graduate and professional schools may request that students provide them with a release to allow reporting of academic integrity violations.

Students who have been found to have violated academic integrity may have their grade on the assignment and in the course impacted. The course instructor has the sole discretion to determine the effect any violation has on any affected assignment and the comprehensive grade in the course. Possible actions include:

Grades modified by the course instructor following a finding of academic integrity violations may not be appealed.

Students may not drop or withdraw from courses in which they have been found in violation of academic integrity. Students may not receive a Northwestern University degree while an allegation of academic integrity violation is pending or until any sanction imposed for such a violation, particularly suspension, has been completed. All materials relating to violations of academic integrity will be kept electronically by the Weinberg College Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising for ten years after the incident.


The ADAI’s finding of violation, any sanction, or both may be appealed to the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Committee on Appeals. The Committee on Appeals includes at least one faculty member from each division of Weinberg College—humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences—and at least one Weinberg student. One of the faculty members will serve as Chair of the Committee.

The intent of the appeals process is to assess whether the violation of academic integrity occurred and whether the sanction was appropriate or consistent with what other students have received for similar violations.

Students need to file a written notice of appeal at the Weinberg Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising within ten working days of the date of the ADAI’s emailed letter of a finding of violation. The student’s written notice of appeal must include:

When the sanction is a suspension, the timing of the suspension cannot be appealed since it is determined as a consequence of when an allegation is made.

At the appeal meeting:

The student may be accompanied by a fellow student, a faculty member, or another individual of the student's choosing, but not by an attorney acting in a professional capacity. This person may not, however, take part in the proceedings; the student must speak on his or her own behalf.

The Chair of the Committee on Appeals has sole discretion to determine what witnesses other than the accused student and the ADAI it will hear, if any. The Committee on Appeals will schedule the appeal hearing as soon as practical after it has been filed.

Following its review, the Committee on Appeals may sustain or reverse the finding of a violation or modify (but not increase, unless additional violations are shown to have occurred) the sanction, if that particular portion of the ADAI's decision was appealed. The ADAI will send an emailed letter on behalf of the Committee on Appeals communicating its decision.

Sanctions will take effect at the expiration of the period for appeal if one has not been filed, or after a decision has been reached by the Committee on Appeals or the Provost if an appeal has been filed. If the sanction is sustained, it will be applied retroactively and, if necessary, current registrations will be canceled.

Provost REVIEW:

The student may have an unsuccessful appeal by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Committee on Appeals reviewed by the Provost of the University. Such a review must be initiated in writing within ten working days after a finding or sanction has been sustained by the Committee on Appeals. Students may have the finding, the sanction imposed, or both reviewed. The Office of the Provost limits reviews to:

The Provost will review unsuccessful appeals only after a finding and a sanction have been issued.

For Faculty


April 2019.

Back to top