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Academic policies

Academic Honesty

The Academic Honesty Policy was established to ensure that the learning environment at the university is honest and fair. The policy is designed to provide faculty and students with options for handling incidents. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  • Cheating - intentional use or attempted use of trickery or deception in one's academic work
  • Fabrication - intentional falsification and/or invention of any information or citation
  • Plagiarism - knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own work
  • Facilitating dishonesty - knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty

The Academic Honesty Board handles all cases of academic dishonesty on campus. Formal definitions of academic dishonesty, examples of various forms of dishonesty, and the procedures which faculty must follow to penalize dishonesty are contained in the Academic Honesty Policy. There are two main pathways for resolving cases where dishonesty is suspected: the informal resolution and the formal charge. Both these paths require that the faculty member first inform the student of the concern and offer a meeting (see the Guide for Faculty).  Read more on the University Academic Honesty website.


If you are concerned about your fair and respectful treatment in any of your classes or with any of the issues listed below, your first stop will be your program advisor or the department head, or a staff or faculty member you feel particularly connected to.  Please don't hesitate to go to whomever you feel can best understand your situation, or the department head directly.  If you need assistance beyond the department level, the Campus Ombuds office is available to all students to offer advice or assistance on a wide range of problems, including:

  • course/degree requirements
  • grade disputes
  • grading policy and practice
  • allegations of academic dishonesty
  • ethics concerns
  • sexual, racial, and other types of harassment
  • delays in services or decisions
  • conflicts with instructors, employers, or administrative offices
  • roommate/coworker/classroom conflicts
  • other interpersonal disputes

The Ombuds office can be reached at (413) 545‐0867, ombuds@ombuds.umass.edu, http://www.umass.edu/ombuds/.

Other University Resources for Students, Faculty and Staff