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What is Academic Integrity? 

We, as a community, strive to ensure that academic work produced at UMass is honest, trustworthy, and fair: a standard known as academic integrity. Maintaining academic integrity is everyone’s job—we rely on the commitment of all our students, faculty, and staff to understand and live these values as community members.  

Two campus policies help us ensure that our learning environment is honest and fair: Academic Honesty and Academic Grievances. To learn more about these policies and procedures, please view their pages. 

On this page, you can explore best practices and resources that will help you understand and embody integrity as a UMass community member. 


Best Practices and Resources for Students 

Understand what’s expected of you 

  • A great place to start is reading the syllabi for each of your courses—a syllabus is a guide for the course, and typically includes expectations and guidelines for completing academic work. 

  • When completing assignments or taking exams, pause and check that you understand what’s being asked of you. Can you collaborate with peers? Use course materials? Use materials from outside of the course? If you are unsure, who can you ask? 

  • Familiarize yourself with the Academic Honesty Policy, especially the definitions of academic dishonesty

  • Generative AI tools are powerful and widely available—but our policy prohibits use of AI to complete any academic work without explicit permission from your instructors. Some instructors may allow or encourage use of generative AI to assist in completing academic work, but it’s up to you to ensure you have permission before using AI to complete academic work. 

Do your own work 

  • Academic exercises are a chance for you to demonstrate what you know and what you have learned to your instructors. Remember to value your learning, intelligence, and contributions to our community. Make sure your choices are in line with those values by doing your own work and acknowledging the value of other’s by citing their work. 

  • Don’t let the fear of making a mistake or asking for help prevent you from completing your academic work with integrity. Receiving feedback and help from your instructors is an important part of the learning process. Pay attention to the feedback you receive on assignments and seek out additional support by asking questions and attending office hours. 

Take care of yourself and manage your time well 

  • We know it’s harder to maintain academic integrity when you’re stressed out or up against a deadline. Planning ahead helps you complete your best work honestly. Explore our resources on how to take charge of your learning and make the most of your time.

  • A crucial part of maintaining academic integrity is taking care of yourself. Explore the BeWell@UMass page to discover more about the 8 dimensions of wellbeing and how many campus resources can help you find balance. 

  • Don’t forget to take breaks! We know daily choices like getting enough sleep, eating regular balanced meals, and spending time outside or exercising helps student succeed. Explore the programs and resources available through Recreation and Wellness to find ways to build wellness activities into your daily schedule. 

Take advantage of campus resources for academic support and skill building 

Know when to ask for help 

  • As you set goals and map your path during your time at UMass, know that successful students ask for help along the way. When you’re unsure of what to do or need assistance to meet your goals, make sure to ask for help.

  • Are you unsure of what’s expected of you in a course or on an assignment? Do you need support or guidance to master course content? Check in with your instructor or TA. You can reach out to ask for support or stop by their office hours.  

  • Schedule a meeting with your Academic Advisor to explore your options, learn more about campus resources, and set goals for your academic journey. 

  • Do you experience test anxiety? The good news is that it’s treatable. Check out our tips and resources for overcoming test anxiety.


Academic Integrity Resources for Instructors