Academic Integrity Policy

The University of San Diego is an academic institution, an instrument of learning. As such, the university is predicated on the principles of scholastic honesty. It is an academic community all of whose members are expected to abide by ethical standards both in their conduct and in their exercise of responsibility toward other members of the community.

Academic dishonesty is an affront to the integrity of scholarship at USD and a threat to the quality of learning. To maintain its credibility and uphold its reputation, the university has procedures to deal with academic dishonesty which are uniform and which should be understood by all. Violations of academic integrity include:

  1. unauthorized assistance on an examination;
  2. falsification or invention of data;
  3. unauthorized collaboration on an academic exercise;
  4. plagiarism;
  5. misappropriation of research materials;
  6. any unauthorized access to an instructor’s files or computer account; or
  7. any other serious violation of academic integrity as established by the instructor.

An act of dishonesty can lead to penalties in a course such as: reduction of grade; withdrawal from the course; a requirement that all or part of a course be retaken; and a requirement that additional work be undertaken in connection with the course.

Because of the seriousness of academic dishonesty, further penalties at the level of the university community may be applied; such penalties include but are not limited to probation, a letter of censure, suspension, or expulsion. Copies of the full policy on Academic Integrity are available at the offices of the Provost, Vice President for Student Affairs, academic deans and in the USD Policies and Procedures Manual. Instructors also explain other specific expectations regarding academic integrity in their classes.

In the event the Hearing Committee determines that expulsion or rescission of a degree is the appropriate sanction, or in the event of two dissenting votes on the Hearing Committee, the person who is adversely affected by the Hearing Committee’s decision may appeal that decision to the Provost, who may finally determine the matter in the exercise of sound discretion.