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Frequently Asked Questions: Students

Students who have been found guilty of academic dishonesty and, as a consequence, have been assigned a Q grade may not graduate with University honors. Requests for exceptions to this policy for students with majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Journalism, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and Stony Brook Southampton are reviewed by the University's Academic Integrity Officer. No exceptions will be made for students graduating with majors in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

My professor told me he was reporting me to the academic judiciary. What happens next?
Can I appeal the accusation?
What if I don't appeal?
What if I am found not guilty at a hearing?
What is the difference between being found guilty at a hearing and by not appealing?
What is a typical penalty for a first offense?
What is the Q course and how do I sign up for it?
What happens after I complete the Q course?
What happens if I am found guilty of academic dishonesty a second time?
What happens if I withdrew or chose the P/NC option before or after an accusation has been made?
What happens if I am accused of academic dishonesty more than once in the same semester?


My professor told me he was reporting me to the academic judiciary. What happens next?

Once an instructor files an accusation of academic dishonesty against a student, a notification will be emailed telling them an accusation has been made and to call the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs to setup an appointment to speak with Wanda Moore, Academic Integrity Officer, about their accusation and the options available to them.  The student will also be given a copy of the accusation. The student has two weeks from the date of notification to decide whether or not to appeal the accusation. The instructor is under no obligation to discuss the accusation with the student before reporting or even after reporting the student and is not allowed to retract an accusation. A student should direct all questions to the appropriate judiciary office.

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Can I appeal the accusation?

Yes. An appeal means you are pleading not guilty and a hearing will be scheduled. An appeal can be filed from this website to the relevant judiciary office. While the case is pending, the student will receive a grade of “I” in the course and a notation that reads “Academic Judiciary Action Pending” will appear on the student's transcript.

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What if I don't appeal?

If a student does not appeal an accusation, the student is found guilty. A remark of “Found Guilty Academic Dishonesty” will be placed on the student's transcript and a grade of Q, denoting academic dishonesty, will be recorded for the course. The Q is factored into the student's GPA as an F as long as it is on the transcript.

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What if I am found not guilty at a hearing?

The accusation is dismissed and the earned grade is restored without penalty.

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What is the difference between being found guilty at a hearing and by not appealing?

The only difference, other than the time spent waiting for the hearing to take place, is that when a student is found guilty at a hearing, the hearing board sets the penalty, which may differ from the instructor's recommendation, based on the severity of the action and the penalties received by students found guilty of similar offenses. When a student does not appeal, he/she typically receives the grade penalty recommended by the instructor.

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What is a typical penalty for a first offense?

Unless the student has committed an egregious act, such as forging documents or using a “ringer” to take an exam for him/her, a typical penalty would range from a zero on the assignment in question to an F in the course. More serious acts may warrant suspension or permanent expulsion from the University. The student will be required to take the Q course.

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What is the Q course and how do I sign up for it?

The Q course is the University's course on academic integrity and includes topics such ethics, effective work habits, and time management skills. The ten-week course is held twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring semester. It meets on Wednesdays during Campus Lifetime. A student must attend all sessions during the semester and complete the assignments to have the Q removed from his/her transcript. Students sign up for the Q course at the "Register for Q-Course" link on this site.

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What happens after I complete the Q course?

For a first-time offender with a minor charge, the “Found Guilty – Academic Dishonesty” remark on the transcript will be removed and the Q for the course will be replaced by the earned grade with any assigned penalty factored in. The course grade is often an F with a zero (the minimum penalty) on a major assignment in a course usually causes enough damage to warrant an F for the final grade.

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What happens if I am found guilty of academic dishonesty a second time?

A student found guilty of more than one infraction will be suspended or permanently expelled from the University based on the nature of the offense. The Q for the most recent offense will be permanent, and a Q for each previous offense will be placed back on the transcript and will also be permanent. Finally, there will be a permanent notation of academic dishonesty on the student's transcript.

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What happens if I withdrew or chose the P/NC option before or after an accusation has been made?

Students accused of academic dishonesty cannot withdraw or P/NC from the course in question.  If you have withdrawn from this course, you will be reinstated into the course until this matter is resolved.  If you are found not guilty of academic dishonesty by the academic judiciary committee, then your withdrawal or P/NC will be processed; otherwise, you will receive a letter grade in the course as mentioned in the Policies and Procedures Governing Undergraduate Student Academic Dishonesty.  If you are found guilty of academic dishonesty, this decision will nullify any previous withdrawals and Pass/No Credit options.

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What happens if I am accused of academic dishonesty more than once in the same semester?

If accusations come in close together but are for different types of offenses, for example plagiarism and copying off another student; they will be treated 2 separate offenses and are penalized more severely. The rationale for this is that unlike a student who commits plagiarism in 2 classes, and thus has the second accusation made before he can learn from the first, 2 different types of cheating indicate a deeper problem than simply not understanding the rules.

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