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Policies and Procedures

Students who have been found responsible for violating academic integrity 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 who have one or more permanent Q grades on their academic record.

  • Who are recipients of University scholarships will be ineligible to receive their scholarships moving forward. Successful completion of the Q course does not allow students to regain their eligibility. Request for exceptions for students, found responsible of academic dishonesty, but not expelled or suspended, will have an opportunity to appeal after they have successfully completed the Q Course and the Q grade has been removed from their academic record. Students who are granted an appeal will lose scholarship eligibility for those terms beginning with the Q grade term and including all subsequent terms prior to the removal of the Q grade, up until the appeal has been granted. Read here for more info.

  • Cannot withdraw or G P/NC from the course in question. If a student has withdrawn from the course, he/she will be reinstated into the course until this matter is resolved. If a student is found responsible of violating academic integrity (and assigned a Q grade), this assignment of the Q grade will nullify any previous submissions for withdrawals and Pass/No Credit options. However, if a student is found not responsible for violating academic integrity by the academic judiciary committee, then his/her withdrawal or G P/NC option will be processed; otherwise, the student will receive a final letter grade in the course as mentioned in the Policies and Procedures Governing Undergraduate Student Academic Dishonesty.
Statement of Principle Regarding Academic Dishonesty

The following guidelines govern academic dishonesty for the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the School of Business (COB), School of Journalism (SOJ), and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SOMAS). The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) uses its Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals (CEAS – CASA). For CEAS guidelines, contact the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Student Office.
Intellectual honesty is a cornerstone of all academic and scholarly work. Therefore, the faculty view any form of academic dishonesty as a very serious matter. The Academic Judiciary Committee (AJC) is responsible for the establishment of general guidelines for dealing with violations of academic integrity and for the consideration of individual complaints as outlined below. Further information regarding functions of the committees is available from the Division of Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences. For CEAS guidelines, contact the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Student Office.


Academic dishonesty includes any act that is designed to obtain fraudulently, either for oneself or for someone else, academic credit, grades, or other recognition that is not properly earned or that adversely affects another's grade or misrepresents one's academic status.

The following represents examples of academic dishonesty and does not constitute an exhaustive list:

  • Cheating on exams or assignments by the use of books, electronic devices, notes, or other aids when these are not permitted, or by copying from another student.
  • Collusion: two or more students helping one another on an exam or assignment when it is not permitted.
  • Ringers: taking an exam for someone else, or permitting someone else to take one's exam.
  • Submitting the same paper in more than one course without permission of the instructors.
  • Plagiarizing: copying someone else's writing or paraphrasing it too closely, even if it constitutes only some of your written assignment, without proper citation, even instructor notes & presentation slides.
  • Falsifying documents or records related to credit, grades, status (e.g., adds and drops, P/NC grading, transcripts), or other academic matters.
  • Altering an exam or paper after it has been graded in order to request a grade change.
  • Stealing, concealing, destroying, or inappropriately modifying classroom or other instructional material, such as posted exams, library materials, laboratory supplies, or computer programs.
  • Preventing relevant material from being subjected to academic evaluation.
  • Presenting fabricated excuses for missed assignments or tests.
  • Unauthorized clicker use: using someone else's clicker, falsifying attendance roster, signing in for someone.

Electronic Devices
Electronic communication devices, including cellular phones, beepers, speakers, calculators, electronic translators, and headphones must be secured in a closed container (and not, for example, worn on a belt or around the neck) and must be turned off (and not, for example, simply set on vibration mode) during any examination. Note: even if a student does not answer a ringing cell phone during an exam, it can be considered academic dishonesty for not having it turned off.

Procedures for Filing an Accusation of Academic Dishonesty

Any member of the academic community may bring forward a violation of academic integrity accusation to the appropriate college judiciary committee. The accusation should be submitted using the online reporting form found on the academic integrity website within two weeks of the discovery of the alleged offense. Accusations in courses in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) must be submitted to the CEAS Undergraduate Student Office. When it is not possible for the accusation to be made within the two-week period, justification for the lateness should be included in the filing documentation. Instructors who suspect violations of academic integrity must report their suspicions to the appropriate judiciary committee; they should not assign a penalty without submitting an accusation report. An instructor's recommended penalty is noted on the accusation report submitted to the Academic judiciary committee. Instructors may wish to consult with the academic integrity officer before assigning penalties.

When the academic judiciary officer receives an accusation, each student is notified by email and instructed to make an appointment to come in and discuss the accusation. A copy of the accusation report (including instructor's recommended penalty) and supporting documentation, if any, will be given to all parties named in the report of dishonesty. Those parties accused will have two weeks from the date of notification to inform the staff within the Academic Judiciary Office whether or not they intend to appeal the accusation. . In the meantime, a student's academic record will notate an "I" grade in the course signifying that there is a pending academic judiciary matter. The "I" grade will remain until the matter is adjudicated

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty in Course Work
A student who is found responsible of a first offense will have an academic dishonesty guilty notation on their record and will typically be given a Q grade for the course, signifying that he or she has committed an act of violating academic integrity. The Q is computed in the student's GPA as an F. Except where the Academic Judiciary Committee (AJC) specifies otherwise; the Q grade is removed and replaced with the earned grade including any penalty assigned by the instructor and the AJC when the student completes a non-credit academic integrity course (called “the Q course”). 

An F for the course is considered to be an appropriate penalty grade for an act of academic dishonesty, though a more lenient or more severe penalty may be recommended under certain circumstances. For example, where premeditation or conspiracy (e.g., use of ringers or electronic devices) is involved, penalties such as suspension or expulsion may be considered. The minimum penalty is typically a zero on the assignment in question. In all cases a written report of the offense and the recommended penalty of the instructor must be forwarded to the relevant Judiciary Committee in order that students may be formally notified of the accusation, recommend penalty, and procedures for accepting the course instructor's recommended penalty or appealing the accusation and requesting a hearing. A course for which a penalty grade has been assigned cannot be dropped or taken Pass/No Credit.

The Q Course
A student who is found responsible of a first offense will have an academic dishonesty guilty notation on their record and will typically be given a Q grade for the course, signifying that he or she has committed an act of violating academic integrity. The Q grade is removed and replaced with the earned grade including any penalty assigned by the instructor and the Academic judiciary committee when the student completes a non-credit academic integrity course (called "the Q course").
The Q Course is a mandatory attendance sanctioned course that meets on Wednesdays for 1 hour ( 1:00 – 2:00pm) per week for 10 weeks during the fall and spring semesters. Students are encouraged to register at least one month before the start date for the course.

You may find out more about the Q course by calling the Division of Undergraduate Education at 632-7080 or email:

Q Course Registration

Multiple Offenses
If a student is found to have committed two or more acts of violating academic integrity, the AJC or CEAS-CASA will consider recommending a penalty in addition to those already established for the separate offenses. The penalties for a second offense include suspension or permanent expulsion from the University, a permanent notation on the student's academic record of academic dishonesty, and a permanent Q grade for all courses (past and current) for which the student has committed acts of violating academic integrity.

Appeals of Academic Dishonesty Accusations

A student accused of violating academic integrity may appeal the accusation to the relevant judiciary committee. An accusation that is not appealed will be rendered as a finding of the student being found responsible for violating academic integrity. By appealing the accusation, the student asserts that he or she did not violate university policy concerning academic Integrity. Students may not appeal the instructor's penalty. Students may not appeal/request exceptions for having a Q grade on their record or taking the Q course.

All appeals must be presented in writing not later than two weeks after receipt of notification of the accusation and meeting with a staff from the office of academic judiciary to discuss accusation and the academic integrity policies and procedures. On receiving a student's request for an appeal, the Academic Judiciary Office will inform the instructor or department and schedule a hearing. In cases where students do not appeal, the instructor's recommended penalty is applied.
Students who challenge an accusation for a course that is in progress should continue attending the class and completing coursework. Any student who is granted a hearing and is found not guilty responsible for violating academic integrity will receive his or her earned grade in the course.

A student who is granted a hearing and is found reasonable for violating academic integrity will receive penalties as described above. These penalties may differ from the penalty recommended by the reporting instructor. In cases where students do not appeal, the recommended penalty is applied, with very few exceptions. NOTE: A student who is found responsible for violating academic integrity and is determined to have presented false evidence or false testimony at the hearing may have a second accusation of dishonesty brought against him or her by the hearing board, which would be associated with multiple, and more serious, penalties. NOTE ALSO: Students who are found responsible of violating academic integrity must take the university's Q Course no later than the next academic semester.

Hearing Boards

Academic judiciary hearing boards are normally consisted of appointed members from the Academic Judiciary Committee, but may also include faculty and staff who have volunteered to serve on hearing boards.

A five-person hearing board will consist of two faculty, one professional staff member and/or teaching assistant, and two undergraduate students; majority vote determines outcome. The academic integrity officer (or trained designee) will normally serve as non-voting hearing officer. For CEAS guidelines, contact the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Student Office.

(revised – August 2017)

  • Evidence
    The standard of evidence used by the Hearing Board is "clear and convincing." Students may be found responsible on the basis of direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, or a combination of the two. This may include, for example, any of the following: a dramatic change in writing style, possession of accessible notes, devices (ie: mobile phones, clickers, calculators, translators, etc.), or similarly prohibited material during an exam, observed communication between students during an exam, or unusual similarity among exams, papers, or other work.

  • The Hearing
    The appellant will be given an opportunity to address the hearing board. The appellant may bring an academic advisor or witness. Advisors may counsel their advisees during the hearing but do not have privilege of the floor. The Academic judiciary assistant must be notified of the intention to bring advisors or witnesses no later than two working days prior to the hearing.

    The board may call its own witnesses and introduce pertinent information to the hearing. The board may bring an advisor, who may remain during the entire hearing. The accuser and the appellant may ask each other questions, as well as ask questions of each other's witnesses.

    When two or more students are accused of collusion in an academic dishonesty case, each will have the opportunity if they request it to meet with the board independently of the other and the other's advisors and witnesses.

    The hearing officer may dismiss any participant who exhibits disruptive behavior during the hearing. The board will attempt to reach a decision on the basis of the evidence before it regardless of the presence or absence of the persons concerned, their witnesses, or their advisors. In cases where reasonable notice of absence for cause has been given (at least 24 hours), the hearing will be postponed and rescheduled as soon as possible.

Hearings normally proceed as follows:

The person(s) reporting the violation of academic integrity makes a statement summarizing the case and reviews supporting documentation, if any. This statement cannot be interrupted by questions or challenges. However, interruption may occur by hearing officer if person is asked to repeat something.

The accused student then makes a statement responding to the accusation. The student may present evidence at this point supporting his or her appeal of the accusation. The student's statement cannot be interrupted by questions or challenges. . However, interruption may occur by hearing officer if person is asked to repeat something. If the hearing concerns multiple students accused of collaborative cheating, all accused students will be present for the instructor's statement. Each will make a separate response statement with the other accused students not present. If a statement by any of the students implicates any of the others, that student will be informed so that he or she can respond.

The members of the hearing board may ask questions of any of those present, including witnesses. Witnesses will normally not be present for the initial statements and will be called in to the hearing room only after initial statements are presented and the hearing board's initial questions are answered. Their presence will normally be permitted only during their testimony. Either party may call witnesses.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the board will make a decision of finding the student "responsible" or "not responsible" for violating academic integrity. All decisions will be made by majority of the members present. The individual votes and tally are not divulged.

Although there is substantial variance, hearings normally are completed in about an hour. Students and instructors will be notified by email the outcome of the hearing.


  • Appeal of Committee Action 
    The accused or the accuser of a course within the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, School of Journalism, or the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences may appeal the board's finding to the Associate Provost of the Division of Undergraduate Education. Appeals must be based on new evidence and/or errors in procedure or conduct on the part of the hearing board. This new appeal must be presented within one week of the original hearing board's decision. Instructions for appealing are included in the email addressed to you containing the decision by the hearing board.
  • Completion of Cases
    Once a charge has been initiated, the hearing or review procedures prescribed by these rules will be completed whether or not the complainant or student remains associated with the university.
  • Confidentiality
    All committee records of findings of academic dishonesty are confidential and are accessible only to the committee, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the dean of the Marine Sciences Research Center, the dean of the College of Business/director of the Harriman School, the dean of the school of Journalism, and their designees, pre-professional committees whose request for such information have been honored by the Judiciary Committee, and to others specifically granted such access by the student(s) named in the case. The Q grade and any relevant notation, however, are accessible to anyone with access to the student's transcript for the period during which they appear on the transcript. Generally, both the Q grade and notation are temporary and students can remove both from their transcript by taking the Q course.

    In a case where the committee itself determines a penalty, this penalty may include a specific request that a statement of the committee's finding be entered in the student's permanent academic record.

    All Academic Judiciary email will be addressed to students at the email address on record in the Registrar's Office.
How Students Can Protect Themselves
  • Prepare thoroughly for examinations and assignments.
  • Take the initiative to prevent other students from copying exams or assignments (for example, by shielding answers during exams and not lending assignments to other students unless specifically granted permission by the instructor).
  • Check the syllabus for a section addressing academic integrity for each course. There may be requirements specific to the course.
  • Avoid looking in the direction of other students' papers during exams.
  • Use a recognized handbook for instruction on citing source materials in papers. Consult with individual faculty members or academic departments when in doubt.
  • Use the services of the Writing Center for assistance in preparing papers.
  • Discourage dishonesty among other students.
  • Refuse to assist students who cheat.
  • Do not sit near students with whom you have studied.
  • Do not sit near roommates or friends.
  • Many cases of plagiarism involve students improperly using Internet sources. If you quote an Internet source, you must cite the URL for that source in your bibliography. Copying (or closely paraphrasing text) text or figures from a website without citing it and placing it in quotation marks is plagiarism. It is no different from doing the same thing with a printed source. Professing ignorance ("unintentional"/ "accident") of this rule will not be accepted as a legitimate basis for appealing an accusation of academic dishonesty. You are responsible for proofreading all submitted work and/or ensuring that the correct digital file and/or hard copy is the correct submitted version
  • Use the services of the Library for assistance or workshops on "avoiding plagiarism" and "citations" and "research skills".
  • Do not sign attendance roster for someone else.
  • Do not use someone else's clicker.
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