Academic Integrity

Harvard College Honor Code

Please note that all student work should be completed according to the standards outlined in the Harvard College Honor Code.  Courses should devise and publish policies (e.g., a clear statement of proper and improper collaboration) and practices (e.g., all papers be submitted via a dropbox topic box on the course website) that encourage academic integrity.  Instructors are also encouraged to discuss the standards of academic integrity for the discipline and collaboration policies explicitly before giving an assignment.

If an instructor suspects that a student has violated the standards of the Honor Code and academic integrity, he or she should contact Honor Council Secretary Brett Flehinger to discuss the situation.  Teaching Fellows and Teaching Assistants are encouraged to speak first with the course head before reaching out to Dean Flehinger.

The Honor Council, composed of students, faculty, and administrators, reviews academic violations including:

  • submission of exams not written by the student
  • submission of work not produced by the student
  • deliberate or unintentional misuse of sources (often Internet sources)
  • improper collaboration[1]
  • double submission (i.e., submission of the same work to more than one course, regardless of when)
  • submission (usually via e-mail) of blank or deliberately corrupted documents
  • forged e-mails that explain purported technical or other difficulties and missed deadlines

The Honor Council will work with the course to investigate the situation and discuss possible outcomes. Learn more about the Honor Council.

Often times, lapses of academic integrity are indications of extreme stress or other issues.  By referring these issues to the Honor Council, students are able to receive the help they need.  In general, course heads should not submit a final grade for any student who may be subject to disciplinary action.  Course heads and TFs wishing to discuss potential cases prior to contacting the Honor Council, may contact Gen Ed Administrative Director Stephanie Kenen.

Collaboration Policy

Please note the policy on collaboration, which has been in place since the 2010-2011 academic year:

Unless otherwise stated on the syllabus or website, when collaboration is permitted within a course students must acknowledge any collaboration and its extent in all submitted work; however, students need not acknowledge discussion with others of general approaches to the assignment or assistance with proofreading.  If the syllabus or website does not include a policy on collaboration, students may assume that collaboration in the completion of assignments is permitted.  Collaboration in the completion of examinations is always prohibited.

Read more about “Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty” in the Harvard College Handbook for Students.