Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity Policy (PDF)


Academic Integrity Policy


Academic Integrity


In order to articulate fully its commitment to academic honesty and to protect members of its community (Faculty, Students and Staff) from the results of dishonest conduct, Philadelphia University has adopted policies to address cases of academic dishonesty. These policies are intended not only to emphasize the imperative of academic integrity, but also to protect the rights of all members of the University community.


Types of Academic Dishonesty


The following incidences provide examples of the most common types of academic dishonesty, but other instances may occur outside of the definitions defined here.




Cheating is the inappropriate and unacknowledged use of materials, information, designs, ideas or study aids in any academic exercise. The use of books, notes, calculators and conversations with others is restricted or forbidden in certain circumstances. Cheating also includes stealing, buying, or otherwise obtaining a test; selling or giving away answers to a test; buying or selling a paper, painting, sculpture, model, project, or design for use in the fulfillment of an academic requirement; or falsifying a grade or attempting to change a grade on a test, official academic record, or a change of grade form. Students may not request others (including commercial term paper companies) to conduct research or prepare any work for them. Students are also not permitted to submit identical work or portions of that work for credit or honors more than once without prior approval of the faculty member.




Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic work. “Invented” information (that is, information which is made up by the student) may not be used in any laboratory experiment or other academic exercise. The student must always acknowledge any source from which cited information was obtained. A writer should not, for example, reproduce a quotation from a book review and indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.




Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. To avoid plagiarism, every idea or argument that is not one’s own must be cited. Only information considered to be “common knowledge” does not need to be cited (when unclear about the definition of “common knowledge’ in a particular discipline, students should consult with the faculty member teaching the course). Paraphrased material taken from print, electronic sources, or other media should also be cited. Along with this citation, the author should acknowledge a paraphrase properly, by using words such as: “to paraphrase Smith’s comment…,” or “drawing on Smith’s ideas about…”

Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly cited according to correct citation conventions. Students must familiarize themselves with the correct citation conventions required in each course. Any questions about what constitutes plagiarism should be discussed with the faculty member. Faculty members may suggest a style guide to use; style guidelines are also available on the Philadelphia University’s Learning & Advising Center Website. (


Facilitating Academic Dishonesty


Students who knowingly or negligently allow their work to be used by other students or who otherwise aid others in academic dishonesty are violating academic integrity.


Denying others access to information or material


It is a violation of academic integrity to deny others access to scholarly resources, or to deliberately impede the progress of another student. Examples of offenses of this type include giving other students false or misleading information; making library material unavailable to others by stealing or defacing books or journals or by deliberately misplacing or destroying reserve materials; or altering computer files that belong to another.


Process for Handling Issues of Academic Dishonesty at Philadelphia University


If a faculty member has reason to believe a student has violated the academic integrity policy, the following should ensue:

The faculty member will discuss the situation with the student and will determine appropriate action within the faculty member’s purview as a member of the teaching faculty.

The faculty member then reports the behavior and the sanction to the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and it becomes a permanent part of the student’s confidential judicial record. The Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs will determine if additional sanctions are warranted.

The faculty member will work in conjunction with the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs to refer the case to the Student Conduct Committee in cases where the offense merits the attention of the Student Conduct Committee. The Student Conduct Committee is a group of faculty and students empowered to make judicial decisions on behalf of the University.




This information is included to serve as a sanctioning guideline for faculty who are handling acts of academic dishonesty committed by their students. It is up to the faculty member to determine how serious the offense is (based upon her/his academic standards and expectations) and the sanctions to be imposed. The Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs will be kept appraised of all actions. The Student Conduct Committee may wish to follow these guidelines as well.

If it is judged that a student has violated the university’s standards for academic integrity, these sanctions might apply:


  • 1. Repeat the assignment or complete another assignment.
  • 2. A warning or verbal reprimand with a written description of the interaction by the faculty member. Copies will be kept by the faculty member, as well as by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • 3. Failure of the assignment with no opportunity to repeat it. No points will be earned for the assignment (that is, an F will equal a “0”).
  • 4. Failure of the class.
  • 5. Referral to the Student Conduct Committee for possible suspension or expulsion.


Appeals Procedure


Students who wish to appeal a faculty member’s sanction(s) should follow the procedure as outlined in the University catalogs and the Student Handbook under the academic policies section “Appeal of Adverse Decisions.”

Sources: Rutgers University Policy on Academic Integrity for Undergraduate and Graduate Students, New Brunswick, and Drexel University’s policy,

Philadelphia University Student Life Committee, Steven C. Dinero, Chair. October 18, 2001 Approved by the Faculty, December 18, 2001.