Avoiding Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct, commonly referred to as “cheating,” undermines learning and threatens the university responsibility to certify student progress and educational achievement. These violations, including plagiarism, copying and collusion, among others, can have serious consequences, even if the misconduct was unintentional.
Upholding academic integrity is a requirement for "a university of the first class;" our institution as envisioned by the authors of the Texas Constitution of 1876. As key members of the university community, students share a responsibility for protecting academic integrity at UT.
Read the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities, Section 11-401 for the Institutional Rules on academic misconduct. Information on the conduct process and possible outcomes are included in other areas of Chapter 11 .
Watch our short videos on specific academic integrity topics:
- Academic Integrity and Due Process
- Avoiding Plagiarism
- Collusion as Academic Misconduct
- Providing or Receiving Aid or Assistance
- What Does it Mean to Honor the Horns
Academic Integrity Tips
Here are some categorized tips and suggestions to help you avoid academic misconduct in your classes:
- Read your course syllabi. Familiarize yourself with your instructors’ expectations for each class and assignment. For example, when is working together on an assignment allowed, if ever? Know where the line is to avoid mistakes.
- Follow all direction from your instructors on how class should function. If you are ever unsure, ask them for clarification.
- Get help if you think you might need it. Sanger Learning Center and University Writing Center offer free support.
- Ask your instructors and TAs for any clarification you need; don't rely on your peers. Your classmates might not have the right information.
- Use caution with group messaging apps. They can be helpful studying resources, but it is easy to cross the line into academic misconduct. It is your responsibility to monitor what is going on in any group chats you are in. If you are concerned prohibited material is being shared (ex. exam answers), remove yourself from the group/chat and let your instructor know of your concerns. If you are unsure what is prohibited, ask your instructor.
- Don't copy or distribute course material unless you have explicit permission.
- Classwork and Exams:
- Assume all work is to be done individually unless otherwise stated by your instructor or other assignment instructions.
- Check your work. Give yourself enough time to thoroughly review each assignment and be sure to credit the sources of any borrowed material properly, using the citation style specified by your instructor.
- If an assessment requires exam security software (ex. Proctorio), follow all instructions for its use. Try the software in advance to avoid issues.
- During an exam or timed assignment, presume you should have no notes or other resources available to you unless other instructions are given. If you are unsure, ask your instructor.
- Ensure all work is yours and is original to you.
- Perceived "shortcuts" for an exam or assignment are often forms of academic misconduct.
One of the best ways to avoid academic misconduct is to manage your time and study habits. Explore Sanger Learning Center study strategies to build good study habits. Texas One Stop Keep Learning offers tools and resources specifically for online classes.
If You Are Suspected of a Violation
The student conduct process prioritizes due process. You will receive instructions from your instructor or Student Conduct staff. Keep any documents, emails, chats, or other evidence that could help you if you believe the suspicion is in error. Student Conduct staff will offer to meet with you to hear your side and review the evidence. They will also fully explain the conduct process and your rights.