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Students' Responsibilities

Students are responsible for upholding the university’s and college’s standards of academic integrity. If you want your Penn State degree to mean something, it must be obtained honestly.

There’s a lot of public conversation lately about students cheating in high schools and colleges. We, members of the Academic Integrity Committee, believe that the vast majority of students do not deliberately cheat.

However, there are sometimes cases of blatant cheating, and we hope you will realize the ethical and practical consequences of cheating and avoid it. Cheating is never the answer; if you’re stressed out over your workload, seek help from the Learning Center, a counselor, your adviser, or your instructor. But do not cheat!

Cheating can result in reduced grades or failed assignments, failing grades for a course, or even an "XF" grade, designating Failure by Cheating. Some graduate schools check to see if a student has any academic integrity violations even if the transcript does not include an “XF.”

Often, students commit academic integrity violations because they are uncertain about what academic integrity really means, especially in cases of collaboration and/or plagiarism. Instructors are required by the university to communicate their standards of academic integrity in all courses.

But it is your responsibility to do your best to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty in your courses. If you do not understand your instructor’s standards, ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR FOR CLARIFICATION.

We also urge you to check out What is Academic Dishonesty? on this website.