Academic Integrity Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I care about academic integrity?

It has been said that "ideas are to a university what money is to a bank." This means that for us to function as a university, we must be scrupulously honest about ideas, and carefully distinguish between what are our own ideas and what ideas we have borrowed from others. Academic integrity is at the heart of our mission and reputation as a university. A Villanova education is not just an end-product; it is the whole process of learning how to think critically and gain important skills. Trying to shortcut this process by cheating deprives one of the very education one has come here to receive. 

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What will happen to me if I am found to have committed an academic integrity violation?

The penalty for the first violation of the code is an F for the course, or, at the discretion of the instructor, a less severe penalty such as an F for the assignment. Students who commit an academic integrity offense will also be asked to complete an academic integrity educational program, which will be supervised by the dean of the student’s college. If there are no further academic integrity violations by the time the student graduates, the record of an academic integrity violation will be expunged. For the second offense, the student may be dropped from the university, and the reason will be noted on the student’s permanent record. 

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Suppose I am not sure how the code applies to what I am doing?

Ask your instructor for clarification. If you do not have time to ask your instructor, add a written explanation to your paper that explains clearly what you have done. 

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What if I am accused of an academic integrity violation that I don’t feel that I have committed?

Before submitting an academic integrity penalty grade for you, your faculty member will review the situation with you, explaining what the problem with your work is. You can express your own position at that time. If you still think that you are not guilty of an academic integrity violation, you have a right to have your case heard by a panel of students and faculty members. A detailed description of Villanova’s policy is available from the office of your dean or from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. For a more detailed discussion, please consult the I've been accused page.

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