Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity
The following standards relate to all work prepared for evaluation by course instructors (i.e., homework, take-home exams, in-class examinations, presentations and papers). Students are required to submit such work for evaluation for various reasons:

  • To help the students develop and cogently express concepts, knowledge, and skills
  • To inspire creative thinking and work
  • To provide the instructor with feedback revealing whether or not students grasp the material presented
  • To provide a record of the student’s progress
  • To promote the learning of new material and to reinforce old material

Harvard University students are expected to adhere to the following guidelines regarding academic standards and behavior. There is no intention to discourage interactions among students, faculty, and others. Exchanges among students are invaluable, especially in this school where the diversity of backgrounds and experience is so rich and varied. Nevertheless, these guidelines emphasize the need for attributing credit and for doing independent work when required by the instructor.

All work submitted to meet course requirements is expected to be a student’s own work. In the preparation of work submitted to meet course requirements, students should always take great care to distinguish their own ideas and knowledge from information derived from sources. Whenever ideas or facts are derived from a student’s reading and research the sources must be indicated. The term “sources” includes not only published primary and secondary material, but also information and opinions gained directly from other people. The responsibility for using the proper forms of citation lies with the individual student. Quotations must be placed within quotation marks, and the source must be credited. All paraphrased material also must be completely acknowledged.

A computer program written to satisfy a course requirement is, like a paper, expected to be the original work of the student submitting it. Copying a program from another student or from any other source is a form of academic dishonesty, as is deriving a program substantially from the work of others.

The amount of collaboration with others that is permitted in the completion of assignments can vary, depending upon the policy set by the course instructor. Students must assume that collaboration in the completion of assignments is prohibited unless explicitly specified by the instructor. Students must acknowledge any collaboration and its extent in all submitted work. This requirement applies to collaboration on editing as well as collaboration on substance.

Unless otherwise specified, take-home examinations are given with the understanding that students may consult notes and references, but not other students. Students who submit work either not their own or without clear attribution of its sources may be subject to disciplinary action including the possibility of being required to withdraw from the school.

A paper or other work normally is submitted to only one course. If the same or substantially the same work is subsequently submitted to any other course, the prior written permission of the current instructor involved must be obtained. A student who submits the same or substantially the same work for more than one course without such prior permission may be subject to disciplinary action including the possibility of being required to withdraw from the School. (CEP 1/86. Adapted from the Handbook for Students, Harvard College, 1984-85.)

Students also should be aware that HSPH has instituted procedures for the administration of examinations. Depending on the size of the class, proctors may be used to monitor examinations, and students may be asked to follow a certain seating arrangement. Before the examination, the instructor or proctor will explain any particular procedures to be followed.

These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, and the school reserves the right to determine, in a given instance, what action constitutes an infringement of academic honesty and integrity. The Office for Student Services and academic departments actively attempt to inform students of the requirements of academic honesty through orientation programs and publications and will investigate vigorously complaints of academic dishonesty (see Appendix B: Disciplinary Procedures).