Academic Integrity

The intellectual health of any academic community depends on the existence of trust, integrity, and mutual respect among its members. Students in the graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are expected to adhere to the standards of academic integrity in all aspects of their studies. Plagiarism, cheating, and all other forms of academic dishonesty are not tolerated and are penalized as follows:

  • Individual Course Penalty. The academic penalty will be determined by the student's instructor. Typically, a student who violates the academic integrity code in a course will receive an F for the course, or, at the discretion of the instructor, a less severe penalty. Students who feel that the penalty is too harsh may appeal their grade through the normal University procedure for resolving grade disputes.
  • University Penalty. Students who violate the code of Academic Integrity are also referred to the Graduate Dean for a University penalty. Two kinds of penalty are available. A full academic integrity violation is a Class I violation. Typically a student with two Class I violations will be expelled from the university. In some cases, the Dean may chose to treat a violation of the Academic Integrity Code as a Class II violation. Class II violations are usually appropriate for less serious cases, or in cases where there are mitigating circumstances. Typically a student may receive only one Class II violation during his or her career as a graduate student. All subsequent violations are treated as Class I violations.

The Villanova Library has a website with detailed explanations about what constitutes a violation of academic integrity, and ways to avoid plagiarism:

The University’s policies and procedures regarding Academic Integrity, and the process of appealing a charge of academic dishonesty, are located at