Graduate Student Handbook

11.1 Academic Conduct Standards

The underlying principle of academic misconduct is the assurance of the integrity of the university’s educational mission. Students are expected to abide by this principle in all relevant matters, including those identified below.

 Conflict of obligation or opportunity

The wealth of opportunity available to the student at OSU makes it inevitable that there will be occasions when conflict arises (e.g. between regularly schedules courses and guest seminars, special activities, employment, etc.). In these situations, it is the faculty’s expectation that the regularly scheduled course takes priority. Each instructor is free to make the judgment that a particular activity is sufficient merit to warrant special arrangements; however, students should not expect regularly scheduled classes to routinely accommodate other activities.

 Academic misconduct

All instances of academic misconduct are serious in their potential for harm to the educational process. The University’s Committee on Academic Misconduct is responsible for investigating allegations of academic misconduct and applying appropriate sanctions. The definition and examples below are taken from the OSU Code of Student Conduct available at:

 The Ohio State University defines Academic misconduct as:

 “Any activity that tends to compromise the academic integrity of the University, or subvert the educational process." "Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to:

  1. Violation of course rules
  2. Violation of program regulations
  3. Knowingly providing or receiving information during a course exam or program assignment
  4. Possession and/or use of unauthorized materials during a course exam or program assignment
  5. Knowingly providing or using assistance in the laboratory, on field work, or on a course assignment, unless such assistance has been authorized specifically by the course instructor or, where appropriate, a project/research supervisor
  6. Submission of work not performed in a course: This includes (but is not limited to) instances where a student fabricates and/or falsifies data or information for a laboratory experiment (i.e., a "dry lab") or other academic assignment. It also includes instances where a student submits data or information (such as a lab report or term paper) from one course to satisfy the requirements of another course, unless submission of such work is permitted by the instructor of the course or supervisor of the research for which the work is being submitted
  7. Submitting plagiarized work for a course/program assignment
  8. Falsification, fabrication, or dishonesty in conducting or reporting laboratory (research) results
  9. Serving as or asking another student to serve as a substitute (a "ringer") while taking an exam
  10. Alteration of grades in an effort to change earned credit or a grade
  11. Alteration and/or unauthorized use of university forms or records”

Students should note especially the first example (violation of course rules). For instance, instructors’ policies may vary widely concerning the conditions under which assignments are to be completed or the access permitted to examinations or other materials from current or prior offerings of the course. Violating such policies is academic misconduct. It is the student’s responsibility to know and abide by these policies, as it is the instructor’s responsibility to announce them. If there is any uncertainty as to the acceptability of an action, the student should confer with the faculty member to clarify the expectation.

 All cases of suspected misconduct or concerns about lax or irregular examination procedures should be reported to the instructor or to the Committee on Academic Misconduct (Room 107, 33 West 11th Avenue, 614-292-7262). Sanctions imposed in cases of established misconduct range from warnings to suspension or dismissal from the University.


Plagiarism is a serious form of academic misconduct, even when it occurs due to carelessness rather than as an intentional act. Because of the importance of avoiding plagiarism, additional guidance is given on this subject in Appendix F