The consequences for cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, and other forms of academic dishonesty can be very serious, possibly including suspension or expulsion from the Institute. Any violation of the rules outlined in this handbook or established by the instructor of a class may be considered violations of academic integrity.
Instructors decide how to handle violations of academic integrity on a case-by-case basis, and three options exist:
Academic consequences within the class itself
The instructor determines what action is appropriate to take. Such action may include:
- requiring the student to redo the assignment for a reduced grade.
- assigning the student a failing grade for the assignment.
- assigning the student a failing grade for the class.
The instructor may also submit documentation to the Office of Student Citizenship in the form of a letter to file or a formal complaint. These options are outlined below.
Letter to file
The instructor writes a letter describing the nature of the academic integrity violation, which is placed in the student’s discipline file.
(The student’s discipline file is maintained by the Office of Student Citizenship (OSC) and is not automatically associated with the student’s academic record.)
- A letter may be filed in addition to the action already taken in the class.
- The instructor can choose to designate a letter as an informal or formal letter to file. This determines whether the letter is maintained as an internal record only or could be released.
- If a student decides to authorize the release of her/his discipline file to a third party (for example to a graduate school or employer):
- informal letters to file are not disclosed.
- formal letters to file are disclosed.
- If a student receives a letter to file, s/he has the right to:
- submit a reply, which is added to the student’s file.
- appeal the letter to the Committee on Discipline (COD) for a full hearing.
- In resolving the violation described in the letter, the OSC reviews any previous violations which are documented in the student’s discipline file.
Committee on Discipline (COD) complaint
The instructor submits a formal complaint to the COD, which resolves cases of alleged student misconduct.
- This complaint may be filed in addition to the action already taken in the class.
- A COD complaint is reviewed by the COD Chair and considered for a hearing. Any previous violations documented in the student’s discipline file are reviewed as part of this process.
- Cases resulting in a hearing are subject to a full range of sanctioning outcomes, including probation, suspension, dismissal, or other educational sanctions.
Questions about these options should be directed to the Office of Student Citizenship (email@example.com).
The MIT Policy on Student Academic Dishonesty is outlined in MIT’s Policies and Procedures 10.2.