UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct

The University of California, Davis


Honor and Academic Integrity: UC Davis Traditions Since 1911

All members of the academic community are responsible for the academic integrity of the Davis campus. Existing policies forbid cheating on examinations, plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty is contrary to the purposes of the University and is not to be tolerated. A code of conduct for the campus community must exist in order to support high standards of behavior. Under the Code of Academic Conduct, adopted in 1976, students, faculty, and administration share responsibility for academic integrity at UC Davis. The Code requires students to act fairly and honestly, and is based on a student honor code established in 1911. Examples of academic misconduct include:

  • Receiving or providing unauthorized assistance on examinations
  • Using or having unauthorized materials out during an examination
  • Plagiarism - using materials from sources without citations
  • Altering an exam and submitting it for re-grading
  • Fabricating data or references
  • Using false excuses to obtain extensions of time

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Responsibility of Students

The ultimate success of a code of academic conduct depends largely on the degree to which it is willingly supported by students themselves. The following recommendations are made for students:

  • Be honest at all times.
  • Act fairly toward others. For example, do not disrupt or seek an unfair advantage over others by cheating, or by talking or allowing eyes to wander during exams.
  • Take group as well as individual responsibility for honorable behavior. Collectively, as well as individually, make every effort to prevent and avoid academic misconduct, and report acts of misonduct that you witness.
  • Do not submit the same work in more than one class. Unless otherwise specified by the instructor, all work submitted to fulfill course requirements must be work done by the student specifically for that course. This means that work submitted for one course cannot be used to satisfy requirements of another course unless the student obtains permission from the instructor.
  • Unless permitted by the instructor, do not work with others on graded coursework, including in class and take-home tests, papers, or homework assignments. When an instructor specifically informs students that they may collaborate on work required for a course, the extent of the collaboration must not exceed the limits set by the instructor.
  • Know what plagiarism is and take steps to avoid it. When using the words or ideas of another, even if paraphrased in your own words, you must cite your source. Students who are confused about whether a particular act constitutes plagiarism should consult the instructor who gave the assignment.
  • Know the rules - ignorance is no defense. Those who violate campus rules regarding academic misconduct are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including suspension and dismissal.


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Responsibility of Faculty

The faculty is responsible for teaching courses and is governed by its own legislation. Regulation 550 of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate governs the conduct of examinations and adjudication of allegations of academic dishonesty. This section of the Code of Academic Conduct is offered as advice on means for maintaining a spirit of integrity and academic honesty. The following recommendations are made for the faculty:

  • Clearly inform students of course and grading requirements, and of standards of scholarship and conduct to be observed on assignments.
  • Use examination formats that discourage academic misconduct.
  • In cooperation with the administration (campus, college and department), try to minimize problems arising from crowded examination conditions. Alternate seating should be provided during examinations when possible.
  • Call attention to the Code of Academic Conduct and take other steps to reinforce a sense of honesty and integrity in students.
  • Tell students how to report violations of the Code.
  • Monitor examinations. A monitor is an individual (instructor, teaching assistant or designated student) who is present in the room during examinations to answer students' questions and to assist students in their efforts to follow the Code of Academic Conduct. A monitor who observes students violating the Code can tell them to cease, record their names, and report them to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. Students cannot be prevented from completing an examination simply because it is suspected that they have cheated.
  • Use grades to evaluate academic performance, not as punishment for unethical behavior. Under Academic Senate Regulation 550, a grade of "0" or "F" may be assigned to examinations or assignments on which cheating, plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty is admitted or determined to have occurred by proper adjudication. If the student admits or is determined after adjudication to have committed a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct which does not involve dishonesty, the faculty member may assign an appropriate grade penalty for the misconduct.

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Responsibility of Administration

The following recommendations are made for the administration:

  • Provide physical settings for examinations that minimize opportunities for cheating.
  • Provide technical assistance for instructors, through the Teaching Resources Center and other sources, in preparing and administering examinations to minimize opportunities for academic misconduct.
  • Appoint adjudication committees to deal promptly and justly with cases of alleged academic dishonesty so the procedures gain and hold the confidence of students and instructors. Basic procedural fairness is to be insured in all disciplinary procedures.


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Reporting Violations and Judicial Procedures

All alleged violations should be reported by instructors to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. Centralization of authority, responsibility and record-keeping is essential for fair and impartial administration of the Code. Students should report cases to the instructor or to Student Judicial Affairs. Student Judicial Affairs shall inform the instructor of alleged violations that have been reported by students.

Where cheating is discovered or suspected, the instructor should inform the student(s) involved and undertake an investigation of the matter. If the instructor is then convinced that a violation did occur, the following procedure should be used:

If the student admits a violation, the instructor may assign a grade of "0" or "F" to the examination or assignment on which cheating, plagiarism or other academic dishonesty occurred. If the student admits a violation of this Code not involving dishonesty (e.g. talking during an exam, but not sharing answers), the faculty member may assign an appropriate grade penalty. In either case, the name of the student and a brief description of the incident should be reported to Student Judicial Affairs for determination of the appropriate disciplinary penalty. Reporting is essential to assure that repeat offenders are penalized accordingly.

If the student does not admit a violation, the instructor should refer the case to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs, which will attempt to resolve the matter informally and, if necessary, arrange for adjudication by a faculty-student committee.

Any contested accusation of cheating, plagiarism or other academic misconduct in an examination or assignment submitted by a student to satisfy course requirements will be adjudicated by a faculty-student committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in consultation withthe Committee on Committees of the Davis Division. In this case, the instructor should withhold the student's grade until after adjudication.

If, after adjudication, the student is found in violation, the grade should be assigned in accordance with paragraph under "Responsibility of Faculty. " If there is no violation, the instructor shall assign a grade based on the quality of the work completed. A student who is dissatisfied with the decision in his or her hearing may appeal the decision (see UCD Administration of Student Discipline).

Grades are an evaluation of academic performance, and their assignment is a responsibility resting solely with the faculty consistent with the authority granted to the Academic Senate by the Regents. The assignment of "0" or "F" to work or tests in which academic dishonesty or other academic misconduct has occurred is based on the premise that the examination or assignment cannot be regarded as the student's own work and thus is invalidated and/or the student's violation is unfair and/or disruptive and thus harmful to the instructor and others in the class.

The instructor shall not apply a more severe grade adjustment than recording a "0" or "F" on the specific assignment or test on which misconduct occurred. Where an instructor has referred a case for adjudication but has not received a report confirming a violation at the time that the course grades are due, submit a grade of "Y" for the student on the grade report form. The "Y" means the grade is pending, and a final grade is submitted once the matter is resolved.

Specific procedures to be followed in the adjudication of cases of academic misconduct have been established by the campus (see the UCD Administration of Student Discipline). Procedural fairness is basic to the proper enforcement of University policies and campus regulations. Procedures must ensure fairness not only for students accused of academic dishonesty but also for victims of dishonest acts, e.g., other students. The confidence of students and instructors in the procedures must be maintained.


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1. See Section 102.00 of University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students (Part A) (hereafter, UC Policies) for the University Standards of Conduct (available at the Office of Student Judicial Affairs).

2. The Code of Academic Conduct was originally approved and issued by the Office of the Chancellor, with the support of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate, in November 1976. The Chancellor approved a revised Code of Academic Conduct in 1985, and again in 1987 and 1993, after the proposed revisions had been reviewed and endorsed by the Davis Division of the Academic Senate. The Code was updated and revised again in 1995, following review and endorsement of the revisions by the Davis Division and approval by the Chancellor. Under University policy, the Chancellor has the authority and responsibility for the establishment of student conduct regulations and the administration of student discipline. See Sections 103.00 through 104.80 of the UC Policies. The document implementing the system of student discipline on the Davis campus is the Administration of Student Discipline (available at the Office of Student Judicial Affairs).

3. See Section 103.10 of the UC Policies.

4. Under the general direction of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Office of Student Judicial Affairs is directly responsible for the administration of student discipline. See current UCD Administration of Student Discipline, approved by the Chancellor September 15, 2006.

5. Page 57(a), Regents Standing Order, 105, Academic Senate, The Manual of the Academic Senate.

6. See Sections 103.10 through 103.11 of the UC Policies.

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