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Academic Honor Principle

From pages 20-22 of the Faculty Handbook:

The faculty and students of Dartmouth College recognize the Academic Honor Principle as fundamental to the education process. Any instance of academic dishonesty is considered a violation of the Academic Honor Principle and may subject a student to disciplinary action. Fundamental to the principle of independent learning are the requirements of honesty and integrity in the performance of academic assignments, both in the classroom and outside. Dartmouth operates on the principle of academic honor, without proctoring of examinations. Students who submit work which is not their own or who commit other acts of academic dishonesty forfeit the opportunity to continue at Dartmouth.

The Academic Honor Principle depends on the willingness of students, individually and collectively, to maintain and perpetuate standards of academic honesty. Each Dartmouth student accepts the responsibility to be honorable in the student's own academic affairs, as well as to support the Principle as it applies to others.

Any student who becomes aware of a violation of the Academic Honor Principle is bound by honor to take some action. The student may report the violation, speak personally to the student observed in violation of the Principle, exercise some form of social sanction, or do whatever the student feels is appropriate under the circumstances. If Dartmouth students stand by and do nothing, both the spirit and operation of the Academic Honor Principle are severely threatened.

The Academic Honor Principle specifically prohibits a number of actions. These focus on plagiarism and on academic honesty in the taking of examinations, the writing of papers, and the use of library and computer resources. This list of actions covers the more common violations but is not intended to be exhaustive.

  1. Examinations. Any student giving or receiving assistance during an examination or quiz violates the Academic Honor Principle.
  2. Plagiarism. Any form of plagiarism violates the Academic Honor Principle. Plagiarism is defined as the submission or presentation of work in any form that is not the student's own, without acknowledgment of the source. With specific regard to papers, a simple rule dictates when it is necessary to acknowledge sources. If a student obtains information or ideas from an outside source, that source must be acknowledged. Another rule to follow is that any direct quotation must be placed in quotation marks, and the source immediately cited. Students are responsible for the information concerning plagiarism found in Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgment, available in the Deans' Offices and on Dartmouth’s website at
  3. Use of the same work in more than one course. Submission of the same work in more than one course without the prior approval of all professors responsible for the courses violates the Academic Honor Principle. The intent of this rule is that a student should not receive academic credit more than once for the same work product without permission. The rule is not intended to regulate repeated use of an idea or a body of learning developed by the student, but rather the identical formulation and presentation of that idea. Thus, the same paper, computer program, research project or results, or other academic work product should not be submitted in more than one course (whether in identical or rewritten form) without first obtaining the permission of all professors responsible for the courses involved. Students with questions about the application of this rule in a specific case should seek faculty advice.

Faculty Guidelines for Responding to Violations of the Academic Honor Principle

At a meeting of the faculty on May 23, 1983, it was voted that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopt the following statement on the Academic Honor Principle: An instructor who suspects that a student may have violated the Academic Honor Principle of the College should observe the following guidelines:

  1. The instructor may want to discuss the suspected violation with the student(s) to determine that there has been no misunderstanding between the instructor and student(s).
  2. The instructor is strongly encouraged to test the validity of his/her suspicion by consulting a colleague or the department/program Chair.
  3. If, after consideration, the instructor believes that the suspicion is valid, the instructor should immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Committee on Standards by contacting the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Officer in the Dean of the College Office at 646-3482 and should inform the department/program Chair.

The Judicial Affairs Officer will consult with the instructor about the kinds of information and materials needed for a judicial review and will consult with the Dean of the College about proceeding with a hearing. Under no circumstances should the instructor who suspects a violation of the Academic Honor Principle attempt to resolve the matter independently or in camera with the student in question.

For further information about the Academic Honor Principle, consult with the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the College, or the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Officer in the Office of the Dean of the College or visit

Last Updated: 7/17/13