What defines academic integrity at CU Boulder?

Understanding permitted resources

You need to understand the resources your faculty member allows you to use to complete homework and assignments. This information can be found:

  • In your syllabus
  • On homework/assignment sheets

If you still cannot find this information in any of these sources, ask your professor or TA for the guidelines of the assignment.

Individual ownership of ideas

Make sure to respect the ownership of other's ideas and be original in your own in order to avoid plagiarism.

These goals can be achieved through:

  • Citing your sources (in-text and in a bibliography)
  • Understanding what your professor's expectations are for a paper

If you are unsure of how to cite or what dictates a plagiarism, here are some resources:

Group work vs individual work

In general, at CU Boulder, students are expected to learn independently and complete homework individually. Sometimes group work is allowed or required, but there are often restrictions on what can be done together and what must be done separately.

In order to avoid a collaborative violation:

  • Talk to your professor about what kind of collaboration is permitted in an assignment
  • Look at the assignment details
  • Take a look at the class syllabus

Avoiding cheating

Cheating is a violation within our office and can be avoided. Examples of cheating on exams or assignments might include:

  • A guilty party copying from an innocent person
  • Two or more students “collaborating” to share information while the exam is going on, with or without other innocent students witnessing the action
  • Utilizing an unauthorized “cheat sheet” or electronic device during the exam
  • Cheating on an off-site makeup exam.

It is recommended that if you study with other students before an exam, not to sit near them during the exam. Faculty members and students may suspect that students who are often seen together in groups could be cheating.

Graduate education

Graduate education may, because of its highly collaborative nature, present areas of concern about academic integrity that do not neatly fit within the categories described above. Any faculty member or graduate student who feels that there may be a violation of academic integrity should consult with the Graduate School for guidance about the best path of action to follow.


Failure to abide by these policies as part of the CU Boulder Honor Code may result in but not be limited to the following sanctions or actions:

  • Reporting through the Honor Code process, which may result in sanctions such as mandated participation in Honors Code seminars in ethnics and integrity, Honor code writing seminar, community service, or other activities. Fees may also be assessed.
  • A low or failing grade may be assigned by the faculty member.
  • Possible loss of scholarship, repayment of a scholarship, possible loss of financial aid, other institutional support in the form of TA, RA or GA appointments which are dependent on maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
  • Removal (suspension) from the University for one or more semesters.
  • In the case of an international student, the student may lose his or her visa status and may have to return to his or her home country.


Resources to assist students and faculty in writing and citation include: