601.2 Academic Misconduct

Section 600: Student Affairs/Academic Affairs

Effective: February 12, 2001
Revised: December 2016 
Review Date: December 2018
Responsible Party: Dean of Students and Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

The faculty, administration and students of Montana State University-Northern believe that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education. The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to assure the highest ethical and professional standards and behavior in the classroom. Accordingly, the University has developed procedures that address instances of academic dishonesty. Students who violate these standards commit academic misconduct and will be subject to academic and/or disciplinary sanctions.

Academic misconduct includes cheating; plagiarism; forgery; falsification; facilitation or aiding academic dishonesty; multiple submissions; theft of instructional materials or tests; unauthorized access to, manipulation of or tampering with laboratory equipment, experiments or computer programs without proper authorization; alteration of grades or files; misuse of research data in reporting results; use of personal relationships to gain grades or favors; or otherwise attempting to obtain grades or credit through fraudulent means.


Cheating: giving, using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices in any academic exercise including unauthorized communication of information. Examples of cheating include copying from another student's paper or receiving unauthorized assistance during a quiz, test or examination; using books, notes or other devices such as calculators, during a quiz or test, unless authorized; acquiring without authorization copies of tests or examinations before the scheduled exercise, copying reports, laboratory work or computer programs or files from other students.

Plagiarism: presenting the work of another as one's own without proper acknowledgment. Examples of plagiarism include submitting as one's own work the work of another student, a ghost writer or a commercial writing service; directly quoting from a source without acknowledgment; paraphrasing or summarizing another's work without acknowledging the source; using facts, figures, graphs, charts or information without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism may occur orally or in writing and may involve computer programs and files, research designs, distinctive figures of speech, ideas and images or any other information that belongs to another person and is not acknowledged as such. Inadvertent or unintentional misuse or appropriation of another work (such as relying heavily on source material that is not expressly acknowledged) is still considered plagiarism.

Falsification: the invention or unauthorized alternation of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Examples of falsification include inventing or counterfeiting data or research procedures to give the appearance of results being achieved from procedures that were not undertaken; the false citing of a source of information; altering the record of, or reporting false information about practicum or clinical experiences; altering grade reports or other academic records; submitting a false excuse for absence or tardiness; altering a returned examination paper and seeking a better grade.

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: giving assistance or attempting to assist another in the commitment of academic misconduct.

Multiple Submissions: submitting the same paper or oral report for credit in two courses without the instructor's permission; making minor revisions in a paper or report for which credit has already been received and submitting it again as a new piece of work.

Tampering: interfering with, altering or attempting to alter University records, grades, assignments, laboratory experiments or other documents without authorization. Examples of tampering include using a computer or false-written document to change or affect the grade recorded for a student; forging the signature of a University official on a drop/add sheet or other official University record; erasing records or information of a student; unauthorized access to a University record by computer; unauthorized entry into an office or file; obtaining information from the University without proper authorization.

Other Academic Misconduct: other examples of academic misconduct include allowing another student to copy from one's paper during an examination or test; distributing test questions or substantive information about the material to be covered on a test before the scheduled exercise; collaborating on work with the knowledge that the collaboration is not authorized or will not be reported. Taking an examination or test for another student or signing a false name on an academic exercise.


The following academic sanctions may be imposed for academic misconduct:

1. Academic Sanctions:

a) Oral reprimand
b) Written reprimand.
c) An assignment to repeat the work, or an alternate assignment.
d) A lower or failing grade on the particular assignment or test
e) A lower or failing grade in the course
f) A grade of "PF" which is recorded on the student's transcript with the notation "failure due to academic dishonesty."
g) Removal of the student from the course.


2. Disciplinary Sanctions: In addition to academic sanctions, the following disciplinary sanctions may be requested by an instructor or chair/dean:

a) Removal of the student from a major program or college.
b) Withdrawal of a degree or academic credit previously bestowed.
c) Any sanction that may be imposed for violation of the Student Conduct Code, including disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion from the University.