Academic Integrity


Academic integrity at its most basic means being honest in your research and scholarship. Understanding what is considered a violation of Cornell’s Code of Academic Integrity is the foundation for good research and scholarship.

Examples of violations:


  • Definition: Knowingly representing the work of others as your own.
  • Avoiding it: Cite, acknowledge, and give credit to all sources.


  • Definition: Fabricating data in support of laboratory or field work; forging a signature; obtaining unauthorized assistance on academic work.
  • Avoiding it: Do your own original work; don’t copy the work of others.

Unauthorized collaboration

  • Definition: Obtaining or providing unauthorized help on exams, research, papers, or other academic work.
  • Avoiding it: Credit your collaborators and talk to your faculty member or advisor to make sure sharing your work with others or partnering to do work is acceptable.

Misrepresenting yourself

  • Definition: Misrepresenting your academic accomplishments or credentials, including degrees awarded.
  • Avoiding it: Be honest about who you are and what you’ve accomplished.

In Depth

From the Code of Academic Integrity:

At its most basic, academic integrity is about honesty.

Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell student in all academic undertakings. Integrity entails a firm adherence to a set of values, and the values most essential to an academic community are grounded on the concept of honesty with respect to the intellectual efforts of oneself and others.

Academic integrity is expected not only in formal coursework situations but in all university relationships and interactions connected to the educational process, including the use of university resources. Although both students and faculty of Cornell assume the responsibility of maintaining and furthering these values, the Code of Academic Integrity is concerned specifically with the conduct of students.

When you submit work for academic credit, you are certifying that the work is your own. All outside assistance should be acknowledged, and your original academic work and ideas truthfully reported at all times. In addition, you have the right to expect academic integrity from each of your peers.

Student Guidelines:

  1. A student shall in no way misrepresent their work.
  2. A student shall in no way fraudulently or unfairly advance their academic accomplishments or standing.
  3. A student shall refuse to be a party to another student’s failure to maintain academic integrity.
  4. A student shall not in any other manner violate the principle of academic integrity.

If fellow students, staff, or faculty suspect a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, Cornell has a hearing board process to determine if the incident is a violation and that any penalty for a proven violation is appropriate. Each college and school, including the Graduate School, establishes its own Academic Integrity Hearing Board as prescribed in the Code of Academic Integrity.



For information about the research ethics training requirement for all graduate students, contact Jason Kahabka, associate dean for administration,