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Stanford University Honor Code

In the spring of 1921, after a seven-year campaign by the student body, the first campus-wide honor system was formally adopted by the University. The code underwent various changes through the years, most recently in the spring of 1977.

The standard of academic conduct for Stanford students is as follows:

  1. The Honor Code is an undertaking of the students, individually and collectively:
    • That they will not give or receive aid in examinations; that they will not give or receive unpermitted aid in class work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of grading;
    • That they will do their share and take an active part in seeing to it that others as well as themselves uphold the spirit and letter of the Honor Code.
  2. The faculty on its part manifests its confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations and from taking unusual and unreasonable precautions to prevent the forms of dishonesty mentioned above. The faculty will also avoid, as far as practicable, academic procedures that create temptations to violate the Honor Code.
  3. While the faculty alone has the right and obligation to set academic requirements, the students and faculty will work together to establish optimal conditions for honorable academic work.

Examples of conduct which have been regarded as being in violation of the Honor Code include:

  • Copying from another's examination paper or allowing another to copy from one's own paper
  • Unpermitted collaboration
  • Plagiarism
  • Revising and resubmitting a quiz or exam for re-grading, without the instructor's knowledge and consent
  • Giving or receiving unpermitted aid on a take-home examination
  • Representing as one's own work the work of another
  • Giving or receiving aid on an academic assignment under circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that such aid was not permitted

In recent years, most student disciplinary cases have involved Honor Code violations; of these, the most frequent arise when a student submits another's work as his or her own, or gives or receives unpermitted aid. The standard penalty for a first offense includes a one-quarter suspension from the University and 40 hours of community service. In addition, most faculty members issue a "No Pass" or "No Credit" for the course in which the violation occurred. The standard penalty for a multiple violation (e.g. cheating more than once in the same course) is a three-quarter suspension and 40 or more hours of community service.