The reputation of Saint Mary's College and its programs depends on a collective commitment to academic integrity. 

What do I do if I am suspected of academic dishonesty?

  • If your instructor suspects you have violated the academic honor code, they will meet with you to discuss the situation.   
  • If you deny responsibility and the instructor is convinced that there was no academic misconduct, then the matter ends.
  • If the you admit the violation, then you may agree to no-contest resolution that results in the standard sanction (the "XF" grade). Both parties must agree that a violation occurred and that the "XF" is an appropriate sanction.  Contact the Coordinator of the Graduate and Professional Academic Honor Council (GPAHC) to arrange a confidential meeting. 
  • If you deny the misconduct but the instructor retains their suspicion, or if both parties do not agree to the "XF" sanction, then you will be contact by the GPAHC Coordinator once the materials have been submitted by the instructor.   

What happens in the Academic Honor Review Process?

  • You will meet individually with the Coordinator who will assist you in navigating through the reporting process.  If you request a fair and unbaised review board to review the report, the Graduate and Professional Studies office administrative assistant will schedule a GPAHC Review Board meeting. The GPAHC Review Board (consisting of 3 students and 2 faculty) will review the facts of the matter in the presence of the reporting professor and yourself, engage in a thorough deliberation to decide whether or not a violation more than likely occured, and decide the sanctioning. 

What will the penalty be?

  • If the board finds that no violation has occured, the matter is dropped.   However, if the board finds a violation has more than likely occured, they will decide upon a sanction.  The standard sanction for a violation of the graduate and professional academic honor code is an "XF" grade for the course involved. The "XF" grade indicates a failure of the course, and an "X" signifies a violation of the academic honor code.  An "X" disqualifies a student from representing the College as the leader of an approved extracurricular activity, or as a member of an athletic or scholarly team that is sponsored by the College. Students with "XF" grades will be eliminated from consideration for departmental or College awards and honors.
  • Students may later petition for a removal of the "X" (leaving the "F") contingent upon successful completion of the Integrity Seminar, which is a 6 week, 90 minute, peer-led private seminar (there is no tuition or fee required) that is offered during the beginning of each undergraduate fall and spring semester.
  • Alternative sanctions may be imposed by the GPAHC depending upon the nature and circumstances of the violation.
  • Although students generally are not removed from the College for first-time violations, the standard sanction for a second violation is suspension from the College, and expulsion in extreme cases.  When referring a case to the GPAHC, a faculty member may recommend that a harsher or more lenient sanction be imposed; the final decision, however, rests with the GPAHC.

For more detailed descriptions of the procedures, please consult the Student Handbook.

What happens to my grade in the meantime?

  • Until the matter is decided by the GPAHC, it is not appropriate for the instructor to assign a grade. If it is necessary to submit grades before the process is completed, an "I" (Incomplete) will be submitted until the matter is resolved.

Should I continue to go to class?

  • Continue attending class and participating in the curriculum until the matter is resolved. 
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