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Academic Integrity

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It is the aim of the faculty of Texas Tech University to foster a spirit of complete honesty and a high standard of integrity. The attempt of students to present as their own any work they have not honestly performed is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense and renders the offenders liable to serious consequences, possibly suspension.

Academic integrity is taking responsibility for one’s own class and/or coursework, being individually accountable, and demonstrating intellectual honesty and ethical behavior. Academic integrity is a personal choice to abide by the standards of intellectual honesty and responsibility. Because education is a shared effort to achieve learning through the exchange of ideas, students, faculty, and staff have the collective responsibility to build mutual trust and respect. Ethical behavior and independent thought are essential for the highest level of academic achievement, which then must be measured. Academic achievement includes scholarship, teaching, and learning, all of which are shared endeavors. Grades are a device used to quantify the successful accumulation of knowledge through learning. Adhering to the standards of academic integrity ensures grades are earned honestly. Academic integrity is the foundation upon which students, faculty, and staff build their educational and professional careers. [Texas Tech University Quality Enhancement Plan, Academic Integrity Task Force, 2010]

Students must understand the principles of academic integrity and abide by them in all class and/or coursework at the University. Academic integrity violations are outlined in the Code of Student Conduct, Part X, B3 of the Student Handbook. If there are questions of interpretation of academic integrity policies or about what might constitute an academic integrity violation, students are responsible for seeking guidance from the faculty member teaching the course in question.

“Academic dishonesty” includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, misrepresenting facts and any act designed to give unfair academic advantage to the student (such as, but not limited to, submission of essentially the same written assignment for two courses without the prior permission of the instructor(s) or the attempt to commit such an act).

  • Cheating” includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Copying from another student’s test paper or devices.
    • Using unauthorized materials or devices during a test or other assignment.
    • Failing to comply with instructions given by the person administering the test.
    • Possession during a test of materials that are not authorized by the person administering the test, such as class notes, textbooks, or other unauthorized aids.
    • Possessing, using, buying, stealing, transporting, selling or soliciting in whole or in part items, including but not limited to, the contents of an unadministered test, test key, homework solution, or computer program/ software. Possession of current or previous test materials at any time without the instructor’s permission.
    • Collaborating with, seeking aid, or receiving assistance from another student or individual during a test or in conjunction with other assignments without authority.
    • Discussing the contents of an examination with another student who has taken or will take the examination without authority.
    • Substituting for another person or permitting another person to substitute for oneself in order to take a course, take a test, or complete any course-related assignment, including but not limited to, signing in/registering attendance for another student without permission from the instructor.
    • Paying or offering to pay money or other valuables to obtain or coerce another person to obtain by any means items, including but not limited to, (1) an unadministered test, test key, homework solution or computer program/software or (2) information about an unadministered test, test key, homework solution or computer program.
    • Falsifying research data, laboratory reports, and/or other academic work offered for credit.
    • Taking, keeping, misplacing, damaging or altering property of the university or of another individual if the student knows or reasonably should know that an unfair academic advantage would be gained by such conduct.
  • “Plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Representation of words, ideas, illustrations, structure, computer code, and other expression or media of another as one’s own.
    • Improper citation or lack of acknowledgement that direct, paraphrased, or summarized materials are not one’s own.
    • Self-plagiarism that involves submission of the same written assignment for two courses without prior permission of the instructor and/or failure to cite correctly previous work written by the same student.
  • “Collusion” includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • The unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing academic assignments offered for credit.
    • Collaboration with another person to commit a violation of any section of the rules on academic dishonesty.
  • “Falsifying academic records” includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Altering or assisting in the altering of any official record of the university and/or submitting false information.
    • Omitting requested information that is required for, or related to, any academic record of the university. Academic records include, but are not limited to, applications for admission, awarding of a degree, grade reports, test papers, registration materials, grade change forms, and reporting forms used by the Office of the Registrar. A former student who engages in such conduct is subject to a bar against readmission, revocation of a degree, and withdrawal of a diploma.
  • “Misrepresenting facts” to the university or an agent of the university includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Providing false grades, resumes, or other academic information.
    • Providing false or misleading information in an effort to receive a postponement or an extension on a test, quiz, or other assignment to obtain an academic or financial benefit for oneself or another individual.
    • Providing false or misleading information in an effort to injure another student academically or financially.

NOTE: See for more Academic Integrity information.

Instructor Responsibilities. Any person becoming aware of alleged violations of academic integrity should report the allegation to the instructor of record in the course. The instructor in a course is responsible for initiating action in each case of dishonesty or plagiarism that occurs in that class. The instructor may contact the Office of Student Conduct to discuss the nature of the violation and the student’s record of academic integrity violations. The instructor should attempt to discuss the matter with the student and receive a response from the student about the allegations. Then, the instructor may assign academic sanctions, including but not limited to, assigning a paper or research project related to academic integrity, assigning a make-up assignment that is different from the original assignment, issuing no credit for the original assignment, reducing the grade for the assignment and/or course, issuing a failing grade on the assignment, and/or issuing a failing grade for the course. All academic integrity violations should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct as a central clearinghouse of violations and for adjudication as a Code of Student Conduct violation in which disciplinary sanctions, conditions, and/or restrictions will be assigned.

Withdrawal and Assignment of Grades. Once a student has been notified of an academic integrity violation, the student may not drop the course until the academic integrity processes are complete. A student should continue academic class and coursework until a final decision is made. If it is determined that the student was not responsible for academic integrity violations, the student may file a request with the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs for approval to drop the course or withdraw from the university retroactively, without academic and financial penalty.

If a referring faculty member must submit a final course grade before an academic integrity violation allegation is resolved, the faculty member should notify the Registrar of the intention to assign a grade of F and/or leave the final grade blank. The involved student shall be given a temporary grade of X, which does not affect the student’s GPA, until the academic integrity adjudication process is complete. When the adjudication process is complete, the final grade will be assigned through the appropriate academic channels and the completion of a grade change form. When a student is found responsible for academic integrity violations, the recommended academic sanction will be enforced. When a student is found not responsible for academic integrity violations, the student will be entitled to the grade he/she would have received in the absence of an academic integrity violation.

All appeals related to academic integrity violations should follow the process outlined in the Student Handbook, Part X.E: Code of Student Conduct: Disciplinary Appeals Procedures.

Referrals to the Office of Student Conduct. In addition to the assignment of academic sanctions by the instructor of record, a referral of the academic integrity violation should also be made to the Office of Student Conduct for the assignment of disciplinary sanctions. A student referred to the Office of Student Conduct for alleged violations of academic misconduct is entitled to all substantive and procedural guarantees provided in the Code of Student Conduct. Law students are subject to discipline procedures as described in the Honor Code of the School of Law. Instructors of record of the course in which the violation occurred and the Associate Academic Dean of the college in which the student is enrolled may participate in the adjudication of the violation and assignment of additional sanctions, conditions and/or restrictions with the Office of Student Conduct as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.