Students at the University of Washington and within the College of the Environment are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic conduct which means performing your own intellectual work to the very best of your abilities. Most UW students conduct themselves with integrity.

Most professions have codes of ethics, or standards of behavior and conduct to which you will be expected to adhere. Your time at the University is no different.  As a student, you are expected to present your own original work at all times.  Using the work of others, including their ideas without proper attribution, is academic misconduct and is not tolerated.

Academic misconduct harms the University community in many ways. Honest students are frustrated by the unfairness of cheating that goes undetected or unreported. Students who cheat may skew the grading curve in a class, resulting in lower grades for students who work hard and do their own work.

If you suspect someone of cheating or engaging in academic misconduct, please report it to the relevant course instructor.

What is academic misconduct?

Academic integrity requires that the course work (drafts, reports, examinations, papers, projects) you present to an instructor reflects (honestly and accurately) your own intellectual and creative efforts. Academic misconduct occurs when a student presents someone else’s work as their own or when a student knowingly assists someone else to do so.  As defined in Student Governance Policy, Chapter 209 Section 7.C, academic misconduct includes:


Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • The use of unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations, or completing assignments;
  • The acquisition, use, or distribution of unpublished materials created by another student without the express permission of the original author(s);
  • Using online sources, such as solution manuals, without the permission of the instructor to complete assignments, exams, tests, or quizzes; or
  • Requesting, hiring, or otherwise encouraging someone to take a course, exam, test, or complete assignments for a student.


The intentional use or submission of falsified data, records, or other information including, but not limited to, records of internship or practicum experiences or attendance at any required event(s), or scholarly research.


Plagiarism is the submission or presentation of someone else’s words, composition, research, or expressed ideas, whether published or unpublished, without attribution. Plagiarism does not encompass unacknowledged submission or presentation of information that is generally known and widely accepted by educated members of a discipline. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • The use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; or
  • The unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or acquired from an entity engaging in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

Other forms of academic misconduct

  • Unauthorized Collaboration.
  • Engaging in behavior specifically prohibited by an instructor in the course of class instruction or in a course syllabus.
  • Multiple submissions of the same work in separate courses without the express permission of the instructor(s).
  • Taking deliberate action to destroy or damage another’s academic work in order to gain an advantage for oneself or another.
  • The recording of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), unless approved as a disability accommodation, and/or the dissemination or use of such unauthorized records.

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