Academic Catalog

Academic Honesty Policy

A college is a community of students and faculty interested in the search for knowledge and understanding. This requires a commitment to honesty and integrity. Honesty on the part of every college student is integral to higher education at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.  Acts of dishonesty are not merely a breach of academic honesty but conflict with the work and purpose of the entire College Community.

Violations of academic honesty include but are not limited to:

  • Submitting the work of others as one’s own
  • Unauthorized communication during or about an examination
  • Use of information (notes, electronic communication, etc.) that is not permitted during exams, tests, quizzes
  • Obtaining or disseminating unauthorized prior knowledge of examination questions
  • Substitution of another person in an examination
  • Altering College academic records
  • Knowingly submitting false statements, data, or results
  • Submission of identical or similar work in more than one course without the approval of the current instructor
  • Collaborating on material after being directed not to collaborate
  • Forging a signature or false representation of a College official or faculty member or soliciting an official signature under false pretense
  • Other behavior or activities in completing the requirements of a course that are explicitly prohibited by an instructor
  • Plagiarism (as defined below)


The academic departments of the College have varying requirements for reporting the use of sources, but certain fundamental principles for the acknowledgment of sources apply to all fields and levels of work. The use of source materials of any kind and the preparation of essays or laboratory reports must be fully and properly acknowledged. In papers or laboratory reports, students are expected to acknowledge any expression or idea that is not their own. Students submitting papers are implying that the form and content of the essays or reports, in whole and in part, represent their own work, except where clear and specific acknowledgement is made to other sources. Even if there is no conscious intention to deceive, the failure to make appropriate acknowledgment may constitute plagiarism. Any quotation - even of a phrase - must be placed in quotation marks and the precise source stated in a note or in the text; any material that is paraphrased or summarized and any ideas that are borrowed must be specifically acknowledged. A thorough reordering or rearrangement of an author’s text does not release the student from these responsibilities. All sources that have been consulted in the preparation of the essay or report should be listed in the bibliography.

Upon an occurrence of alleged academic dishonesty, instructors may exercise their discretion in imposing a sanction. Instructors may also report this sanction to the Registrar or file additional charges against students if they believe that additional sanctions are appropriate. Instructors will notify the Registrar in writing in either or both of the following cases:

  • Any acts of academic dishonesty whenever they have imposed a sanction that is beyond the value of the assignment
  • The instructor requests that the College take further action.

The Academic Appeals Committee handles reported violations of this policy. The process is detailed in the Academic Appeals Policy.