Harvard University Academic Integrity Advisor

Harvard University is one of the most prestigious schools in the nation. To graduate from Harvard is to solidify a successful future. Many students dedicate their whole lives to prepare to attend the institution, as only the best and brightest are accepted. 

With that being said, the students at Harvard are held in very high esteem. All students are expected to produce academic work of integrity in all of their endeavors. Because academic integrity is the cornerstone of intellectual communities, Harvard goes the extra mile to ensure students are playing fair. The administration has requested that students affirm their awareness of the Honor Code and adherence to its standards at various points during the academic semester.

If you're a student at Harvard University, there are very few infractions that will ruin your college and professional career like an academic integrity violation. Students who find themselves on the tail end of academic misconduct accusations are recommended to enlist the help of a student defense attorney to save their academic career and put their charges behind them. 

How Does Harvard Define Academic Misconduct?

Any behavior that doesn't align with Harvard's Honor Code is considered academic misconduct. This is a vague definition, so here are a few examples of the most common types of academic misconduct committed by students.


It is expected that all homework assignments, projects, lab reports, papers, theses, and examinations and any work submitted for academic credit will be the student's own. Students should always take great care to distinguish their own ideas and knowledge from information derived from sources. The term “sources” includes not only primary and secondary material published in print or online, but also information and opinions gained directly from people. Quotations should be placed properly within quotation marks and must be cited fully. Additionally, all paraphrased material must be acknowledged completely. Whenever ideas or facts are derived from a student's reading and research or from a student's own writing, the sources must be indicated.


Students are required to comply with the policy on collaboration established for each course, as set forth in the course syllabus or on the course website. Policies will vary based on the fields and disciplines in the college, and may even vary for particular assignments within a course. Unless otherwise stated on the syllabus or website, when collaboration is permitted within a course, students must acknowledge any collaboration and its extent in all submitted work. If the syllabus or website does not include a policy on collaboration, students may assume that collaboration in the completion of assignments is permitted.

Submission of the Same Work To More Than One Course

Harvard students are only supposed to submit work for a course with the purpose that it was completed solely for that course or for that purpose. If the same or similar work is to be submitted to any other course or used for any other academic purpose within the College, the prior written permission of the instructor must be obtained. If the same or similar work is to be submitted to more than one course or used for more than one purpose, the prior written permission of all instructors involved must be obtained. 

Violation of Examination Rules

Students may not communicate during an examination and no student is permitted to keep books or papers during an examination except with the express permission of the instructor or proctor. 

Harvard University's Procedures for Handling Academic Integrity Violations

Faculty members are given wide discretion to judge the academic work of their students. If a faculty member concludes that a student has violated academic integrity regulations, they can either assign a grade that reflects their view that the work was done inappropriately or refer the matter to the Honor Council. 

The university disciplinary process at Harvard may involve the following phases:

  • Bringing a complaint to the office of student conduct
  • Resolving a complaint by mediation
  • Investigating a complaint
  • Filing charges by the university against a student
  • Resolving charges by voluntary agreement to sanctions
  • Resolving charges by disciplinary hearing
  • Appealing the decision of a hearing panel
  • Imposing sanctions on a student
  • Fulfilling sanctions imposed by the university


Students who are found guilty of academic misconduct via disciplinary hearing may be subjected to a number of sanctions. These include a warning, a fine, restitution, disciplinary probation, the withdrawal of privileges, suspension, indefinite suspension, and in extreme cases, expulsion. 

It's important to note that the after-effects of an academic integrity violation will likely ripple into a student's education into their professional life. With evidence of this type of misconduct on your academic record, other institutions and jobs may question your integrity or morale. Government jobs, professions in law, and careers in academia are industries that have been known to disqualify applicants for having academic misconduct on their record. 


Students have the option to appeal a determination and/or sanction(s) to the Faculty Council disciplinary case decisions of the Administrative Board or Honor Council, where the sanction has been a requirement to withdraw or probation for more than one term. Harvard students may only appeal on the following bases:

  • The Administrative Board or Honor Council, as appropriate, made a procedural error that was significant enough to change the outcome of the decision; or
  • Based upon a review of the annual disciplinary statistics of the Board or Council, as appropriate, the sanction imposed was inconsistent with the Board's or Council's usual practices and inappropriate.

Academic Integrity Attorney

An academic misconduct violation can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you or your college student have set. If you value the investment you've made into your education and your professional future, contacting a skilled student defense attorney is a must. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped students who've acquired serious academic misconduct charges recover from these allegations, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for more information at 888-535-3686.

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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