How Common is Cheating in Graduate School?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

We all know of that one friend who cheated during our graduate program. They snuck notes in under their calculator, or they had the answers to the test ahead of time and just memorized it. You might think they are an albatross – cheating can't be a common occurrence or schools would work harder to restrict it. There would be far fewer open notes exams and harsher restrictions when entering an exam room. Right?

Well, the simple answer is no. In fact, in 2021, U.S. News reported that cheating was up 700% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Is Considered Cheating?

All schools have specific standards they expect their students to follow. For graduate students, those standards are usually higher and cover both academic and professional conduct. On the first day of classes, students are given a student handbook that outlines these standards. One such standard is maintaining academic integrity. If a student violates that standard, it is considered academic misconduct.

Academic misconduct is any act that gives a student an upper hand over other students on an exam, paper, or clinical rotation without explicit permission. Examples of academic misconduct include:

  • Cheating
  • Plagiarism
  • Sabotaging another student's work
  • Getting unauthorized assistance on an exam, paper, or clinical rotation
  • Research misconduct

Cheating in Graduate School

So, why is cheating in graduate school so common? Most students underestimate how difficult graduate school can be. They have done well in their colleges and expect to have the same experience in graduate school. What they don't anticipate is that graduate school tends to be filled with students who have done just as well as the others. It levels the playing field, making it harder to stand out and do well. And in graduate school, the consequences for not doing well are much harsher than in undergrad. Thus, students with even the highest of ethical standards can turn to cheating to prevent being dismissed from their program.

According to an international study on academic integrity, it found that nearly 30% of students had cheated on an exam before, and 23% had used an unauthorized electronic resource while working on a paper, project, or other assignment.

How an Attorney Can Help

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm understand how prevalent cheating is in graduate school programs. Graduate school is hard, and the competition is tough. Most students who cheat get caught up in the competition and would not have acted that way before graduate school. If you or someone you love has been accused of cheating, they need a strong defense.

Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Student Defense Team have spent years helping students accused of cheating in their graduate programs. They will work tirelessly to defend you, gathering witnesses and evidence to advocate on your behalf. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online. The Lento Law Firm can help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justi