NYU Academic Misconduct

As an elite university, NYU takes academic integrity very seriously, and so allegations of academic misconduct or academic dishonesty can have a serious effect on your academic career. If you or a loved one are facing academic integrity allegations, you want to make certain that you handle them from the initial allegation, rather than waiting for a hearing.

What Is Considered An Academic Offense At NYU?

New York University, as a whole, has an Academic Integrity Policy that discusses the core principles and standards for academic integrity at the university. However, in addition to this, each school or individual college at NYU establishes its own guidelines that complement the university-wide rules.

The university developed the guidelines as a means to protect the academic integrity of the community of scholars as a whole. Students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to excellence, fairness, honesty, and respect. Academic dishonesty puts assessments at risk and harms the trust necessary for academic pursuits.

The NYU Academic Integrity Policy divides the examples of academic misconduct into two broad categories, while also stating that the list is not exhaustive. The first category, plagiarism, speaks to presenting others' work as one's own. The second category, cheating, offers examples such as bringing unauthorized materials to class, submitting answers on an exam that were obtained from someone else, and submitting substantially similar work across multiple courses without the instructors' explicit permission.


NYU encourages students to consult with their professors and their individual schools for more specific academic integrity guidelines. The final category for the university as a whole is “Any behavior that violates the academic policies set forth by the student's NYU School, department, or division.”

What Does Academic Integrity And The Investigative Process Look Like For An Individual College At NYU?

Since each college has its own guidelines, it's helpful to take a look at one as an example. The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) lists their academic integrity policy here, and while there is much overlap, there are also more examples to explain what is considered academic integrity. The policy also references the student honor code, which speaks explicitly about academic integrity.

For example, the policy states: “But there are other forms of cheating or plagiarizing which are just as serious — for example, presenting an oral report drawn without attribution from other sources (oral or written), writing a paragraph which, despite being in different words, expresses someone else's idea without a reference to the source of the idea.”

If a faculty member suspects academic misconduct, they may choose to address the matter informally with the student if the matter is not serious, or the evidence inconclusive. However, if the faculty member views the possible misconduct as “substantial and well supported”, they may reduce the student's grade, with the caveat that, “The grade reduction should be proportional to the size and weight of the incident of academic misconduct among all requirements for the course and appropriate to the level at which the course is offered.”

If this is the first offense, the next step would be a notice from the Associate Dean within seven days, alerting the student of the offense, as a warning. If it is a second offense, then the student will meet with the Associate Dean. If the Associate Dean and the student cannot come to an agreement on a resolution, then the incident is referred to the Committee on Student Discipline.

What Happens If I'm A Graduate Student?

If you are a graduate student, the college or school where you are enrolled will determine the proceedings and follow their own guidelines and procedures. For example, if you are a member of the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, your process will follow the guidelines listed here.

In this instance, if there is a prior offense, the Associate Dean will consult with the Chair of the Discipline Committee as to whether or not a formal hearing is necessary. Each graduate program has its own guidelines, so you want to make certain that you are familiar with your school's regulations.

What Are Potential Consequences For Violations?

At NYU, there is a distinction between academic judgment about the alleged academic incident, and between penalties or sanctions. The academic judgment pertains to the student's grade in the assignment or the course as a whole. The instructor of the course makes this decision, in alignment with department policy. It is not considered part of the decision as to whether or not the academic misconduct merits a disciplinary sanction.

Disciplinary sanctions vary by college, however, to return to the example of the CAS, if an academic misconduct incident is a student's first offense and is less serious, it is likely that the student will receive a written warning. Secondary offenses, however, would most likely receive either a one-semester suspension or a more severe consequence. Other possible penalties include disciplinary probation and dismissal (also known as expulsion) from the school.

What Are Possible Collateral Consequences?

Although NYU outlines the specific penalties that they may impose for academic misconduct, it's important to understand that there is also potential for long term effects. These are usually referred to as collateral consequences. If NYU suspends you for any length of time, you may lose your scholarship or status to qualify for financial aid. This can impact your financial health for the long run. Additionally, if you want to apply to graduate school of any type, whether medical school, law school, or other post-graduate studies, the existence of academic misconduct notation on your permanent academic record can severely reduce your chances of acceptance. Internships and professional opportunities can also be severely impacted by a finding of academic misconduct.

The Best Academic Misconduct Attorney-Advisor

If you are facing academic misconduct allegations at NYU, it's important that you handle them immediately and do not wait until the allegations have become a part of your official academic record. An experienced academic misconduct attorney-advisor can help you plan an approach to best defend yourself. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his firm, the Lento Law Firm, have helped countless students over the years. Call 888.535.3686 today for a consultation or reach out online.

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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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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