Ready to find out what MSU Denver can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
Welcome to the FAQ’s for students on academic integrity! Whether you are a new student to MSU Denver, transfer student or returning student, hearing the words academic integrity, academic dishonesty or academic misconduct can cause stress. Crafting your writing voice and honing your process can be difficult. We want to invite you to learn more about academic integrity to help you in your academic journey!
Not all academic integrity and academic misconduct scenarios may be represented in the below FAQ’s. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Dean of Students Office at 303-615-0220 to ask questions about your situation or information about resources!
Academic integrity standards are about upholding the ethical expectations of being a student and in your academic work. Being honest, demonstrating integrity and developing original work are the values that underpin academic integrity standards. Each field of study offered here at MSU Denver has its own ethical guidelines that students are learning about and must adhere to when in the profession they are pursuing. A student’s academic responsibilities are no different than upholding the ethics of your chosen field.
Academic integrity, when violated, is also known as academic dishonesty and academic misconduct.
As stated in the Student Code of Conduct, at MSU Denver, academic misconduct “includes but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and submitting same work for different classes. The term cheating includes but is not limited to: use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; misrepresenting class attendance; dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the faculty member in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic materials belonging to a member of the University faculty, staff, or students.”
You can find a list of academic integrity standards on our website here.
Plagiarism or ensuring appropriate source use can be a challenge. To make sure you are upholding the standards of academic integrity and attributing your sources properly, first, check with your instructor to ensure the format style they are requiring (APA, MLA, Chicago to name a few). Additionally, MSU Denver has an exceptional Writing Center where they provide free tutoring sessions and walk you through the paper-writing process. If you are a student whose first language is not English, please check out the RIDES Program with the Writing Center and the Immigrant Services Program for academic support! They can provide one-on-one support, as well. For a full list of resources, including online options, please see our student resources on academic integrity page.
In cases of academic misconduct, the decision of responsibility and grade consequences falls with the instructor. The instructor may ask to meet with you to discuss the situation. It is recommended that you bring your notes, source material, drafts, or other relevant info, to this meeting. If after this meeting, your instructor continues to find you responsible for cheating or plagiarism, then, the instructor should file a report with the Student Conduct in the Dean of Students Office.
Depending on the incident, Student Conduct will notify the student of the next steps. Typically, the next steps are a meeting with the Student Conduct Officer and/or a written warning on file. The official method of communication about an academic misconduct referral and meeting occurs over MSU Denver email and via our database, Maxient.
Please note, the student conduct professional cannot overturn the instructor’s finding of responsibility and/or grade consequence.
During the academic misconduct meeting, the following will be covered:
Students are able to share their side of what occurred and to ask questions.
Please view the MSU Denver Academic Misconduct Process (PDF) for a full view of the process.
The instructor determines any grade consequences, whereas the Student Conduct process has two types of sanctions. The first, known as a status sanction, may include a warning, probation, suspension, and expulsion. It is highly unlikely to be suspended or expelled for a first academic misconduct violation.
The second type of sanction is called educational sanctions and may include action items such as a reflection paper, meeting with the writing center, tutoring center, and more.
Yes, you are welcome to bring an advisor or supporter. Please notify the student conduct professional ahead of time. Please note, advisors or support people play a silent role while the student conduct professional facilitates the meeting.
While we strongly encourage you to participate in our process, it is your right to choose not to participate. If you choose to not attend an academic misconduct meeting and/or do not respond to the official email requesting you to schedule a meeting, then a decision about university sanctions will be made in your absence. Students typically have one week from the date that the initial email from Student Conduct was sent to the student to respond and schedule a meeting.
If you disagree with your instructor’s decision, you may file a Grade Appeal at the end of the semester. You are welcome to contact the student conduct professional for assistance with this process.
A “Permanent F” stays permanently on your transcript. As you may know, MSU Denver practices a “Best Grade Stands” policy, which allows a student to re-take a course to improve their grade and eliminate the lesser grade. The “Permanent F” will always remain on your transcript and in your overall GPA even if you retake the course. With that said, you may retake the course if you need the credit, however you will have two grades for the course, the “F” and the new score.
If you wish to appeal the finding of responsibility, as noted earlier, you do that through the grade appeals policy. If you wish to appeal the sanctions given from the student conduct professional, you would appeal that through the Student Conduct Appeal Process.
If you are having issues completing your educational sanction(s) (reflection paper, working with the Tutoring Center, Writing Center, etc.), including not meeting the deadline, please reach out to the student conduct professional you worked with or the Dean of Students Office at 303-615-0220. We can problem-solve with you to make sure you complete what you need to.
If we do not hear from you and you do not complete your educational sanction(s) by the deadline, then a hold may be placed on your MSU Denver account. Please call us at 303-615-0220 and we can look at your case and provide an update.
We believe as community members, it is essential to report any plagiarism or cheating. We encourage you to notify your instructor and file an Academic Integrity Incident Report with your contact information. Student reporters can be kept confidential within reason and a staff member can discuss the specifics with you.