Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct at the University of Toronto is defined by the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. Generally, academic misconduct is any behaviour, intentional or otherwise, that gives a student unearned or unfair advantage in academic work over other students.

The Code outlines the responsibilities of all parties in the teaching and learning relationship, and the ethical principles which characterize the pursuit and transmission of knowledge in the University. All members of the University's academic community are expected to be familiar with and abide by the regulations set in this Code. Section B of the Code describes specific offences and who is considered a party to these offences. Section C describes the procedures for cases involving students. Appendix C provides the Provost’s guidelines about sanctions when a student is found to have engaged in academic misconduct.

As a student, you alone are responsible for ensuring the integrity of your work and for understanding what constitutes an academic offence. Be sure to inform yourself on what is covered under the Code, and if you are not sure, seek guidance from your professor or TA. 

The Code divides academic offences into nine categories:

  1. Altering, forging or falsifying documents other than academic records (B.I.1.a)
  2. Possession or use of unauthorized aids (B.I.1.b)
  3. Impersonation (B.I.1.c)
  4. Plagiarism (B.I.1.d)
  5. Submission of work for which credit has previously been obtained (B.I.1.e)
  6. Submission of work containing purported statement(s) of fact or reference(s) to concocted sources (B.I.1.f)
  7. Altering, forging or falsifying an academic record (B.I.3.a)
  8. Any other misconduct to obtain academic credit or advantage (B.I.3.b)
  9. Assisting another student in committing an offence (B.II.1.a)

Each offence can involve different types of student actions. We encourage you to consult the central U of T Academic Integrity website for examples of what actions can constitute academic misconduct.

Be aware of the risky situations that could result in an academic offence such as keeping a cell phone in your pocket during an exam, hidden course notes, improperly cited sources, submitting shared work, etc.


Allegations of Misconduct

If you are faced with allegations of academic misconduct, you are strongly encouraged to seek guidance from your College Registrar’s office. The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters specifies the steps to be followed in the case of any allegation of academic misconduct.

Learn about the key consequences of academic misconduct including impact on grades, suspension, etc.

You will have an opportunity to meet with your instructor to discuss the matter. If your instructor believes that an offence has occurred, they are required to forward the matter to the department Chair (or Chair’s designate). Your instructor is not authorized to impose a penalty.

The U of T Academic Integrity site contains an outline of Process and Procedures involved in academic misconduct cases.  

Important Considerations:

  • You may not drop the course involved in the allegation while it is under investigation or after a sanction has been imposed. If you do drop the course, you will be reinstated and be responsible for any work missed. Your academic record will normally show a GWR (grade withheld pending review) for the course until the matter is resolved.
  • If the course in question is designated as CR/NCR, you may lose this option if sanctioned for an academic offence.
  • All correspondence will be e-mailed to your address, so make sure you check it regularly.
  • If the alleged misconduct happened at a Faculty exam, it will be reported directly to the Student Academic Integrity Unit.
  • According to section C.I.(a).6, you are entitled to seek advice and/or be accompanied by counsel at your meeting with the Dean's designate. Counsel can be anyone you wish. Speak with your College Registrar about your options. If you decide to bring counsel, please let the Student Academic Integrity Unit know in advance of your meeting.


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