SPCS Honor Code


The University of Richmond and each of its academic schools adhere to an honor code based on individual integrity and individual responsibility. By enrolling in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, students commit themselves to maintaining the highest standards of honorable behavior possible, both in the pursuit of their academic objectives as well as in their general conduct. These objectives are central to individual learning but also in creating an environment conducive to learning generally.

The students periodically review and adopt the Honor Code as necessary, charging the administration and particularly dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies with enforcement of the provisions that comprise the code.

Honor Code Violations

Honor Code violations must be reported to the dean's office within ten days of the alleged offense, and must be documented in writing by the accuser, including all supporting documents. Generally, Honor Code Violations occur in one of the areas identified below.

  1. Cheating – Cheating is the deliberate submission of work that is not one's own or that violates a professor's instructions for work to be considered for a grade or credit. The giving of illegal aid and the attempt to submit work that is not one's own also shall be considered cheating.
    1. Use of testing material from past testing periods as a study guide shall be acceptable unless prohibited by the instructor.
    2. Use of knowledge of the contents of present tests shall be considered cheating unless such usage is authorized by the instructor. "Knowledge of the contents" is defined as conversation about the test with students who already have completed it or examination of the test paper itself.
    3. Use of or attempted use of unauthorized notes or tapes during completion of the test is assumed to be prohibited.
    4. Unauthorized use of electronic information generated by faculty or other students in the completion of the assignment shall be considered cheating.
  2. Plagiarism – Plagiarism is the presentation, oral and/or written, of words, facts, or ideas belonging to another source without proper acknowledgment.
  3. Lying – Lying is the making of a statement one knows is false with the intention to deceive. It includes such actions as:
    1. Lying to faculty, administration or staff members of the university community.
    2. Falsifying the content of any university paper or electronic record by mutilation, addition, deletion, or forgery.
    3. Lying to any Honor Council, Judicial Board/Council, or Advisory Board member
  4. Academic Theft – Academic theft is the unauthorized removal or mutilation of academic materials depriving or preventing others from having equal learning opportunities. Such materials include, but are not limited to, print, film, tape, and electronic databases.
  5. Student Misconduct – Students are expected to adhere to the Standards of Student Conduct, Sanctions and Disciplinary Procedures for the University of Richmond (Revised April 2006). Failure to adhere to the these standards will be considered a violation of the SCS Honor Code.


An honor violation must be reported to the dean's office within ten (10) days of the alleged infraction. The report must include a description and evidence of the offense, the time it occurred and the person(s) involved. The dean (or appointed designee) will review the alleged violation within ten (10) working days and take the action deemed appropriate. The review process might include interviews with the accused, the accuser(s) and/or witnesses to the actual honor code violation.

Possible penalties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Meeting with the dean (or appointed designee).
  • Written reprimand.
  • Honor probation – This includes specification of whether or not the student placed on probation shall be subject to suspension or to separation upon conviction of a second Honor offense.
  • Loss of academic credit.
  • Suspension – This suspension may be for any period up to a maximum of three college years and loss of credit in one or more courses enrolled in at the time of the violation.
  • Separation from the University of Richmond and loss of credit in all courses enrolled in at the time of the violation.

If the accused student wishes, he/she may elect to seek peer review of the case. The School of Professional and Continuing Studies Student Government Association President plus two current students appointed by the president compose the Honor Council. The Council is charged with reviewing the information available within ten (10) working days of the notification to the Honor Council. The Council may interview anyone it deems appropriate who are actual witnesses to the infraction and are endorsed by the Council as appropriate to the case. The Council makes a recommendation to the dean about guilt or innocence and the recommended penalty. The dean then uses this information in making the final decision.

All information gained in this process is deemed confidential. The dean has final and full discretion in all Honor cases.

Writing Resources

As part of the learning process, students must learn the proper procedure to document and cite work that is not their own. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism, whether intentional or not, and is always unacceptable. It is incumbent upon each student to learn and follow the rules of documentation and citation. Faculty may use their discretion in deciding whether or not to report plagiarism under the Honor Code, with intent to commit plagiarism having some bearing on their decision as well as on the decision of whether or not to impose a sanction.

While the rules governing plagiarism may seem complex, several sources are available to assist students in documenting their sources. These include:

All are available at most bookstores. You can also consult the University of Richmond Writing Center in person or on the Web. Additionally, style manuals that include citation rules for a variety of resources are available through the Boatwright Library Website. One can always follow a simple rule—when in doubt, cite.