School of Engineering

San Francisco State University
School of Engineering
Policy on Academic Dishonesty*

(adopted by the faculty of the School of Engineering on February 20, 2013)

The School of Engineering at San Francisco State University (SFSU) is committed to promoting the educational excellence of its students. As such, the School of Engineering expects its students to act with honesty and integrity in all of their academic endeavors. Academic honesty is essential to provide an environment that fosters true learning and enables students to take pride in their own work. Acts of academic dishonesty devalue this learning environment and are considered to be unacceptable conduct by the School of Engineering.


A. Cheating

Cheating is the act of obtaining, attempting to obtain, or aiding another to obtain credit for academic work through dishonest or deceptive means. Cheating includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Copying, in part or in whole, from another student’s exam or assignment;
  • Allowing another student to copy, in part or in whole, from one’s own exam or assignment;
  • Using notes, “cheat sheets,” or any other device (including electronic devices) if not permitted by an instructor during an exam;
  • Discussing answers or questions on an exam without permission of the instructor;
  • Taking an exam for another person or allowing another person to take an exam for you;
  • Giving or receiving aid on an assignment or take-home exam when not permitted by the instructor;
  • Revising and resubmitting a exam or assignment for regrading, without the instructor’s knowledge and consent;
  • Submitting work previously used or currently being used for credit in another course without the approval of the instructor(s);
  • Copying from textbook solution manuals or previously posted solutions;
  • Aiding or abetting in any of the actions above.

B. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of representing the distinctive ideas or work of another as one’s own, without providing the appropriate identification or acknowledgement through references, footnotes, quotation marks, or other appropriate methods. An idea or work is not considered plagiarized if it is arrived through independent reasoning or logic, or if an idea is widely accepted as common knowledge. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

  • Wholesale copying of written passages from the work of others (including from the work of other students and from web-based content), without proper acknowledgement;
  • Paraphrasing distinct ideas and narrative structure from the work of others (including from the work of other students and from web-based content), without proper acknowledgement;
  • Presenting as one’s own work the pictures, illustrations, or figures created by others.

C. Falsification of Data

Falsification of data is the act of altering or fabricating either quantitative or qualitative data presented in technical reports, presentations, or other assignments. Falsification of data includes, but is not limited to:

  • Altering or fabricating experimental measurements or observations;
  • Altering or fabricating the intermediate or final results of calculation procedures;
  • Altering or fabricating data for presentation in figures.


When an instance of academic dishonesty has been identified, the student involved may face severe disciplinary action(s), including but not limited to the following:

  • Student penalized with a zero grade on the given exam or assignment.
  • Instructor files a written report documenting the instance of academic dishonesty with the Director of the School of Engineering.
  • Director requests a one-on-one meeting with the student(s) to carry out a formal review of the incident.

In the case of a severe or repeat offense, a student may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct as in violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The student will be subject to the disciplinary and judicial process as outlined in Title 5, Sections 41301 through 41304 of the California Code of Regulations.

* adapted in part from the academic dishonesty policies of the following institutions: California State University, Sacramento; San Jose State University; Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; Loyola Marymount University; Cooper Union.

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