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Syllabus Requirements and Guidelines


The University community believes in cultivating a culture of academic integrity through intentionally educating students on what constitutes academic misconduct. The following document provides information regarding the new Undergraduate Honor Code and course syllabi requirements.

Educational Resources

Academic Integrity Success Module

Please encourage students to complete the Academic Integrity Success Module. This module covers necessary information regarding Academic Integrity at Virginia Tech that students will need throughout their time as a student. This information includes our policies and the importance of academic integrity at Virginia Tech. Each student who successfully completes the course will receive a badge that you as a faculty member can see. Even if a student has completed the module in the past, a refresher is always helpful.

Understanding the Code

Understanding the Code is a program presented and designed by the Undergraduate Student Delegates. It will be offered live on the following dates:

  • August 29, 2023 at 7:30–8:30 p.m. in 100 Johnson Student Center
  • August 31, 2023 at 7:30–8:30 p.m. in 102 Johnson Student Center

To ensure that this information is accessible to all students, Understanding the Code will also be offered in Canvas as a module, which will open on August 30, 2023, and will remain open for the duration of the semester.

This module will not be published or available until August 30. See the self-registration for Understanding the Code.

  • Understanding the Code and the Academic Integrity Success Module are complimentary to each other. Faculty should consider asking students to complete both. Many faculty members ask their students to take the Academic Integrity Success Module and Understanding the Code as a course requirement or for extra credit. Faculty members, GTAs, and other members of the University community are also welcome to take the Understanding the Code module or take the Academic Integrity Success Module.
  • Understanding the Code is created by the Undergraduate Student Delegates and provides common scenarios students find themselves in and is designed to teach students how to avoid common missteps related to academic integrity. This session is designed to be engaging and interactive.
  • The Academic Integrity Success Module focuses on the Undergraduate Honor Code policies and takes no more than 30 minutes to complete. This resource is free, and can make an impact on your classroom and the student’s educational experience at Virginia Tech. It will be open all semester, however, the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity recommends that you ask your students to complete the module within the first few weeks of classes starting.

The OUAI team is also able to provide classroom presentations on Undergraduate Academic Integrity expectations and the Undergraduate Honor System. You may request a presentation by requesting one from the link on our homepage or by emailing

Policy Requirement

Faculty are expected to adhere to the policy pertaining to the reporting and adjudication of suspected violations of the Honor Code. Any suspected violation of the Honor Code should be reported promptly, in writing, to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. Forms for this purpose are available from all department offices, the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity, and the honor system website. The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity has a group of dedicated members who are available to assist you in resolving cases of academic misconduct in a timely manner.

Syllabi Requirements

All Undergraduate course syllabi shall contain a section that states and refers the student to the Honor Code Procedures on the University website. The minimum required statement is listed below. Additional information about the expectation of academic integrity in a particular course may be appropriate.

Syllabus Statement

The Undergraduate Honor Code pledge that each member of the university community agrees to abide by states:

“As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times.  I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do.”

Students enrolled in this course are responsible for abiding by the Honor Code. A student who has doubts about how the Honor Code applies to any assignment is responsible for obtaining specific guidance from the course instructor before submitting the assignment for evaluation. Students are strongly discouraged from misusing sites such as Chegg and CourseHero, as well as misusing ChatGPT and other Generative Artificial Intelligence. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their faculty members regarding the use of such outside materials as the misuse of these sources may constitute a violation of the Honor Code. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the University community from the requirements and expectations of the Honor Code.

Academic integrity expectations are the same for online classes as they are for in person classes. We strongly encourage all instructors to discuss the use of technology, and specifically discuss areas we know are problematic temptations for students such as ChatGPT, Chegg, CourseHero, and GroupMe to discourage students from using them.  When the semester starts is an appropriate time in addition to providing a kind reminder before exams and assignments about expectations related to these sites. Please make your students aware that we are able to effectively investigate these incidents. If you have any questions about these sites or discussing them with your students, please do not hesitate to call our office. All university policies and procedures apply in any Virginia Tech academic environment, and all students are expected to follow them.

See additional information about the Honor Code.

Honor Code Pledge for Assignments

The Virginia Tech honor code pledge for assignments is as follows:

“I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment.”

The pledge is to be written out on all graded assignments at the university and signed by the student. The honor pledge represents both an expression of the student’s support of the honor code and a commitment to uphold the academic standards at Virginia Tech.

All Undergraduate course syllabi shall contain a section that states and refers the student to the Honor Code Procedures on the University website. The minimum required statement is listed below. Additional information about the expectation of academic integrity in a particular course may be appropriate.

Syllabi Suggestions Include:

  1. All assignments submitted shall be considered “graded work” and all aspects of your coursework are covered by the Honor Code. All projects and homework assignments are to be completed individually unless otherwise specified.
  2. The Academic Integrity expectations for Hokies are the same in an online class as they are in an in-person class. Hokies are expected to meet the academic integrity standards at Virginia Tech at all times.
  3. Commission of any of the following acts shall constitute academic misconduct. This listing is not, however, exclusive of other acts that may reasonably be said to constitute academic misconduct. Clarification is provided for each definition with some examples of prohibited behaviors in the Undergraduate Honor Code Manual.
    • Cheating: Cheating includes the intentional use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise, or attempts thereof.
    • Plagiarism: Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, programming, computer code, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and passing off the same as one's own original work, or attempts thereof.
    • Falsification: Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any element of one's academic work, or attempts thereof.
    • Fabrication: Fabrication includes making up data and results, and recording or reporting them, or submitting fabricated documents, or attempts thereof.
    • Multiple Submission: Multiple submission involves the submission for credit – without authorization from the instructor receiving the work – of substantial portions of any work (including oral reports) previously submitted for credit at any academic institution of attempts thereof.
    • Complicity: Complicity includes intentionally helping another to engage in an act of academic misconduct, or attempts thereof.
    • Violation of University, College, Departmental, Program, Course, or Faculty Rules: The violation of any University, College, Departmental, Program, Course, or Faculty Rules relating to academic matters that may lead to an unfair academic advantage by the student violating the rule(s).
  4. Clearly Explain Assignment Expectations: Take time to think about the assignments that you give in your course. If you have expectations regarding how the assignment is completed, please specify this to students. For example, if the assignment is to be completed without assistance from others, please discuss this on individual assignments or in your syllabus. Also, consider whether or not there is material that you do not want the student to use. If you have that information please make sure that students know.
  5. Academic Misconduct Sanctions: Students who view the sanctions associated with violating the Honor Code as having a significant impact on their course grade are less likely to commit academic dishonesty than those who view the potential sanctions as minor. A sanction should have a greater impact on a student’s grade than the grade a student would have received due to a lack of studying. By failing to respond appropriately, faculty run the risk of providing an incentive to engage in dishonest behavior and are effectively teaching the student that there will be few consequences. It is important that faculty send the message to students early in the course that all forms of academic misconduct are taken seriously and will be sanctioned appropriately. We recommend that faculty place the following language in their syllabi:
    • “If you have questions or are unclear about what constitutes academic misconduct on an assignment, please speak with me. I take the honor code very seriously in the course. The normal sanction I will recommend for a violation of the Honor Code is an F* sanction as your final course grade. The F represents failure in the course. The “*” is intended to identify a student who has failed to uphold the values of academic integrity at Virginia Tech. A student who receives a sanction of F* as their final course grade shall have it documented on their transcript with the notation “FAILURE DUE TO ACADEMIC HONOR CODE VIOLATION.” You would be required to complete an education program administered by the Honor System in order to have the “*” and notation “FAILURE DUE TO ACADEMIC HONOR CODE VIOLATION” removed from your transcript. The “F” however would be permanently on your transcript.”