Graduate Policies

Academic Integrity

Effective Date: Academic Year 2020-2021

Title: Academic Integrity

Applicability: Thomas Jefferson University

Contributors/Contributing Departments: Office of the Provost; Jefferson Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures; Office of Student Engagement/Dean of Students


Academic integrity is the foundation of all Jefferson teaching, learning, and professional endeavors and is vital to advancing a culture of fairness, trust and respect. All members of the University community must maintain respect for the intellectual efforts of others and be honest in their own work, words, and ideas.


This policy applies to all full-time, part-time, matriculated and non-matriculated students at Thomas Jefferson University in all of their academic pursuits, including at non-Jefferson locations such as clinical, affiliated, and study away sites. Violations of academic integrity include plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, unauthorized use, bribery, identity misrepresentation, and denying access.


  1. Plagiarism:
    The intentional use of another person’s language, ideas, or other original (not common- knowledge) material without acknowledging its source; engaging and incorporating the exact or closely paraphrased ideas, words, data, or images of others without consent and/or citation to the author.
  2. Cheating:
    Obtaining, attempting to obtain, or aiding another to obtain credit for work or improvement in performance through dishonest or deceptive means, including feigning illness or emergency.
  3. Fabrication:
    Invention or alteration of information, which is false or misleading, including the fabrication of clinical data or changing patient records after the records have been reviewed and/or submitted.
  4. Unauthorized Use:
    The use of sources without consent, which includes communication of confidential information without authorization, use of another person’s work without consent for the specified purpose collaboration without express authorization, completion of work or revision of work without approval/citation, sharing unauthorized information or material, or use of unauthorized tools.
  5. Bribery:
    Giving, offering, accepting or soliciting any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of another individual or individuals.
  6. Identity Misrepresentation:
    Use of another person’s name or identity in-person, online, or in signature or allowing use of your name or identity in-person, online, or in signature.
  7. Denying Access:
    Withholding access to materials, equipment, process (reporting results without performance of test or procedure), or information that is commonly available for use.



If a faculty member believes that an academic integrity violation has occurred, the incident must be reported in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. Notice to Student:
    An allegation of a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will be reported to the student(s) involved as soon as possible but no later than 30 business days following the incident or the report of the incident. The notice to student(s) may be verbal or written. See incident narrative requirements below.
  2. Notice to College:
    The faculty member will write an incident narrative and share this narrative with the Program Director (PD) or Department Chair and Dean or designee. The Dean/designee, PD or Department Chair and faculty member will discuss their recommendation for sanctions above the College level, if any.

    The incident narrative must include the College sanction, if any, and a description of the violation.

    The incident narrative must be shared with the student so that the student may respond to the violation.

    The incident narrative will remain filed in the Dean’s office for seven years.

    A sanction of removal from an academic program or college may be recommended by the Dean via the Academic Integrity Violation Form, which will trigger a Community Standards Board hearing. Additionally, if the alleged violation involves identity misrepresentation, including misuse of identity verification information such as password and login, the matter shall be referred to the Community Standards Board.
  3. Notice to Community Standards Board
    In keeping with academic unit protocol and University policy, the Dean/designee may decide to report the incident to the University Dean of Students/Student Affairs Officer.

    Reports are made on the Academic Integrity Violation Form found at

    Reports to the University using the Academic Integrity Violation Form must be made within two weeks of the incident.

    Reports to the University may be submitted for:

    a) Documentation purposes only. This type of documentation assumes no further action.

    b) Community Standards Board (CSB) referral. This documentation triggers further inquiry by the University Community Standards Board.


Sanctions administered within the college will be appropriate to the violation and are within the purview of the faculty, up to removal from the program or College. Separation from the program, College or University (expulsion or suspension, may be recommended to the CSB by the Dean through the Academic Integrity Violation Form; the final determination will be made through the CSB hearing process. A failing grade that results in removal from the program/ College must also be sent to the CSB via the Academic Integrity Form. College recommendations of removal from the program or College will also include notification to the Office of the Provost. At the graduate level, a sanction of removal from the program or College may necessitate removal from the University. At the undergraduate level, the student may apply to another program, following the protocols outlined in the Student Handbook. The student retains active status until the CSB has finalized its review and come to a determination. The CSB, which determines sanctions outside of the College, has discretion to record the violation on the student’s permanent record and will determine sanctions as outlined in their policies and procedures.

The Community Standards Board is comprised of members of the Faculty Committee on Student Affairs and has representation from East Falls and Center City campuses. In accordance with LCME guidelines, SKMC will use a Community Standards Board comprised of its own faculty and students. More information about the Community Standards Board is available on the Community Standards page.


Students may appeal sanctions within the College by writing a letter of appeal to the Dean and/or designee. The student appeal must be received within two weeks of the sanction and the Dean must respond with a decision within two weeks. If the sanction is unresolved in the College, either party may consult with the Office of the Provost. If a sanction at the College level results in dismissal from the program (i.e., the student is awarded a failing grade, which results in dismissal), the student may appeal to the CSB.

Students may appeal an Academic Integrity violation decision made by the Community Standards Board by following the appeal process set out in the Community Standards page.

The Academic Integrity Violations Form may be accessed at

Refer to the Academic Integrity Process Chart for an illustration of the Academic Integrity Policy chronology.

Revision Date(s): two year intervals

Review Date(s):

Responsibility for maintenance of policy: Vice Provost for Academic Infrastructure and Effectiveness

Approved by:
Mark L. Tykocinski, MD
President, Thomas Jefferson University  
Dean, Sidney Kimmel Medical College