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Honor Code and Fundamental Standard

Honor Code

The Honor Code is the university's statement on academic integrity written by students in 1921. It articulates university expectations of students and faculty in establishing and maintaining the highest standards in academic work.

Honor Code Text

  1. The Honor Code is an undertaking of the students, individually and collectively:
    1. that they will not give or receive aid in examinations; that they will not give or receive unpermitted aid in class work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of grading;
    2. that they will do their share and take an active part in seeing to it that others as well as themselves uphold the spirit and letter of the Honor Code.
  2. The faculty on its part manifests its confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations and from taking unusual and unreasonable precautions to prevent the forms of dishonesty mentioned above. The faculty will also avoid, as far as practicable, academic procedures that create temptations to violate the Honor Code.
  3. While the faculty alone has the right and obligation to set academic requirements, the students and faculty will work together to establish optimal conditions for honorable academic work.

Violations of the Honor Code

Examples of conduct that have been regarded as being in violation of the Honor Code include:

  • Copying from another’s examination paper or allowing another to copy from one’s own paper
  • Unpermitted collaboration
  • Plagiarism
  • Revising and resubmitting a quiz or exam for regrading, without the instructor’s knowledge and consent
  • Giving or receiving unpermitted aid on a take-home examination
  • Representing as one’s own work the work of another
  • Giving or receiving aid on an academic assignment under circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that such aid was not permitted

Penalties for Violating the Honor Code

In recent years, most student disciplinary cases have involved Honor Code violations; of these, the most frequent arise when a student submits another’s work as his or her own, or gives or receives unpermitted aid. The standard penalty for a first offense includes a one-quarter suspension from the University and 40 hours of community service. In addition, most faculty members issue a "No Pass" or "No Credit" for the course in which the violation occurred. The standard penalty for multiple violations (e.g. cheating more than once in the same course) is a three-quarter suspension and 40 or more hours of community service.

Fundamental Standard

The Fundamental Standard has set the standard of conduct for students at Stanford since it was articulated in 1896 by David Starr Jordan, Stanford's first president. It states:

Students at Stanford are expected to show both within and without the university such respect for order, morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens. Failure to do this will be sufficient cause for removal from the university.

Understanding the Fundamental Standard

The Fundamental Standard is an aspirational statement of Stanford's ideal of civic and moral community. Although the spirit of the Fundamental Standard remains unchanged since 1896, these aspirational learning goals for all Stanford students elaborate its basic values today:

  1. Students are expected to respect and uphold the rights and dignity of others regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic status.
  2. Students are expected to uphold the integrity of the university as a community of scholars in which free speech is available to all and intellectual honesty is demanded of all.
  3. Students are expected to respect university policies as well as state and federal law. 
  4. For the purposes of clarity, students should be aware that they may be subject to discipline at Stanford University for acts of misconduct including:
  • Violation of university policy

  • Violation of a specific university directive

  • Violation of an applicable law 
  • Physical assault

  • Sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking 

  • Theft of property or services
  • Threats

  • Hazing

  • Hate crimes
  • Alcohol- and drug-related violations, including driving under the influence
  • Intentional or reckless property damage 

  • Seeking a university benefit to which a student is not entitled 

  • Falsifying a document

  • Impersonating another

  • Computer violations

  • Knowingly or recklessly exposing others to significant danger 

Penalties for Violating the Fundamental Standard

There is no standard penalty that applies to violations of the Fundamental Standard. Infractions have led to penalties ranging from formal warning and community service to expulsion. In each case, the nature and seriousness of the offense, the motivation underlying the offense and precedent in similar cases are considered.