What are the consequences of violating MIT academic integrity standards?

The consequences for cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, and other forms of academic dishonesty vary widely based on the severity and nature of the allegations. Egregious academic misconduct can be very serious, possibly including suspension or expulsion from the Institute. Instructors decide how to handle violations of academic integrity on a case-by-case basis, and three general options exist. Questions about these options should be directed to the Office of Student Citizenship.

1. Academic action within the subject

  • Instructors may determine an academic consequence ranging from redoing the assignment for a reduced grade to failure of the subject.
  • When an instructor chooses this option, they are encouraged also to submit documentation to the Office of Student Citizenship in the form of a letter to file or a COD complaint.  Those options are outlined below. 
2. Faculty letter to file
  • Informal letters to file can be done in conjunction with academic actions within the subject. 
  • Informal letters to file are generally maintained as internal records only.  If a student has subsequent alleged violations, letters to file would be reviewed as part of the determination about how the newer case would be resolved.
  • Students who receive a faculty letter to file may submit a reply for the file or request that the Committee on Discipline (COD) review their case.
3. Committee on Discipline (COD) complaint
  • COD complaint can be submitted in conjunction with academic action within the course. 
  • A COD complaint will be reviewed by the COD Chair and considered for a hearing. Cases resulting in a hearing are subject to a full range of sanctioning outcomes, including probation, suspension, dismissal, and educational sanctions.