Academic Misconduct

The Mind & Hand Book, the Academic Integrity Handbook, and MIT Policy 10 all describe MIT’s policies related to academic integrity.  If you have any questions about these policies, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Conduct for an individual case consultation.  We are also available to present to academic departments, classes, student organizations, and other groups on issues related to academic integrity.

Faculty Options for Responding to Academic Misconduct

The Institute encourages faculty to take responses to academic dishonesty seriously, while also evaluating each case individually for the most appropriate response.  In all cases, documenting the outcome with the Office of Student Conduct ensures that records of student misconduct are maintained centrally at the Institute, preventing an individual student from committing several instances of academic dishonesty without accountability. We encourage you to check out our

which contains ideas on how to prevent academic dishonesty and additional information on how to respond. For more information on the Institute’s academic integrity policies, please consult the Handbook for Academic Integrity and Institute Policy 10.2: Procedures for Dealing with Student Academic Dishonesty.


Below is an outline of the three response options to academic misconduct.  If you have questions about these, please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Student Conduct.


1. Academic action within the subject or project

  • Most commonly, faculty members determine an academic consequence that is appropriate.  Examples include redoing the assignment for a reduced grade, failing the project or assignment, a failing grade in the course, and termination of participation in the research project.  More serious violations should result in more serious consequences.  Faculty members are encouraged to consult their Department Chair and the Office of Student Conduct for information on precedent.
  • When a faculty member chooses this, they should also submit documentation to the Office of Student Conduct in the form of either a letter to file or a formal complaint (outlined below as option 2 or 3). Submitting documentation to the Office of Student Conduct helps ensure that the student does not receive multiple academic action responses for repeated violations without being held responsible for a pattern of behavior across subjects.

2. Letter to file

  • Letters to file can be done in conjunction with academic actions within the subject or project. 
  • Letters to file are generally maintained as internal records only.  If a student has subsequent alleged violations, informal letters to file would be reviewed as part of the determination about how the new case would be resolved.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to use (word doc) for letters to file.  Submission of supporting documentation is also encouraged.


3. Committee on Discipline (COD) complaint

  • A COD complaint can be submitted in conjunction with academic action within the course or action regarding student participation in research.
  • 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 warning, letter to file, probation, suspension, expulsion, and educational sanctions.
  • Information and forms for filing a COD complaint can be found on our website.