Honor Code

CoE Honor Pledge

“On my honor I will not give nor receive unauthorized assistance in completing assignments and work submitted for review or assessment. Furthermore, I understand the requirements in the College of Engineering Honor System and accept the responsibility I have to complete all my work with complete integrity. Students who are suspected of academic dishonesty may not withdraw from the course in which dishonesty is suspected while the case is under review by the Honor Commission (NDSU Policy 335, 5b).”


The NDSU Honor System was proposed by the student government in 1955.  Students and faculty in the College of Engineering, through the efforts of the Engineering Council, implemented the CoE Honor System at the beginning of the fall 2009 semester. In April 2011, the CoE Faculty Council approved a resolution in support of the CoE Honor System. An ad-hoc committee of the Engineering Council will review the Honor System annually to make recommendations on improvements and to arrange for the formal vote for continuance.


The CoE Honor System is a process of student self-governance for those students enrolled in courses in the College of Engineering. It operates on the premise that students are honest and perform best in situations where their honesty, and the honesty of others, is not in doubt.  The administration and faculty are responsible for creating an environment where honesty is expected in all relationships. The primary function of the CoE Honor System is to support the principles of integrity and honor as cornerstones of academic success. The Honor System acts to curtail academic dishonesty through the use of student self-supervision and to penalize those who are dishonest through the use of peer evaluation and penalty.  Infractions identified by instructors are covered in current policy (NDSU Policy 335).
Under the Honor System, the chief responsibility for proctoring examinations, quizzes, and all forms of assignments lies with the individuals enrolled in the course.  Under the Honor System, students themselves complete academic activities with integrity and counsel or report those who do not.

Honor Commission

The College of Engineering's Honor Commission is the student body that educates students, staff, and faculty about the Honor System and evaluates cases of academic misconduct. The commission shall be led by a senior member elected by the group to serve as Chair.  A Prospect Chair, preferably a junior, will be elected and will serve as Chair when the Chair graduates.  The Honor Commission Chair will be responsible for organizing the commission.  Other duties and roles will be decided upon as a group.  A quorum of the commission shall consist of seven (7) members. No action may be taken by the commission without at least seven members present. A consensus of at least 5 Honor Commission members is needed when determining the outcome of a hearing.

  • Honor Commission membership is comprised of one undergraduate student from each academic unit in the college. Potential commission members will be nominated by their Department Chair.  Alternating by department, sophomore members will be selected annually by the standing commission members to serve a two-year term beginning their third year. An equal departmental representation will be maintained.
  • Two graduate student members will be appointed to the Honor Commission by the Dean to serve one year terms.  Graduate students are eligible for reappointment but limited to two consecutive one-year terms.
  • In the event a member can no longer serve in the needed capacity, the Department shall provide the standing commission with names of 2 potential candidates.  One shall be selected by majority vote of the Honor Commission members to serve for the remaining term of the departing commission member.
  • One faculty member from the College of Engineering is elected by the standing Honor Commission to serve a three-year term. An alternate faculty member will be selected by the commission to serve as a backup for a three-year term should a conflict of interest arise and the primary faculty member is unable to fulfill his or her responsibilities.
  • An Honor Commission membership roster is available in the Dean’s Office.
  • Infractions brought to attention of the instructor by a student shall be addressed through the Honor Commission - if suspected student(s) have signed the Honor Pledge. Assigning the task of evaluation and penalty to the peers of the accused student maintains the principles of integrity held by the college, conveys that academic dishonesty is not the accepted standard within their peer group, and engages instructors in the process. If academic misconduct is found by the Honor Commission, the instructor may not modify the penalty recommended by the Honor Commission without direct appeal to the commission.
Instructor Responsibility

Each instructor shall include a description of the Honor System on their syllabi, discuss it with the students taking their course, and when possible use the Honor Code tenets to enhance the process of learning beyond the classroom that has life-long impacts. If academic dishonesty is detected by the instructor, he or she may take independent action with the student(s) involved as directed by NDSU Policy 335 Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct (or successor policy).  The instructor shall notify both the Dean’s Office and the Registration and Records Office immediately to initiate the placement of a “hold” on the student’s account. Instructors are strongly encouraged to use the Honor Commission to demonstrate that academic dishonesty is not tolerated by members of the faculty or by the students of the College.

Student Responsibility

All students of the College of Engineering are responsible for knowing and complying with the CoE Honor System and pledge.  Effective fall 2011, students shall sign the Honor Pledge once during their time as an Engineering student and are responsible for making sure a copy is in their advising file maintained in their home department.  Signing the Honor Pledge signifies that the student acknowledges the existence of the Honor Code and the standards to which all students are held. Students who are suspected of academic dishonesty, but who do not have a signed Honor Pledge in their advising file, will not have the opportunity to have their case heard before the Honor Commission.

It is the student’s responsibility to take actions that will contribute to the elimination of academic dishonesty. If a student witnesses academic misconduct, he or she may attempt to correct the situation by announcing that academic dishonesty is occurring, by speaking to the individual, or by reporting the incident. As a rule, the identity of the student who witnesses the academic misconduct is held in confidence. As a self-governing entity, students are encouraged to suggest modifications to improve the Honor System. These suggestions can be offered through any member of the Honor Commission or to any member of the Engineering Council.

Academic Dishonesty Defined (Source: NDSU Policy 335, 2a-m)

Academic misconduct (intentional or otherwise) includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. Plagiarizing, i.e., submitting work that is, in part or in whole, not entirely one’s own, without attributing such portions to their correct sources.
    • Cases of apparently unintentional plagiarism or source misuse must be handled on a case-by-case basis and in the context of the instructor's policies. Unintentional plagiarism may constitute academic misconduct.
    • Improper attribution of sources may be a symptom of bad writing and not plagiarism. Instructors are encouraged to recognize that citation skills are developed over time and are contextual.
  2. Receiving, possessing, distributing or using any material or assistance not authorized by the instructional staff member in the preparation of papers, reports, examinations or any class assignments to be submitted for credit as part of a course or to fulfill other academic requirements.
  3. Unauthorized collaborating on individual assignments or representing work from unauthorized collaboration as independent work.
  4. Having others take examinations or complete assignments (e.g., papers, reports, laboratory data, or products) for oneself.
  5. Stealing or otherwise improperly obtaining copies of an examination or assignment before or after its administration, and/or passing it onto other students.
  6. Unauthorized copying, in part or in whole, of exams or assignments kept by the instructional staff member, including those handed out in class for review purposes.
  7. Altering or correcting a paper, report, presentation, examination, or any class assignment, in part or in whole, without the instructional staff member's permission, and submitting it for re-evaluation or re-grading.
  8. Misrepresenting one's attendance or the attendance of others (e.g., by PRS or attendance sheet) in a course or practical experience where credit is given and/or a mandatory attendance policy is in effect.
  9. Fabricating or falsifying information in research, papers, or reports.
  10. Aiding or abetting academic misconduct, i.e., knowingly giving assistance not authorized by the instructional staff member to another in the preparation of papers, reports, presentations, examinations, or laboratory data and products.
  11. Unauthorized copying of another student's work (e.g., data, results in a lab report, or exam).
  12. Tampering with or destroying materials, (e.g., in order to impair another student's performance).
  13. Utilizing false or misleading information (e.g., illness or family emergency) to gain extension or exemption on an assignment or test.
Reporting Violations

A student may report a violation of the Honor Code in person or in writing to the instructor, a member of the Honor Commission, or the respective chair of the department in which the violation occurred. Violations should be reported within one week of witnessing academic dishonesty.

Honor Commission Hearing, Outcome, and Confidentiality

When a case of potential academic dishonesty is reported, the Honor Commission will meet to review the pertinent evidence (usually within two weeks of the date the misconduct is reported). The commission has the authority to call witnesses and to take testimony. If, from the evidence presented, the commission determines that a violation has taken place, it will recommend disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include: failure or a grade reduction in the course; failure or grade reduction on the examination, quiz, paper or project in question; or a recommendation for suspension or expulsion. A report of the commission's findings and recommendation is given to the instructor, the accused student, and the Dean of the College of Engineering. Actions of the Honor Commission are confidential. No cases are discussed outside of the commission meetings. The identities of witnesses and other individuals connected with a case are not revealed, even to other individuals involved in that particular case. If the student is not an Engineering student, a copy of the Honor Commission findings will be provided to the Dean of the student’s home college.

Appeals Process

Appeals are to be made through the Dean of the College of Engineering’s office within two weeks of the Honor Commission's recommendation. The Dean will appoint an ad-hoc committee of Engineering Council Members and two faculty from departments not represented in the appeal, to review the process and findings. The ad-hoc committee can re-call witnesses, hear any additional evidence, and will make a final determination on the disciplinary actions.

Record Keeping

All final decisions and records in support of the findings of the Honor Commission will be maintained in the Dean’s Office for safekeeping.  These records are confidential.  No materials/information used in proceedings shall be maintained by commission members with all documents used in proceedings being submitted to the Dean’s office for disposal. NDSU Policy 335: Academic Honesty & Integrity

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