Statement on Plagiarism

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Harvard University Extension School Policy on Student Conduct [1]

Student Responsibilities

Harvard Extension School expects credit students to be active and engaged participants by attending all classes, taking all exams, and completing all coursework on time. Students enrolled in noncredit Institute for English Language (IEL) courses are also expected to attend all classes and complete all coursework. Late work may be submitted only with instructor approval and according to instructor policies.

Students are responsible for the accuracy of the information they include on all forms and applications. Submission of fraudulent information may be grounds for disciplinary review.

A student who is inadequately prepared, fails to attend classes, neglects coursework, or disrupts course progress with inappropriate behavior may be required to withdraw from the course by the Administrative Board for University Extension and excluded from future courses. Such students are not eligible for tuition refunds for those courses.

Academic Integrity

Harvard Extension School expects students to understand and maintain high standards of academic integrity. Breaches of academic integrity include the following examples.


Plagiarism is the theft of someone else’s ideas and work. Whether a student copies verbatim or simply rephrases the ideas of another without properly acknowledging the source, the theft is the same. A computer program written as part of the student’s academic work is, like a paper, expected to be the student’s original work and subject to the same standards of representation. In the preparation of work submitted to meet course requirements, whether a draft or a final version of a paper, project, take-home exam, computer program, or other written assignment, students must take great care to distinguish their own ideas and language from information derived from sources. Sources include published primary and secondary materials, the Internet, and information and opinions gained directly from other people. Whenever ideas or facts are derived from a student’s reading and research, the sources must be properly cited.

Students are responsible for learning the proper forms of citation according to the standards delineated by Harvard University. This is true even for students from other countries who may have been taught to use sources in other ways. Writing with Sources: A Guide for Harvard Students, prepared by Harvard’s Expository Writing Program, is on reserve at Grossman Library and available on the program’s website. Students who have questions about the standards of scholarly writing should speak with their instructors before beginning research on assigned papers and projects.


Collaboration on written assignments is prohibited unless explicitly permitted by the instructor. Students must acknowledge any collaboration and its extent in all submitted coursework. Students may not copy another student’s assignment, computer program or parts of a program, or exam. During an exam no communication between students is allowed, and books, papers, calculators, computers, or notes are not permitted except with the permission of the instructor or proctor.

A student may not submit the same or similar work to any other course without the written permission of the instructors involved.

Computer and Network Use

Information stored on a computer system or sent electronically over a network is the private property of the individual who created it. Examination, collection, or dissemination of that information without authorization from the owner is a violation of the owner’s right to control his or her property. Computers and networks provide mechanisms for protecting private information; attempts to circumvent these mechanisms to gain unauthorized access to private information are treated as violations of privacy.

Students are eligible for Harvard computer accounts primarily for educational use. Accounts are considered to have tangible value. Attempts to circumvent the accounting system, to use the accounts of others without authorization, or to use accounts for anything other than their intended purposes are all forms of attempted theft. Students should not disclose account passwords or otherwise make the account available to others. Use of Harvard’s computers and networks for commercial purposes without authorization is prohibited.

Students should not interfere with the functioning of a computer, or disrupt or distract others using a computer. Use of an e-mail system to send fraudulent, annoying, or obscene messages is prohibited. Similarly, messages must not misrepresent the identity of the sender, be sent as chain letters, or broadcast indiscriminately to large numbers of people.

It is the student’s responsibility to learn the rules for appropriate use of computers and networks. Policies are published in Computer Rules and Responsibilities, available in Science Center B-13, 51 Brattle Street, 53 Church Street, and online.

Certain computer misconduct is prohibited under Massachusetts law and is, therefore, subject to criminal penalties. Such misconduct includes knowingly gaining unauthorized access to a computer system or database, falsely obtaining electronic services or data without payment of required charges, and destroying electronically processed, stored, or in-transit data.

Library Use

Degree, certificate, and diploma candidates with University photo IDs have access to Harvard Libraries. To preserve the collections and to ensure ongoing access to them, library users are expected to respect the rules and regulations for use of library materials and property and to assist in the protection of library materials. Every library user has a responsibility to safeguard the integrity of library resources; respect the restrictions on access to and the use of those resources; report the theft, destruction, or misuse of library resources by others; respect the rights of others to the quiet use of the library; and respect the authority of the librarians and staff.

The following is prohibited: the exploitation of library resources or materials for commercial purposes; printing or downloading significant portions of licensed online resources; illegal copying; unauthorized removal of materials or property from the library; destruction, defacement, or abuse of library materials or property; and use of library privileges for reasons other than academic pursuits.

Students, staff, faculty members, researchers, visitors, and other users who fail to comply with library rules and regulations are subject to revocation of library privileges, disciplinary action, and legal prosecution. All library users are subject to the fines and penalties of the University, as well as the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts governing crimes against property.

For information about library access, see Libraries in the Resources section.


Students are expected to conduct themselves responsibly, honestly, and with due consideration for others while on Harvard University property, as well as in all their interactions and communications with members of the Harvard community. The Administrative Board for University Extension reviews the actions of students charged with harassment; fraud; infringing on the rights of others; violating the rules and regulations of any University department; behaving inappropriately toward University faculty, staff, or fellow students; the unauthorized use of University facilities or equipment, including computer resources; the alteration or falsification of University records; the unauthorized recording, sale, or purchase of lectures or other instructional materials; destroying or defacing University property; misrepresenting themselves or their University affiliation; or disturbing orderly academic functions and processes.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is discriminatory and unlawful. Federal and state laws define sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or school environment. Harvard Extension School does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment. Students, instructors, or staff who engage in sexual harassment face discipline.

Students with complaints are encouraged to call Christopher Queen, dean of students, (617) 495-3481, or Brenda Mahoney, associate registrar, (617) 495-0977. Complaints can be handled either formally or informally. It is unlawful and a violation of Extension School policy to retaliate against anyone for filing a complaint of harassment or for cooperating in the investigation of such a complaint. Copies of the Extension School’s sexual harassment policy, which describes how student complaints can be filed and how cases are investigated, are available at 51 Brattle Street.