Overview and Mission of the Graduate Honor System

The Graduate Honor Code establishes a standard of academic integrity.

As such, this code demands a firm adherence to a set of values.

In particular, the code is founded on the concept of honesty with respect to the intellectual efforts of oneself and others.

Compliance with the Graduate Honor Code requires that all graduate students exercise honesty and ethical behavior in all their academic pursuits at Virginia Tech, whether these undertakings pertain to study, course work, research, extension, or teaching.

It is recognized that graduate students have very diverse cultural backgrounds. In light of this, the term ethical behavior is defined as conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct, such as codes of ethics used by professional societies in the United States to regulate the manner in which their professions are practiced. The knowledge and practice of ethical behavior shall be the full responsibility of the student. Graduate students may, however, consult with their major professors, department heads, International Graduate Student Services, or the Graduate School for further information on what is expected of them.

More specifically, all graduate students, while being affiliated with Virginia Tech, shall abide by the standards established by Virginia Tech, as these are described in the GHS Constitution. Graduate students, in accepting admission, indicate their willingness to subscribe to and be governed by the Graduate Honor Code and acknowledge the right of the University to establish policies and procedures and to take disciplinary action (including suspension or expulsion) when such action is warranted. Ignorance shall be no excuse for actions which violate the integrity of the academic community.

The fundamental beliefs underlying and reflected in the Graduate Honor Code are that (1) to trust in a person is a positive force in making a person worthy of trust, (2) to study, perform research, and teach in an environment that is free from the inconveniences and injustices caused by any form of intellectual dishonesty is a right of every graduate student, and (3) to live by an Honor System, which places a positive emphasis on honesty as a means of protecting this right, is consistent with, and a contribution to, the University's quest for truth.

The Graduate Honor System was established to implement the Graduate Honor Code, and its functions shall be:

  1. To promote honesty and ethical behavior in all academic pursuits, including, but not limited to, study, research, teaching, and extension.
  2. To disseminate information concerning the Graduate Honor System to all new graduate students, faculty, and other interested parties.
  3. To investigate all suspected violations of the Graduate Honor Code in an impartial, thorough, and unbiased manner.
  4. To try all cases involving academic infractions of the Graduate Honor Code brought before the System.
  5. To assure that the rights of all involved parties are protected and assure due process in all proceedings.

Follow this link to find the Complete Graduate Honor System Constitution.