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Introduction to the Graduate Honor System

Overview and Mission of the Graduate Honor System

The Graduate Honor Code establishes a standard of academic integrity and demands a firm adherence to a set of values. It is founded on the concept of honesty with respect to the intellectual efforts of oneself and others.

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Introduction to the Graduate Honor System

We expect all graduate students to exercise honesty and ethical behavior in all their academic pursuits, including but not limited to study, course work, research, extension, or teaching. Resources are available to help you understand and navigate these standards.

Because graduate students have very diverse cultural backgrounds, 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 is the full responsibility of the student. Graduate students should consult with their major professors, program chairs, GHS representatives, or the Graduate School for further information on what is expected of them.

All graduate students, while being affiliated with Virginia Tech, must abide by the standards described in the GHS Constitution. Graduate students, by accepting admission, subscribe to and become 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. 

The fundamental beliefs underlying the Graduate Honor Code are:

  • to trust in a person is a positive force in making a person worthy of trust; 
  • 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
  • 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 implements the Graduate Honor Code through the following functions:

  1. Promote honesty and ethical behavior in all academic pursuits, including, but not limited to, study, research, teaching, and extension.
  2. Disseminate information concerning the Graduate Honor System to all new graduate students, faculty, and other interested parties.
  3. Review all suspected violations of the Graduate Honor Code in an impartial, thorough, and unbiased manner.
  4. Decide all cases involving academic infractions of the Graduate Honor Code brought before the System.
  5. 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.