Academic Integrity Policies for PhD Comprehensive Exams (BOTH IS and HCC PhD Programs)

University wide policy and procedures for student academic misconduct

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The university and graduate school have general policy and procedures for student academic misconduct. Please refer to the following link.

Departmental Policy and Procedures for Student Academic Misconduct for PhD Comprehensive Exams

In addition to the general policy and procedures, the IS department has the following specific policy and procedures regarding the comprehensive exam:

1. The department will follow the same policy and procedures as outlined in the graduate school policy.
2. Since the exam is not conducted by a single faculty member, the graduate committee will replace a single faculty member in graduate school’s policy to take actions, including notifying the student in writing within five calendar days of the initial determination, waiting for student’s explanation (within five calendar days of first notification), making a decision as to whether an infraction has occurred and whether the infraction is less serious or more serious, and finally written notification, including a proposed resolution, to the associate dean of the graduate school, the student’s mentor, the student and the student’s graduate program director.
3. The following activities will be considered as academic misconduct:

  • All academic misconduct activities listed in graduate school’s policy.
  • Failure of citing a paper with similar ideas or citing a paper in an improper way (e.g., using a direct quote without citation, or intentionally misrepresenting the idea or results in that paper).
  • Self-plagiarism: a student’s answer to integrative questions has significant overlap with any research that the student has completed (including independent studies and papers), or the student’s answer has some overlap with his or her own completed research but fails to indicate the differences between the answer to integrative questions and the student’s own completed research.
  • Discussing the exam questions or possible answers with anyone else (including students and faculty member). Students can still ask the Graduate Program Director clarification questions.
  • Misconduct during the oral or written exam (for example, looking up information on the internet during the exam, using communication devices to receive answers from someone else).
  • Intentionally asking faculty or other students questions to narrow down the scope of reading list or to infer the questions that may be asked during the oral exam. The faculty member should not answer such questions and should give a warning to the student and notify the GPD if the student keeps asking this type of questions.

4. The graduate committee will determine the possible resolutions to an alleged misconduct. The resolutions may range from warning, a zero grade on a specific question, failing the exam,    probation, or expulsion, depending on the seriousness of the misconduct. Cheating during the oral or written exam (3.e) typically results in recommendation for expulsion from UMBC with a permanent transcript notation of “academic misconduct expulsion”.

5. A student can use the same appeals and hearings procedure as outlined in the general policy.