Academic Misconduct

Academic integrity is critical to maintaining fair, knowledge-based learning at Portland State University. Academic misconduct in any form is a serious violation: it undermines the bonds of trust and honesty between members of our academic community, degrades the value of a degree and puts at risk those who may eventually depend upon our students' knowledge and integrity.

Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to:

  • cheating on an exam
  • copying the homework of someone else
  • submitting for credit work done by someone else (include plagiarism and paraphrasing without citing sources)
  • stealing examinations or course materials
  • tampering with the University's grade records, or with another student's work
  • knowingly and intentionally assisting another student in any of the above

If you are unsure of whether or not academic misconduct has occurred, the Director of Conduct and Community Standards is available for a consultation, which may involve reviewing student-submitted material or the situation to determine if it violates any aspect of the code and if a complaint should be submitted.

What should I do?

If you believe that a student has been academically dishonest, the following should be considered.

  1. The student should be made aware of the situation. This can be done via email or in person. Simply outline how you came to the conclusion of academic dishonesty and what your next steps will be.
  2. Report the matter to the Conduct Office. This can be done via our online submission system, via email at, via phone at (503) 725-4422, or by coming into our office in SMSU 433.  Any documentation you can provide is helpful.
  3. Give a proper grade for the assignment or exam in question. In most cases, this will be a "0" or "F'. You may not grade beyond the assignment or exam in question (i.e. giving the student an automatic "F" for the entire course).
    Please note: Captcha is required for the online submission system.

What happens next?

After a complaint is made by an instructor, our conduct process begins. Our office receives and processes the complaint. If enough information exists to move forward, the student is notified of a scheduled administrative review meeting via their PSU email address.

The meetings are scheduled around students' academic schedule and students are strongly encouraged to attend. If, after the meeting, the student is found responsible for the violation, they will be assigned to complete a sanction. Depending on the extent of the dishonesty, or if they have been found responsible of academic misconduct in the past, the student may be dismissed from the University, either via suspension or expulsion.

Students have the opportunity to request an appeal of the finding and/or assigned sanctions if certain criteria have been met. If granted an appeal, the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs (or designee(s)) will make a final determination. 

As the faculty member who reported the academic misconduct, our Student Code of Conduct grants you the right to be notified of the outcome of the complaint, upon request. If you are interested in learning more, please contact our office by writing to or calling (503) 725-4422.