“As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.”

Graduate Division oversees the administration of the Graduate Academic Misconduct Policy

According to UC Berkeley’s Graduate Student Academic Misconduct Policy, academic misconduct  “refers to all forms of academic misconduct including but not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism or facilitating academic dishonesty.” 

If you suspect a graduate student of academic misconduct please contact Burcu Tung, director of graduate academic conduct and climate, at burcu@berkeley.edu.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a fundamental principle embedded in the moral code of academia. All individuals that make up our community — students, staff and faculty — are expected to engage in honest, truthful, fair, responsible and respectful practice across the board. For this reason, members of UC Berkeley abide by a simple honor code in that they “act with honesty, integrity and respect for others.” Honesty and integrity are also placed at the highest level in UC Berkeley’s Principles of Community

Graduate students, as key members of our community, are held to high standards in their academic practices, whether as students, instructors, mentors or researchers. The path towards earning a graduate degree, as challenging as it is, should never be compromised in its integrity. 

Graduate students are expected to act with integrity to themselves as well as others. They have an ethical and moral obligation to produce their own research and express their own ideas as well as attribute other scholars’ research correctly and consistently. Furthermore, as teaching assistants and instructors, graduate students are expected to teach with integrity. 

What is Academic Misconduct?

Graduate student academic misconduct refers, but is not limited to plagiarism, cheating, fabrication or the facilitation of academic dishonesty by a student while enrolled in a graduate program. It is slightly different from research misconduct which refers to fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Research misconduct is reported through the Vice Chancellor’s Office for Research. Other forms of student misconduct, which can be defined generally as behavioral misconduct, addressed within the Student Code of Conduct are reported through the Center for Student Conduct. 

Here are types of academic misconduct from the Graduate Academic Misconduct Policy. Note that this is list is not comprehensive.

Cheating: Cheating includes fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic assignment, or using or attempting to use materials, or assisting others in using materials that are prohibited or inappropriate in the context of the academic assignment in question, engaging in prohibited collaboration, or misrepresenting one’s work completed for a prior course or assignment as new work.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism includes use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source.

False Information and Representation and Fabrication or Alteration of Information: Furnishing false information, failing to identify oneself honestly, fabricating or altering information and presenting it as legitimate, or providing false or misleading information to an instructor, faculty member, or any other University official in an academic context.

Theft or Damage of Intellectual Property: Sabotaging or stealing another person’s work, improper access to, or electronically interfering with the property of, another person or the University, or obtaining a copy of an examination or assignment prior to its approved release.

Alteration of University Documents: Forgery of an instructor’s signature, submitting an altered transcript of grades to or from another institution or employer, putting one’s name on another individual’s work, or falsely altering a previously graded exam or assignment.

Disturbances in the Classroom or Lab: Disturbances in a classroom or lab that serve to create an unfair academic advantage for oneself or disadvantage for another member of the academic community.

Understanding this policy

The Graduate Student Academic Misconduct policy lays out a process for adjudicating suspected cases for academic integrity violations. Academic units can adopt the policy so that they can engage in the resolution of suspected graduate student academic misconduct cases locally to meet professional and collegial standards.

The policy outlines two different phases in the approach to the resolution of suspected graduate academic misconduct — an informal phase and a formal phase — where the Graduate Division acts as a consultant throughout the process to ensure equity and due process.

When an instructor suspects that a graduate student has committed an academic integrity violation, they should first discuss their suspicion with their chair or dean and with the Graduate Division to confirm that the student does not have a prior record of academic misconduct.

If the student does not have a prior record, the faculty member may attempt to resolve the suspected academic misconduct by discussing it with the student. This is considered the informal phase. If the student has a prior academic misconduct record, if the student and faculty member do not agree on whether misconduct occurred, or if the student or department chair/dean disagrees with the sanction, then a formal investigation is initiated. During the formal phase, a committee of at least three faculty will conduct an investigation on the allegation and, if the student is determined by a preponderance of evidence to be responsible for the allegation, decide upon the appropriate sanction(s).

Academic Units are asked to decide by the end of Fall ‘23 as to whether they will adopt the policy locally to adjudicate cases of suspected academic misconduct or whether they would like such cases to be adjudicated centrally. 

During the 2023-24 Academic Year, allegations of academic misconduct of graduate and professional students can still be reported through the Center for Student Conduct where their cases will be addressed in consultation with the Graduate Division.

It is important that graduate students understand the Graduate Academic Misconduct Policy and associated procedures should they find themselves facing an allegation of academic misconduct.

If you are participating in the conduct process, act with integrity. If you have concerns, communicate with the relevant parties. Be prompt in responding to requests and make sure to ask questions if you need clarification.

If you are a graduate student seeking more information regarding UC Berkeley’s policies and procedures regarding Graduate Students, including Graduate Appeals, please refer to the Guide to Graduate Policy. For assistance in understanding your rights, the adjudication process, and to learn about resources please contact the Director of Graduate Academic Conduct and Climate at [email protected]

  • Students have a right to be notified of alleged academic misconduct. 
    • This may come as an official Alleged Violation Letter (AVL) letter or as an informal communication (email or in person) with a faculty member. 
  • Students have a right to remain silent at any part of the adjudication process. 
    • Graduate students also have the right to choose not to participate in the resolution of their charges. 
  • Students have a right to be heard.
    • If a student receives an AVL, they have five days to challenge in writing the membership of the committee, which they should do if they see a conflict of interest.  
    • During a hearing process, students have a right to express their point of view. 
    • During a hearing process, students also have a right to review and respond to a written summary of all the evidence presented by the committee before a decision is reached. 
  • Students have a right to be accompanied by one advisor
    • The advisor can be a part of any stage of the process. 
    • The advisor can assist the student in preparing for the hearing or can act as an emotional support.
    • The advisor, however, may not speak on behalf of the student at any time, or represent the student. 
  • Students have a right to appeal (within 10 days of receiving the notification of the hearing committee’s decision), if
    • A student has new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing that could affect the committee’s decision. 
    • A student has grounds to believe that there was a significant procedural error that affected the committee’s decision.  

If you are a graduate student seeking more information regarding UC Berkeley’s policies and procedures regarding Graduate Students, including Graduate Appeals, please refer to the Guide to Graduate Policy. For assistance in understanding your rights, the adjudication process, and to learn about resources please contact the Director of Graduate Academic Conduct and Climate at [email protected].


  • Respondent Services: Respondent Services through the Center for Support and Intervention provides further resources, information and referrals to students who have been charged with an alleged violation and face suspension or dismissal from the University. 
  • Graduate Peer Support Providers: Graduate Peer Support Providers (PSPs) meet one-on-one with graduate students at UC Berkeley to provide assistance in navigating the processes related to mental health, basic needs and academia. 
  • Graduate Wellness Center: The Graduate Wellness Center provides graduate-focused wellness and mental health services. Graduate students charged with an alleged violation may receive individual counseling through the Graduate Wellness Center
  • Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees:The Ombuds Office is a confidential service for students for any campus-related conflict or concern.
  • ASUC Student Advocate’s Office: Students can consult with the Student Advocate’s Office on alleged violations. Students should note that this is a student run-service for students.

More resources for Graduate Students can be found at Resources and Services for Graduate Students.

If you are faculty, suspecting of graduate student academic misconduct, please note the following:

  • Faculty are responsible for notifying their chair/dean and the Graduate Division if they suspect a case of academic misconduct
  • Faculty should always presume that a graduate student is not responsible for an alleged violation unless the student openly admits or is determined to be responsible after a preponderance of evidence.
  • Faculty may not take any punitive action against a student upon suspicion of misconduct or during the pending resolution of an allegation./
  • If grades need to be submitted, faculty must utilize a temporary notation of “RD” (Review Deferred) on the grade roster during the pending resolution of an allegation.
  • Faculty have sixty (60) days to report an incident of suspected academic misconduct. 


Burcu Tung 

Director of Graduate Academic Conduct and Climate

[email protected]

Tel: (510) 643-0851