Honor Code

I. Honor Code Statement
All students will sign the following pledge at the time they formally accept admission to the College. Students who have not signed the pledge will not be allowed to register for classes.


By my signature below, I affirm on my honor that I will abstain from dishonesty in all academic work. I have read and understood the Honor Code and the Constitution of the Honor Court, and I will abide by their provisions. I understand that if I suspect or witness violations of the Honor Code, I am obligated to respond by taking appropriate action. For example, I may report the suspected dishonesty to the instructor in the course, to the chair of the Honor Court, or to the dean of students; I may request that an instructor proctor an exam if I believe cheating is occurring; or I may talk to a student who I believe may be violating the Honor Code.

II.    Academic Dishonesty

Any form of academic dishonesty is a serious offense in an academic community. At Hamilton such dishonesty will often result in removal from the course, assignment of an XF* for the course, or separation from the College community, or some combination of these. It is essential, therefore, that every student understands the standards of academic honesty and how to avoid dishonesty by proper acknowledgment of intellectual indebtedness. The Honor Court will not excuse a lack of awareness or understanding of what constitutes academic dishonesty. Any attempt to commit any of the following infractions also constitutes academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  1. Plagiarism. Failure to acknowledge ideas, phrases, data, music, images, or other intellectual property gained from a preexisting body of work.  This includes self-plagiarism, or the submission of one piece of work in more than one course without the explicit permission of the instructors involved. Guidelines for proper documentation are available from many sources, including the Hamilton College Style Sheet, which is provided to all first-year students and may be obtained at the Library or at the Writing Center. Similar guidelines for using sources in oral presentations are available from the Communication Department and the Oral Communication Center.
  2. Stealing, altering, redirecting, or otherwise tampering with the form or content of digital media created or presented by another person without explicit permission of that person.
  3. Forgery or falsification of academic documents. The chair of the Honor Court, after consultation with the dean of students, may remand such complaints to the Judicial Board. 
  4. Misrepresentation or falsification of data in any coursework.
  5. Cooperative or collaborative effort in coursework without acknowledgment and explicit permission of the instructor. Assume that acknowledgement is necessary any time you collaborate and/or cooperate, unless you are expressly informed that it is not. This is not meant to inhibit discussion and debate of academic subjects either inside or outside the classroom but to give deserved credit to those to whom we are creatively or intellectually indebted.
  6. Cheating on assessments. To give or receive assistance from written material, another person, his or her paper, or any other source, including electronic sources, or to attempt to do so, on any assessment, including but not limited to examinations, homework or tests. The only exceptions will be at the explicit instruction of the teacher of the course.
  7. The submission of work as one's own that has been prepared by another person.

​​​​​​​III.   Student Obligation

Aside from refraining from all forms of academic dishonesty, Hamilton students are expected to take proactive steps to support the Honor Code and to respond to incidents of academic dishonesty. Such steps may include: signing the pledges on exams and papers stating that the assignment has been completed in accordance with the Honor Code; informally discussing the Honor Code with other students, especially incoming students; or taking appropriate action when witnessing suspected dishonesty. 

Upon Witnessing a Violation of Academic Integrity

Violations of academic integrity are an affront to our community.  The bonds which unite us make knowing how to act when you witness a violation difficult.  Students who witness violations are required to take appropriate action.  What constitutes appropriate action may vary with the case but include:

  • talking to, or confronting, a student who may be violating the Honor Code;
  • during an in-class exam, tapping a pencil on a desk to remind other students of their obligations;
  • asking an instructor to proctor an exam;
  • consulting a faculty adviser or confidant for help; or
  • reporting the suspected dishonesty to the instructor of the course, the chair of the Honor Court, or the dean of students.

Confronting a suspected violator can be difficult.  Integrity is not always easy.  But honesty and trust are at the core of every academic enterprise and the mission of Hamilton College.   Our community can only thrive on candor and honor.

Back to Top