Honor Code


Amended February 2012.

For over half a century, academic integrity has been maintained on the Emory Campus through the student initiated and regulated Honor Code.

Every student who applies to and is accepted by Emory College, as a condition of acceptance, agrees to abide by the provisions of the Honor Code so long as he or she remains a student at Emory College. By his or her continued attendance at Emory College, a student reaffirms his or her pledge to adhere to the provisions of the Honor Code.

The Undergraduate Code of Conduct provides information about the behavioral expectations relating to non-academic conduct.

For questions about the Honor Code, or to report a possible violation, please contact:

  • Dr. Jason Ciejka, Assistant Dean in the Office for Undergraduate Education, at 404-727-0674 or jciejka@emory.edu, or
  • Ms. Blaire Wilson, Assistant Director of the Honor Council, at 404-727-8928, or blaire.wilson@emory.edu.


Upon every individual who is a part of Emory University falls the responsibility for maintaining in the life of Emory a standard of unimpeachable honor in all academic work. The following articles, to be known collectively as the Honor Code of Emory College, are based on the fundamental assumption that every loyal person of the University not only will conduct his or her own life according to the dictates of the highest honor, but will also refuse to tolerate in others action which would sully the good name of the institution.


There shall be a body to be known as the Honor Council, charged with the duties of presenting the honor system to all freshmen and new students and acting as a fact-finding body for the determination of Honor Code violations. The Council shall recommend punishment in cases of dishonesty in academic work.


Section 1. The Honor Council shall consist of no fewer than ten (10) and no more than twenty (20) student members and six (6) students eligible to serve on the appeals panels. Students eligible for membership shall be sophomores or juniors enrolled in the College. Membership shall be announced by May 1. The term of office of each member of the Honor Council and students eligible to serve on the appeals panels shall be two (2) years or until graduation, whichever first occurs. In the case of a member or eligible student who does not register for any semester (exclusive of any summer enrollment period), the Dean of the College shall name a replacement until the next regular selection of members under Section 3 of this Article.

Section 2. The executive head of the Honor Council shall be a chairperson who shall be elected by members of the Council and shall serve not more than twelve (12) months. He or she shall be privileged to vote on all questions.

Section 3. A selection committee shall consist of one (1) College Council member, one (1) Honor Council member, two (2) faculty members and four (4) students at-large. Except for the one Honor Council member, all the members of this committee shall be chosen by the College Council. The Honor Council will reduce the list to three (3) times the number of available positions and return the list to the committee. After the slate has been cut to two (2) times the number of vacant seats by the committee, the Honor Council shall make the final selection of members and of the pool of students eligible to serve on the appeals panels.

Section 4. A quorum of the Honor Council shall be four (4) of the twenty (20) student members. No members of the Honor Council may hear a case when he or she is accuser or witness. If a quorum cannot be assembled for a hearing, the Dean of the College shall appoint sufficient temporary members to reach a quorum in order that a hearing may be held.

Section 5. The Dean shall annually appoint no fewer than six (6) and no more than twenty (20) faculty advisors to the Honor Council. These advisors may participate in all proceedings and deliberations of the Honor Council.


The Honor Council shall have jurisdiction over cases of academic misconduct.


Academic misconduct is an offense generally defined as any action or inaction which is offensive to the integrity and honesty of the members of the academic community. This offense includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Seeking, acquiring, receiving, or giving information about the conduct of an examination, knowing that the release of such information has not been authorized;

(b) Plagiarizing;

(c) Seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance or information in any academic assignment or examination;

(d) Intentionally giving false information to professors or instructors for the purpose of gaining academic advantage;

(e) Breach of any duties prescribed by this Code;

(f) Intentionally giving false evidence in any Honor Council hearing or refusing to give evidence when requested by the Honor Council.


It is the responsibility of every member of the faculty and student body to cooperate in supporting the honor system. In pursuance of this duty, any individual, when he or she suspects that an offense of academic misconduct has occurred, shall report this suspected breach to a member of the Honor Council, a faculty advisor to the Honor Council, or the Dean of the College.


Section 1. (a)  On receipt of a report of a suspected violation, the recipient shall notify the Chairperson of the Honor Council who shall designate one (1) member of the Council and one (1) faculty advisor to investigate the charge. The investigators shall inform the accused in writing of what course and work is involved in the charge and shall refer the student to the Emory College Honor Code website, http://college.emory.edu/home/academic/policy/honor_code.html.

The investigators shall meet with the accuser, separately with the accused, shall interview other potential witnesses and review any documentary and physical evidence. The accused may suggest the names of witnesses to testify and may submit additional documentary or physical evidence not previously brought to the attention of the investigators. The investigators shall determine whether to refer the accusation for a hearing and notify both the Chairperson and the accused of their decision.

(b)  If a decision is made to refer the case for hearing, the Honor Council student investigator shall schedule the hearing as promptly as possible and shall notify the accused of the date and time.

(c)  Hearings shall be fair and impartial. All evidence, regardless of whether it meets the test of admissibility of rules of evidence, shall be elicited by the Honor Council. Witnesses will testify without oath and signed statements may be submitted from unavailable witnesses. Only the members of the Honor Council, the accused, his/her advisor, and the faculty advisors to the Honor Council may be present during the hearing other than a witness while testifying. The accused shall have the right to testify and to make a closing statement. The accused may be accompanied by a student or faculty member of the College as an advisor for purposes of consultation, but neither the accused nor the advisor shall have the right to examine witnesses. The Honor Council shall be allowed all possible latitude in determining whether a violation has occurred and shall itself determine the weight and pertinence of the evidence.

(d)  At the conclusion of the evidence, the Honor Council and faculty advisors to the Honor Council shall retire to deliberate in secret. Only evidence presented at the hearing will be considered in reaching a decision. A unanimous vote of four (4) Honor Council members and one (1) faculty advisor shall be required for a finding of an Honor Council violation. If the accused is found guilty, the Honor Council shall recommend the sanction(s) by majority vote.

(e)  The following sanctions may be imposed:

(1) Verbal reprimand without an entry on the student's Personal Performance Record;

(2) Written reprimand with an entry on the student's Personal Performance Record;

(3) F in the course on the student's Personal Performance Record and F on his/her Permanent Transcript;

(4) Honor Council suspension (specifying the period of suspension);

(5) Honor Council dismissal (specifying when the student may apply for readmission);

(6) Such combination of sanctions or other sanction as may appear appropriate.

(f)  After the hearing, the Honor Council shall promptly prepare a concise, but thorough, written summary of pertinent evidence and facts which shall be transmitted to the Dean of the College with the accompanying recommendation together with all documentary and physical evidence before the Council. The Dean may impose the sanction(s) recommended or sanction(s) of greater or lesser severity. After receipt of the summary, the student shall be promptly notified by the Dean in writing of his or her decision and the sanction(s) imposed.

(g)  In no case of alleged or suspected dishonesty will the Dean take action before receiving from the Honor Council its recommendation, provided such recommendation is received within a reasonable time after notification to the Council of the particular case.  

Section 2. (a)  An accused student may, in an appropriate case, request an Expedited Hearing in writing to Dean of the Honor Council.

Use of the Expedited Hearing Procedure is appropriate in cases where there is evidence that the accused, who has not previously been found to have violated the Honor Code, has committed some violation of the Honor Code, and the accused student acknowledges that violation of the Honor Code and formally requests an Expedited Hearing before a special three-person panel rather than a full hearing before the Honor Council. 

The accused must also waive the right to appeal before an Expedited Hearing is scheduled and acknowledge that use of the Expedited Hearing Procedure does not in any way imply a recommendation for a lesser penalty.

In each Expedited Hearing the special three-person hearing panel shall consist of:

(1) The Dean of the Honor Council

(2) The Chair (or another voting student member of the Council), and

(3) A faculty representative of the Council.

The panel will hear an admission of violating the Honor Code directly from the accused, receive all evidence previously gathered by the investigating team, and may receive any additional statements from the accused and question the accused as the panel deems useful. After the accused student and the student's advisor leave the hearing room, the members of the panel shall review the evidence and the accused student's admission of violating the Honor Code to decide if a finding of the alleged Honor Code violation is warranted. If the panel unanimously determines that the admission of violating the Honor Code is acceptable in light of all the evidence, then the panel members upon reviewing all relevant factors shall recommend by majority vote an appropriate punishment to the Dean. The Dean may accept or modify the severity of the recommended sanctions, before promptly notifying the student of the outcome of the hearing.


(a)  A decision by the Honor Council and/or the sanction(s) imposed may be appealed to the Dean of the College. Such appeal must be submitted to the Dean within seven (7) days after the student has been given written notification of the Honor Council decision and sanction from the Dean. As part of the appeal, the student must present to the Dean a written statement of the basis for his/her appeal. If the Dean has not received such a written statement within the specified time, the decision of the Honor Council will stand affirmed.

(b)  Upon receipt of an appeal, the Dean shall appoint an Appeal Panel of four (4) persons to advise him/her concerning the case. The Appeal Panel shall consist of two (2) Emory College faculty members, one of whom should be a faculty advisor to the Honor Council if possible, and two (2) students from the Appeals Panel Pool, who have had no prior involvement in the case.

(c)  The panel shall review the records in the case and make a recommendation to the Dean. The Appeal Panel may consult with a member of the Honor Council. The Dean may then deny the appeal, modify the sanction(s), or request that the case be remanded to the Honor Council for a rehearing that will adhere to the process and rules outlined in Article 7 section e.

(d)  Should the decision be to deny the appeal, the decision of the Honor Council will stand affirmed.

(e)  Should the decision be to rehear the case, the case shall be remanded to the Honor Council for a rehearing. The Chair of the Honor Council shall schedule a hearing that shall include only Honor Council members who have had no prior involvement in the case. A total of four (4) members and one (1) faculty advisor shall be appointed for the rehearing. If four Honor Council members may not be available, then students on the Appeals Council who have had no prior involvement in the case may complete the quorum of four student members. Any and all evidence available at the first hearing shall be available to the Council at the rehearing, including accusing parties and witnesses. Should accusing parties or witnesses be deemed unavailable by the Dean, a written statement should be provided if possible. The rehearing shall conform to the procedures outlined in Article 6 sections c-g from this point forward.

(f)  When the proceedings of a panel are concluded and a written summary is prepared, the panel shall confer with the Dean who shall render a final decision on the appeal and inform the student of his/her decision in writing.


Each student in the College assumes the Honor Pledge and shall receive adequate instruction in the Honor Code. Each professor shall explain to his or her class at the beginning of every semester any special or particular requirements of this Code as it pertains to the course.


(a) A duty of confidentiality is implicit in the Honor system. It is academic misconduct under this Code for a member of the Honor Council, a student witness or any student (other than the accused) who has obtained knowledge of a Council proceeding, past or present, to breach this duty of confidentiality. Nothing in this paragraph shall restrict communication to officials of the University where knowledge is necessary to the performance of the officials' duties, nor shall it restrict disclosure required by law.

(b) Wherever "Dean" or "Dean of the College" appears in this Code, each shall include any person designated by the Dean of Emory College to act in his/her stead.

(c) Wherever "Chairperson, or Chairperson of the Honor Council" appears in this Code, each shall include any member of the Honor Council designated by the Chairperson of the Honor Council to act in his/her stead.

(d) This Honor Code shall be effective on the first day of the Spring semester, 1984. On that date, the existing Honor Code of Emory College shall stand repealed. Amendment of this Code shall be by two thirds (2/3) vote of the Honor Council, with the consent of the Dean, subject to ratification by a majority of those Emory College students voting in an election for that purpose.

(e) There shall be an Emory College Committee for Academic Integrity formed for the purpose of striving to prevent academic dishonesty and misconduct through educational programs and endorsing the positive promotion of academic integrity on campus. It will seek to cultivate students with an enhanced understanding of, and appreciation for, academic and individual honesty.
Note: The Honor Code was amended by student vote on February 2, 2012. Minor revisions were made in the language of the document to reflect the changes approved in the amendments.



A writer's facts, ideas, and phraseology should be regarded as his property. Any person who uses a writer's ideas or phraseology without giving due credit is guilty of plagiarism.

Information may be put into a paper without a footnote or some kind of documentation only if it meets all of the following conditions:

It may be found in several books on the subject. It is written entirely in the words of the student. It is not paraphrased from any particular source. It therefore belongs to common knowledge.

Generally, if a student writes while looking at a source or while looking at notes taken from a source, a footnote should be given.

Whenever any idea is taken from a specific work, even when the student writes the idea entirely in his own words, there must be a footnote giving credit to the author responsible for the idea. Of course methods of documentation vary, and it is possible to cite in the text itself rather than a footnote. The point is that the student should give credit when credit is due and that he should give the credit in a manner specified by the instructor or the department.

The student is entirely responsible for knowing and following the principles of paraphrasing. "In paraphrasing you are expressing the ideas of another writer in your own words. A good paraphrase preserves the sense of the original, but not the form. It does not retain the sentence patterns and merely substitute synonyms for the original words, nor does it retain the original words and merely alter the sentence patterns. It is a genuine restatement. Invariably it should be briefer than the source."*

* Floyd C. Watkins, William B. Dillingham, and Edwin T. Martin, Practical English Handbook, 3rd ed. (Boston, 1970), p. 245.

Any direct quotation should be footnoted (or documented in any acceptable fashion). Even when a student uses only one unusual or key word from a passage, that word should be quoted. If a brief phrase that is common is used as it occurs in a source, the words should be in quotation marks. The source of every quotation should be given in a footnote or in the prescribed manner.

It is of course the prerogative of the instructor to prescribe that no secondary sources may be used for particular papers.

A student who uses a secondary source must remember that the very act of looking up a book or an article should be considered as a pledge that the student will use the material according to the principles stated above.