Academic Misconduct

The University of Waterloo takes academic integrity very seriously. It is important for the reputation of the university and is the foundation of a high-quality education. Students are expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing offences, and to take responsibility for their actions.

If you have questions, ask your instructor, the Associate Dean of your Faculty, or the Office of Academic Integrity

Policy 71 - Student Discipline for Academic and Non-Academic Misconduct

Policy 71 is the University of Waterloo's policy on student discipline for academic and non-academic misconduct. Policy 71 has information on:

  • Academic and non-academic integrity expectations
  • Offences
  • Procedures for handling allegations of misconduct
  • Discipline procedures
  • Undergraduate and graduate Penalties
  • Reporting

Watch an Introduction to Policy 71 on Youtube.

Other integrity-related policies

Policy 33 - Ethical behaviour—addresses the general principles of ethical behaviour, the specific principles of human rights, provides information if you encounter violations and provides a list of primary on-campus resources for further information or advice.

Policy 69 - Conflict of interest—details the university’s policy on conflict of interest and provides examples of these cases including conflict to commitment, inappropriate involvement in appointment processes, favouring of outside interests for personal gain, inappropriate use of information, and inappropriate use of university personnel, resources, or assets.

Policy 70 - Student petitions and grievances—outlines the principles that apply to faculty, staff, and students related to academic freedom and procedural fairness, describes the steps required to petition for exception to academic regulations and outlines the grievance, appeals, and reporting procedures.

Policy 72 - Student appeals—addresses the procedures students must follow to refute a decision made regarding Policy 71; a student can appeal only within 10 working days of receipt of decision. Also includes: bases for appealing a case, appeal forms, details on appeal process.

Policy 73 - Intellectual property rights—provides information for students, faculty, and staff related to intellectual property including ownership (typically, ownership of IP created in the course of teaching/research belong to the creator), authorship, collaborative research, copyrights and patents (including data management and teaching materials), default revenue sharing systems, and dispute resolution.

Academic Offence Definitions and Examples

For a comprehensive list of academic and non-academic offences, review Policy 71.

Unauthorized collaboration: co­-operation or collaboration with another student/other students in the completion of an academic assignment, in whole or in part, beyond what the instructor has indicated is acceptable; failure to follow the instructor’s directions regarding the level of group work that is permissible for a particular assignment. Examples include students working together completing an individual assignment; a tutor writes portions of an essay for a student.

Plagiarism: presenting, whether intentionally or not, the ideas, expression of ideas or work of others (whether attributed or anonymous) as one’s own in any work submitted whether or not for grading purposes. Examples include failing to acknowledge sources in an assignment; failing to cite oneself when permission has been given to make use of one’s earlier work.

Unauthorized aids or assistance: to use or possess an unauthorized aid; to use, obtain, or solicit unauthorized assistance; or to use or obtain prohibited material in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work. Examples include looking up answers on a phone during an exam; using an unauthorized cheat sheet during an online quiz.

Misrepresentation: lying, submitting or presenting false research or credentials, or other documents or misrepresenting material facts for any academic purpose. Examples include altering research or lab results; altering documents or certificates.

Theft of intellectual property: the possession or use of another person’s intellectual property without that person's permission or knowledge. Examples include unauthorized use of an instructor’s, a TA’s, or the institution’s intellectual property; secretly accessing another’s work and copying information from it.

Faculty Contacts


Associate Dean (Undergraduate Students)
Richard Eibach
Office: PAS 3053
Telephone: 519-888-4567 x48790

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies)
Anna Esselment
Office: HH 304
Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext. 32190


Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies)
Jason Grove
Office: E6 4008
Telephone: 519-888-4567, ext. 31640

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies)
Siva Sivoththaman
Office: E7 7416
Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext.43376


Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies)
Johanna Wandel
Office: EV1-326,
Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext. 48669

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies)
Peter Deadman
Office: EV1 323
Telephone: 519-888-4567, ext. 33403


Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies)
Leeann Ferries
Office: BMH 3118
Telephone: 519-888-4567, ext. 46350

Acting Associate Dean (Graduate Studies)
Philip Bigelow
Office: BMH 3117
Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 48491


Assistant Dean of Students
David Harmsworth
Office: MC 6441
Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext. 47205

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies)
Bertrand Guenin
Office: MC 6306
Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext. 43641


Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Policy
Cynthia Richard
Office: PHR 5006

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies)
Martin Ross
Office: EIT 2045
Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext.38171

Centre for Academic Policy Support (CAPS)

The Centre for Academic Policy Support (CAPS) is a confidential student support service run by students, for students. The CAPS Coordinator is trained to assist fellow Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals.

I've been charged with an academic integrity offence. What do I do?

Be honest.

If you are charged with an act of academic dishonesty, it is important to tell the truth. If there are what you feel to be extenuating circumstances, put them forward at each step in the process. Above all, learn from your mistakes, and take corrective action for the future.

You may want to discuss the allegation(s) with your instructor to ensure a thorough understanding of how they believe you may have violated the University of Waterloo policy. Even if the situation is resolved informally, your instructor is required to report all violations to the Associate Dean for your Faculty.

Read the University of Waterloo Policy 70 (Student petitions and grievances), Policy 71 (Student discipline), and Policy 72 (Student appeals), they will provide you with information regarding the procedures that will take place.

What to expect:

  • to be fully informed of the charge(s) against you and the evidence
  • the right to explain and/or defend your actions
  • the right to appeal the verdict
  • fair discipline relative to the frequency and severity of the offence—read Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties to gain a better understanding of what to expect disciplinarily

I suspect a student has committed an academic offence. What do I do?

Any member of the University who has reason to believe that an academic offence has been committed by a student has a responsibility to report the matter promptly to the instructor of the course or to the Associate Dean of the Faculty. A teaching assistant is required to report to both the instructor and the Associate Dean of the Faculty. The Associate Dean will investigate and render a decision or refer the matter to the appropriate authority.

How reporting helps:

  1. It helps the University of Waterloo monitor our educational programs to better target offending students. The majority of academic integrity infractions occur through ignorance and it is our goal to assist our students to prevent violations from occurring in the first place.
  2. It is vital that students are aware that the odds are not on their side; if they cheat or otherwise violate academic integrity policy, they will be caught, and there will be repercussions for their actions.
  3. If a student is cheating in one course, they are likely repeating this behaviour in another course. By reporting the behaviour, the faculty member is helping the student as early identification will help identify repeat offenders and/or assist students earlier.
  4. Penalties are appropriate to the action; a first offence committed in ignorance is dealt with more compassionately than a repeat offender.
  5. You are personally demonstrating academic integrity by reporting offenders and are leading by example.

A record is kept by the Secretariat of infractions and is available on their website under: University Committee on Student Appeals .