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What Is Academic Integrity?

Integrity defined

Integrity is "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change." (Source: "integrity" Cambridge Dictionaries Online, 28 June, 2011)

Integrity is a core value closely linked with virtue, honesty, and honour. A person of integrity strives to always find and make the "right" decision.

The University of Waterloo has six Values of Integrity, adopted from the International Center for Academic Integrity:

  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Fairness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Courage

Why is integrity important to the University of Waterloo?

Integrity is everywhere at the University of Waterloo. Whether learning, teaching, researching or working, members of our community must conduct themselves honestly. Acting with integrity reinforces the university’s reputation as a leading teaching and research institution.

As a post-secondary institution, the value of the degrees the university awards deserving students at the end of their studies is dependent on the legitimacy of the education these students earn. A degree is valueless without integrity.

When does integrity matter most?

Integrity includes every aspect of your university experience.

The concept of integrity is important to

  • Academics
  • Research
  • Athletics
  • Campus recreation
  • Residence life
  • Co-operative education

and elsewhere across campus.

What is the difference between academic integrity and research integrity?

Both adhere to the 5 values of integrity (honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility), EXCEPT research additionally "has its own externally imposed reporting and investigational obligations", and ethics approval must be obtained before research can begin with human subjects.  For further information please review the FAQ on Research Misconduct, the Integrity in Research Administrative Guidelines or visit the Office of Research Ethics (ORE).

Did you know?

  • The university’s athletics department strongly abides by the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) code of conduct. This code of conduct supports fair play, equity, responsibility, integrity, and excellence both athletically and academically.
  • Co-operative education’s co-op student manual states: Failure to follow [Waterloo’s policies,] act with integrity and honour your responsibilities could result in a "Failed Work Term" decision for the relevant term, a delay in graduation, or [being required] to withdraw from co-op. (8.10)