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Tisch School of the Arts Academic Integrity Policy

Statement of Principle

The core of the educational experience at the Tisch School of the Arts is the creation of original academic and artistic work by students for the critical review of faculty members.  It is therefore of the utmost importance that students at all times provide their instructors with an accurate sense of their current abilities and knowledge in order to receive appropriate constructive criticism and advice.  Any attempt to evade that essential, transparent transaction between instructor and student through plagiarism or cheating is educationally self-defeating and a grave violation of Tisch School of the Arts community standards. 


Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s original work as if it were your own.  More specifically, plagiarism is to present as your own:

  • a sequence of words quoted without quotation marks
  • a paraphrased passage from another writer’s work
  • ideas, sound recordings, computer data, or images composed or created by someone else.

Students are expected to build their own work on that of other people, just as professional artists, scholars, and writers do.  Giving credit to the creator of the work you are incorporating into your own work is an act of integrity; plagiarism, on the other hand, is a form of fraud.  Proper acknowledgment and correct citation constitute the difference. 

Cheating is an attempt to deceive a faculty member into believing that your mastery of a subject or discipline is greater than it really is by a range of dishonest methods.  Examples of cheating include but are not limited to:

  • using notes, books, electronic media, or electronic communications in an exam without permission
  • talking with fellow students or looking at another person’s work during an exam
  • submitting substantially the same work in multiple courses without the explicit prior permission of the instructors
  • submitting work previously created for another course without the instructor’s knowledge and approval
  • fabricating a citation or using a false citation
  • purchasing a paper or hiring someone else to write a paper for you
  • having someone take an exam for you, or taking an exam for someone else
  • allowing another student to present your work as his or her own
  • altering or forging academic documents, including but not limited to admissions materials and medical excuses
  • unauthorized collaboration on work intended to be done individually.

Investigation of Alleged Violations

If an instructor has reason to believe that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, he or she should meet with the student as soon as reasonably possible to present the evidence of the alleged violation and hear the student’s response.  When necessary, the meeting can be conducted by telephone.  If the alleged violation is discovered after the term has ended, the faculty member should enter a grade of incomplete (“I”) until the matter is resolved.  Once an investigation is begun, the student may not withdraw from the course.

All confirmed violations of the Academic Integrity Policy must be reported in writing to the department chair and the associate dean for student affairs.  The written report should include details of the offense, the student’s response, the faculty member’s conclusions, and any penalties imposed (see below).


Penalties for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy may range from being required to redo an assignment to dismissal from the School.  For example, if after meeting with the student the instructor concludes that a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy did occur, he or she may require the student to completely redo the assignment; assign a grade of F for the assignment and factor the failing grade into the student’s final grade for the course; or assign a grade of F for the course, although this must be done in consultation with the department chair.

The associate dean for student affairs may initiate further disciplinary action against a student found in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, depending on the severity of the violation and whether the student has had prior disciplinary violations.  Penalties may range from a formal warning to disciplinary probation to suspension or dismissal from the School.  (For further information about discipline at the Tisch School of the Arts, see the section entitled “Discipline” in the Tisch School of the Arts Policies & Procedures Handbook.)

For Students: How to Avoid Breaches of Academic Integrity

Violations of academic integrity can be either intentional or unintentional; however, even unintentional violations are subject to disciplinary action.  How, then, can you avoid even unintentional breaches of academic integrity?

  • Learn how to cite sources properly.  There are several excellent guides to proper citation available in the NYU Bookstore which you should purchase and read; some are listed below under “Additional Resources.”  Find out in advance which citation style your instructor prefers, if it is not already indicated in the course syllabus. 
  • When in doubt as to whether to cite or not cite a source, the rule of thumb is to make the citation.  Your instructor will tell you if you are being overly scrupulous, but let him or her decide.
  • Take careful and complete notes while you are conducting research, and hold onto your notes in case your work’s integrity is challenged.  Also keep copies of successive drafts of papers or versions of artistic work.
  • Make sure you understand your instructor’s expectations about collaboration in the course or on a given assignment.  Do not assume that because collaboration was permitted on one assignment it is permitted on another.  And do not assume that Professor A’s standards are the same as Professor B’s.  Be sure you understand what “collaboration” means to your instructor.
  • If you are uncertain about the assignment you have been given, ask the instructor for clarification.
  • If you have run into unforeseen obstacles in completing your assignment and need more time, ask the instructor.
  • Manage your time!  Experience shows that many students who committed breaches of academic integrity were tempted to do so when the due-date for an assignment was approaching, or the time for an exam was approaching, and they were unprepared.  If you need help in improving your time management skills, consider enrolling in one of the time management workshops offered by the Counseling and Behavioral Health Service, or read one of the time management resources listed below.

Additional Resources

Turabian, Kate L., et al. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 6th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

University of Chicago Press. The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers. 14th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Modern Language Association of America. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York, MLA, 2008.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009.

Allen, David. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. New York: Penguin Books, 2001.

Dodd, Pamela and Doug Sundheim. The 25 Best Time Management Tools & Techniques. Ann Arbor: Peak Performance Press, Inc., 2005.

Harvard Business Essentials. Time Management: Increase Your Personal Productivity and Effectiveness. Boston: Harvard Business School, 2005.

Berk, Ronald A. The Five Minute Time Manager for College Students. Coventry Press, 2009.