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Administrative Sanctioning Guidelines

Purpose of the Guidelines

The intent of the Administrative Sanctioning Guidelines (“Guidelines”) is to create a structured and consistent approach driven by an educational agenda. The point system emphasizes desired behaviors while also creating a system in which decision-making is transparent. This provides students and faculty an indication of likely sanctions to occur, while still allowing for professional judgment by our professional administrators. Our hope is that this clarity might guide process and policy discussions with students and help faculty understand expected outcomes of the process.

The Guidelines separate out Academic Integrity (AI) Training as educational opportunities rather than as disciplinary actions. All students who violate academic integrity standards will be required to complete AI Training. Disciplinary actions (i.e., warning, probation, suspensions and dismissal) will be imposed based on point value and professional judgement of professional staff. The point value system stems from objective criteria, rather than subjective considerations like intent. These objective criteria can then become the basis for extending preventative education to students, using the guidelines as a framework.

The purpose of this focus is not only to provide an objective baseline for determining disciplinary actions, but also to provide a basis for counseling students on the importance of academic integrity and the increasing seriousness of violating integrity as they progress in their academic and professional careers.

Note: In response to an academic integrity violation, an academic sanction can also be imposed by the faculty. These guidelines do not apply to academic sanctions, however, there is faculty-to-faculty advice on assigning academic sanctions (PDF).

Updates to the Guidelines

These guidelines are effective September 20, 2021. Since then, the following updates have been made:

  • November 3, 2022 - Minor updates were made and approved
  • January 17, 2023 - Clarified definition of contract cheating
  • September 25, 2023 - Updated "Notes"

Download a copy of the Administrative Sanctioning Guidelines (PDF).

Determining Disciplinary Actions

Use the following 3 criteria to determine the point value of an academic integrity violation. The criteria become a transparent, consistent starting point for the sanctioning process. The intent of the scoring process is not to replace the judgment of the university’s professional administrators, but to provide guidance to ensure consistent and fair sanctioning across the general campus.

Criteria #1: Violation History

The guidelines support the principle that students with a history of academic integrity violations warrant a more serious disciplinary response. A violation is determined to have occurred when a student previously accepted responsibility or was held responsible for an academic integrity violation. 

Points based on Violation History
Number of Violations Points
First Violation 0 points
Second Violation 150 points
Third Violation 300 points

Criteria #2: Type of Violations

The guidelines support the principle that more serious violations warrant more serious disciplinary actions. The behaviors listed below are just examples of behaviors, but are not exhaustive. The professional analyzing the case has professional judgment in assessing the violation type based on the information provided.

Points based on Violation Type
Violation Type Points
Minor Violations include, but are not limited to: Unauthorized collaboration; copying a portion of another student's assignment; looking online for a solution to an assignment question and copying that solution/answer (in part or total); submitting a portion of the same material more than once without prior authorization; giving your own academic work to others when doing so wasn't explicitly prohibited; having ubiquitous smart technology (e.g., cell phone, apple watch) accessible during an exam; attendance/participation points misrepresentation; limited plagiarism (paraphrasing or verbatim copying from sources without attribution when what was copied wasn't a critical aspect (key, central ideas) of the assignment and/or wasn't more than 50% of the assignment) 50 points
Moderate Violations include, but are not limited to: Minor violations on multiple assignments; low-stakes test (<=10% of the course grade) cheating, which includes but is not limited to copying from another or allowing another to copy or  having an aid directly related to the exam (e.g., "cheat sheets"; course related notes; text book; whether electronically or hard copy); copying or plagiarizing on take-home exam; extensive plagiarism (plagiarism when the aspects copied are critical aspects of the assignment and/or constitute more than 50% of the assignment); allowing another (e.g.,friend/ relative/ roommate/ classmate/ tutor/ computer/ artificial intelligence) to edit/ write/ translate one's assignment without acknowledging that help; extensively copying from another student’s assignment or from the web; limited plagiarism that includes false citations) 100 points
Serious Violations include, but are not limited to: Moderate violations on multiple assignments; "entire" paper submitted was not the student’s (i.e., didn’t contract, but copied almost whole thing/handed in another’s paper); exam (>10% of the course grade) cheating (for examples, refer to ‘low-stakes test cheating’ under Moderate); extensive plagiarism that includes false citations 150 points
Egregious Violations include, but are not limited to: Serious violations on multiple assignments; falsification/fabrication (e.g., altering a graded assessment and submitting for re-grade; fabricating data for a lab or research assignment; submitting data you didn't yourself collect; lying/ giving a false excuse to miss or receive unfair accommodation on an assessment); fraud (e.g., stealing or fraudulently obtaining answers to an assessment prompt/ exam before submitting the assessment for grading; changing/ helping to change any recorded assignment or course grade on an instructor's or university record; illicitly obtaining an assessment completed by another (without their knowledge) and submitting it (in part or whole) as one's own; submitting fake or false documents (e.g., medical notes; bribery; contract cheating, in which a student arranges to have another person or entity (e.g., artificial intelligence) complete (in part or total) an assessment (e.g., exam, test, quiz, assignment, paper, project, problems) for the student. If the provider is also a student, both students are in violation. Contract cheating includes posting a question (from any type of assessment) or any assessment for another person or entity to answer, no matter the platform (e.g., Chegg, Coursehero, stackflowexchange, discord, wechat) on which the question was posted and no matter if the response is human or machine generated. 200 points

Criteria #3: Academic Level

The guidelines support the principle that students further along in their academic study should be more knowledgeable about academic integrity. 1

Points based on Academic Level
Academic Level Points
Undergraduates 75 points
Masters 125 points
Doctorate 200 points

1. Extension, Exchange and Summer Session Students will generally be categorized as Undergraduates

Determine Disciplinary Actions based on point value

The sanctions assessed by university administration in response to an academic integrity violation include both
Academic Integrity (AI) Training and disciplinary action(s). All students are assigned mandatory Academic Integrity (AI) Training and a $50 AI administrative fee. In addition, the following disciplinary action(s) are imposed based on accumulated points 2:

Disciplinary Actions based on Total Point Value
Total Points Disciplinary Actions
0-150 Warning4
151-200 Probation until Graduation5
201-225 Deferred Quarter Suspension with Integrity Mentorship Program (I.M.P.)6
226-300 Quarter Suspension7, 8
301-375 Year Suspension7
376 + Dismissal7, 9

Per the University of California Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline, other or more serious consequences may be assessed at the discretion of the Appropriate Administrative Authority. In particular, students with a history of violations will usually be given a higher level sanction than previously received, regardless of the total point value accumulated for the violation under consideration (e.g., year suspension is likely if previously suspended for 1 quarter; dismissal is likely if previously suspended for a year or more).


  1. A report of an integrity violation only counts as “history” if student is responsible for previous behavior(s) before the subsequent behavior occurred.
  2. The intent of the scoring process is NOT to replace the professional judgment of university professionals needed in exceptional circumstances, but to ensure consistent and fair sanctioning across campus.
  3. If a student accepts responsibility, the indicated Disciplinary Action can be dropped to the next lowest level (e.g., Probation becomes Warning) based upon the professional judgment of the Resolution AAA or Sanctioning Body
  4. A Warning is not reported out to graduate/professional schools/employers unless a student is responsible for subsequent violations.
  5. Disciplinary Probation is the minimum action if the student was reported for multiple assignments (if the student ought to have reasonably known the behaviors would be a violation) or in multiple courses in the same quarter, or if previously received a Warning.
  6. Deferred Quarter Suspension with IMP is the minimum action if the student was already on Probation for a prior violation. If the student successfully completes IMP and assigned AI Training, the Quarter Suspension can be canceled based upon the professional judgement of the Student's AAA. 
  7. When Suspension or Dismissal is imposed, Disciplinary Probation will also be imposed if not already imposed for a previous violation. A hold will be placed to prevent degree conferral and awarding, as well as the student’s enrollment in UC classes (including concurrent enrollment). A notation will be placed on the student’s transcript for the duration of the suspension/dismissal.
  8. A Quarter Suspension is the minimum disciplinary action if a student already successfully completed IMP for previous violation.
  9. Students are dismissed from the University of California for 50 years. Readmission to the University would require the specific approval of the Chancellor and is rarely granted and only under exceptional circumstances.