Violation Levels | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

Violation Levels

Any violation of academic integrity is subject to an appropriate penalty. Violations at Pepperdine University are classified into four levels according to the nature of the infraction. For each level of violation, a corresponding set of sanctions is recommended. The Academic Integrity Committee and the office of the Dean of Seaver College are charged with using these guidelines as general rules of practice for the academic community in matters relating to the assignment of violation level and appropriate sanction.


1. Level One
Level One violations may occur because of inexperience or lack of knowledge of principles of academic integrity. These violations are likely to involve a small fraction of the total course work, are not extensive, and/or occur on a minor assignment. Cases involving Level One violations are primarily viewed as "teaching opportunities." Therefore, they are to be administered by the instructor in consultation with the student and subsequently reported to the AIC chair. In cases where the student disagrees with the sanction imposed, the student may appeal the case to the AIC. Level One violations include (but are not limited to) the following examples:

1A. Working with another student on a laboratory or other homework assignment when such work is prohibited.

1B. Failing to footnote or give proper acknowledgment in an extremely limited section of an assignment. This includes changing some words but copying whole phrases, copying words from a source but only marking some of those words as a quotation, paraphrasing without attribution, copying the syntactical or organizational structure of another writer, using unique or apt phrases from another writer, or failure to use quotation marks to cite a passage.

1C. Engaging in any of the following (or similar) activities during an examination when prohibited: talking, having notes visible, leaving the exam room without permission, looking at another's paper, failing to stop working when time is called.

1D. Committing other minor or unintentional infractions of academic integrity.

The recommended sanctions for violations at Level One are:
i) Consultation with a Writing Center tutor and/or
ii) Completion of an assigned paper or research project on a relevant topic, and/or
iii) Submission of a rewritten assigned paper, and/or
iv) Completion of a make-up assignment at a more difficult level than the original assignment, and/or
v) Receipt of a zero for the original assignment.

Records of students who commit Level One offenses will be maintained in the Seaver Dean's Offices until graduation, following which these records will be expunged.

A second instance of a Level One violation constitutes an automatic Level Two or higher violation.

2. Level Two
Level Two violations are characterized by dishonesty of a more serious nature or by dishonesty that affects a more significant aspect or portion of the course work. Cases involving Level Two violations are still primarily viewed as "teaching opportunities" and are therefore to be administered by the instructor in consultation with the student and subsequently reported to the AIC chair. In cases where the student disagrees with either the violation or the sanction imposed, the student may appeal the case to the AIC. Level Two violations include (but are not limited to) the following examples:

2A. Using significant portions of information for an assignment without acknowledging the sources or the collaborators.

2B. Giving or receiving assistance to/from others, such as help with research, statistical analysis, computer programming, or field data collection that constitutes an essential element in the undertaking without acknowledging such assistance in the paper, project, or assignment.

2C. Giving or receiving unpermitted assistance on exams.

2D. Using unauthorized materials during an exam.

2E. Quoting directly or paraphrasing, to a moderate extent, without acknowledging the source.

2F. Submitting the same work or major portions thereof to satisfy the requirements of more than one course without permission from the instructor.

2G. Collaborating before or during an exam to develop methods of exchanging information and implementation thereof.

2H. Removing posted or reserved material, or preventing other students from having access to it.

2I. Providing false excuses to postpone tests or due dates.

The recommended sanction for Level Two violations is a Level One sanction and/or the following:


i) Course grade that is lowered one or more grade levels, and/or
ii) Course grade of F, and/or
iii) Placement on University Probation for one or more semesters. See the Sanctions and Expectations for Student Leaders sections in the Student Handbook for the consequences associated with University Probation. Students on University Probation also are ineligible to participate in International Programs.
Instructors and the AIC committee may exhibit discretion in determining the appropriate sanction for a Level Two violation based upon the severity of the violation.


All records of students who commit Level Two offenses will be maintained permanently in the Seaver Dean's Office.


A second instance of a Level Two violation constitutes an automatic Level Three or higher violation.

3. Level Three
Level Three violations include dishonesty that affects a major or essential portion of work done to meet course requirements, or involves premeditation, or is preceded by one or more violations at Levels One and Two. All cases involving Level Three violations are heard by the Academic Integrity Committee. Level Three violations include (but are not limited to) the following examples:

3A. Committing any premeditated Level Two violation involving a major portion of coursework.

3B. Taking an exam for another student.

3C. Altering an exam and submitting it for re-grading.

3D. Use, without proper attribution, of a paper or major sections of a work obtained from the Internet.

3E. Presenting the work of another as one's own.

3F. Permitting another to present one's work as their own.

3G. Buying or selling unauthorized aid on examinations, papers, or grades.

3H. Offering or accepting bribes related to academic work.

3I. Fabricating data by inventing or deliberately altering material (this includes citing "sources" that are not, in fact, sources).

3J. Translating work from one language into another and submitting as one's own work.

3K. Lying to AIC members during an investigation or hearing.

3L. Sabotaging another student's work through actions designed to prevent the student from successfully completing an assignment.

The sanction typically to be sought for all Level Three violations is a Level Two Sanction and/or suspension from the University for one or more semesters. All records of students who commit Level Three offenses will be maintained permanently in the Seaver Dean's Office.

4. Level Four

Level Four violations represent the most serious breaches of intellectual honesty and academic integrity.

All Level Four cases are heard by the Academic Integrity Committee. Level Four violations include (but are not limited to) the following examples:

4A. All academic infractions committed after return from suspension for a previous academic integrity violation.

4B. Stealing an examination from a professor or from a University office.

4C. Falsifying a transcript to secure entry into the University or change the record of work done at the University or elsewhere.

4D. Falsifying medical records.

4E. Falsifying any official University documents by mutilation, addition, or deletion.

The typical sanction for a Level Four violation is permanent expulsion from the University. Such cases will results in the permanent notation of "Academic Disciplinary Expulsion" on the student's transcript.