CBE Department Policy on Academic Misconduct

Department Policy on Academic Misconduct: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

A deep commitment to academic integrity is the foundation of scholarship and is paramount to our reputation as a world-class department. Undergraduate, master’s and PhD students in CBE are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic values. UC Berkeley CBE has a zero-tolerance policy on academic misconduct, and violating this policy will lead to serious penalties including dismissal from the program.

Examples of academic misconduct in coursework include plagiarizing portions of a document, using illegal references and leaking them to the class (e.g. solution manuals from previous years), submitting work that is the direct output of a language model (e.g. Chat-GPT), seeking help from online forums (e.g. CourseHero or Chegg). While you are encouraged to seek help from your peers, work together in groups and refer to external sources (e.g. other textbooks/papers/theses), all instances must be clearly acknowledged and cited appropriately in your submitted work. The final submission must be your own work.  If language models have been used to compose parts of the text and/or refine it, it must be acknowledged explicitly.

In the context of thesis research, laboratory courses, and capstone projects academic misconduct additionally encompasses fabrication and alteration of data, theft of intellectual property, sabotaging another person or group’s efforts, or alterations of university documents.

If you are found to be involved in a breach of academic conduct, your instructor or advisor will notify you about the following course of action (see below). For more information, refer to the Center for Student Conduct Academic Integrity web page.

  1. Any incident will be brought to the attention of the CBE Chair and appropriate authorities, and communicated to the Center for Student Conduct at the campus level. The authorities may include the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs and the Undergraduate Education Committee (in case of UGs, including exchange students) and the Graduate Vice Chair and the Dean of the College of Chemistry (in the case of graduate students).   
  2. The instructor may take actions including:
    • Requiring repetition of the course work
    • Assigning a "zero" grade to the subject work, additional penalties on overall course grade and, for serious offenses (such as academic misconduct on an exam), assigning an F grade to the course. The recommended action for academic misconduct on examinations, or projects is assigning an F grade to the course.
  3. The instructor will inform the Center for Student Conduct of the incident using a Faculty Disposition Form.
  4. For undergraduate students, a first violation may be resolved through academic penalties in the class and a warning from campus. The first violation will likely not reflect on the student record, although this will depend upon the seriousness of the violation. A repeat violation will likely result in serious sanctions including academic probation and/or suspension. A third violation will result in a dismissal from the program.
  5. Graduate students are expected to adhere to higher standards. Therefore, a first-time violation may generally result in a suspension and will be registered on their academic record, consistent with CSC Guidelines. A second violation will likely result in a dismissal from the program.
  6. In each case of academic misconduct, the instructors must retain copies of any written evidence or observation notes. The student should be made aware of the right of the student to either accept responsibility and agree to the sanctions imposed by the instructor, to appeal to a grievance committee instituted by the Chair or to have the matter resolved by the Center for Student Conduct.