Why is it in our best interest to have an Honor Code?

The Honor Code is based on the belief in the integrity and maturity of every member of Wellesley College. The honor system promotes academic honesty and community trust, and provides every student at Wellesley with unique privileges. Some of these privileges are self-scheduled exams, take-home exams, open-stack libraries, and the dorm guest policy.

Are faculty bound by the Honor Code?

No. Honor Code Council only hears cases concerning students. Professors are expected to uphold the spirit of the Honor Code in their classrooms as well as in their work. Students should recognize that professors violating principles of academic integrity face consequences which extend beyond the Wellesley College community.

Does the Honor Code apply to activities off-campus?

Wellesley students are expected to abide by the Honor Code whether they are on or off-campus.  In addition, students are expected to follow the rules of the setting in which they are located. Students must keep in mind that they are representatives of Wellesley College and that they must conduct themselves in such a manner that reflects the high standards of this institution.

How much can students talk about exams?

Wellesley has a unique system of self-scheduled, unsupervised exams. In order to ensure that each student experiences equitable testing conditions students are barred from speaking about an exam with any student. This includes discussion of the difficulty, content, format, or any other aspect of the exam. The standard response to questions regarding an exam is, "It's over." However, as common sense dictates, two or more students who have taken the same exam may discuss that exam provided they are not with or around other Wellesley or MIT students.

Who is responsible for enforcing the Honor Code?

Every member of the Wellesley College community is responsible for upholding the Honor Code whether they are students, faculty members, or administrative staff members. If individuals have any questions, they are encouraged to contact the Chief Justice, the Honor Code Administrative Coordinator, the members of Honor Code Council, or the Dean of Students.

How does confidentiality fit in with the Honor Code?

All cases brought in front of Honor Code Council remain confidential. Strict measures are taken in order to ensure that the least number of individuals are aware of the cases.

Who is notified of Honor Code charges and violations?

When a student is charged with an Honor Code violation, the Honor Code Administrative Coordinator notifies that student's Class Dean. That Class Dean also receives notification from the Honor Code Administrative Coordinator of case outcomes.

The Honor Code Administrative Coordinator runs checks for the Pre-Law and the Pre-Med School Advisors.  These advisors are notified when applicants to Law and Medical School have Honor Code violations.  Applicants are to report these violations on their applications.

The Honor Code Administrative Coordinator runs checks of applicants for Career Education for internships. Career Education is notified when an applicant has an Honor Code violation.

Within the bounds of these notifications, a student's disciplinary record is confidential. Honor Code violations are not noted on student transcripts unless involving suspension, dismissal or expulsion from the College.

What is the most common violation and what is its penalty?

The most common Honor Code violation is plagiarism and the penalties usually range from failure on the assignment to failure in the course depending on the circumstances and intent.

At various times during the semester, particularly in exam period, students can feel a great deal of academic pressure. Since you cannot always talk with other students, to whom can you talk? The student's obligation not to discuss exams she has taken should not deter her from coping with academic pressure. Your Residential Director, the Stone Center or a member of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life are all support resources available to you. Also, APT advisors and the PLTC are available to help students academically during the semester. Remember, meeting with a professor can often clear up problems before they seem unmanageable.

If you have any other questions that were not answered on this website, please contact the Chief Justice.