Plagiarism Policy
Author: Zoe Plaxco

In 61B, there are four possible sanctions in response to academic dishonesty, divided into two categories: Point Penalties and Office of Student Conduct Referrals.

Point Penalties

Office of Student Conduct Referrals

The following section describes what each of these mean. The section after that describes the process by which sanctions are assigned.

Description of Sanctions

Failing Grade (Grade Penalty Type 1)

This grade penalty is typically assessed if you cheat on an exam or have two or more violations on projects, hws, or labs. However, it can be assessed in other circumstances as described in “Process” portion of this document.

Failing the course will impact your GPA. However, if you retake 61B, your original grade will be replaced with your new grade. However, even if you retake the course, the failing grade will be factored into your 61A/61B(L)/70 GPA for purposes of declaring the major, effectively rendering it impossible to enter the major.

If you are already on academic probation or are in danger of losing some sort of scholarship or financial aid, then unfortunately this may significantly impact your life. However, dismissal is not permanent. If this is your situation, please contact the staff immediately so we can advise you on how to proceed.

Point Penalty (Grade Penalty Type 2)

This grade penalty is given for plagiarism on a HW, lab, or project. For HW and lab, the penalty is a score of zero. For projects, the penalty is a negative grade.

Non-Reportable Warning (NRW) (Warning Type 1)

The Office of Student Conduct will issue a formal warning to you that “violation of specified University policies or campus regulations has occurred and that continued or repeated violations of University policies or campus regulations may be cause for further disciplinary action.”

Such warnings are completely private, and will not be observable to anybody outside the OSC, or as they put it “records of non-reportable warnings are maintained only for in-house reference in case of subsequent violations.” This warning will not affect your ability to declare yourself as a CS major, and will not appear on any documents (including transcripts, financial aid, a letter to your parents) whatsoever.

Such warnings are called Non-Reportable Warnings (NRW). A second NRW in 61B or another course will likely result in temporary or even permanent dismissal from the university.

See the code of conduct for more.

What a Reportable Warning Means (Warning Type 2)

Similar to a non-reportable warning, except that it is “maintained as part of the student’s conduct record.” We are not sure who has access to these. Please contact the office of student conduct for more.

The Process

In order to resolve each case, we must establish two things: The facts of your case, and the appropriate sanction (if any). The 61B academic dishonesty process follows up to three phases, described below.

Phase 1: Plea Bargaining

In order to streamline the process, we provide a low-friction way for you to admit guilt, with clear sanctions. We provide a form that you can fill out to provide your input on the case:

To determine what plea to enter, please review the course collaboration policies. Feel free to contact us at for advice on pleas.

For any case involving a group of students with matching code, the pleas of all participants will be rejected if there is no student who accepts guilt for plagiarism (option 2). In other words, if everybody claims option 1, we will invalidate all of these pleas (and thus re-enter phase 1).

If one student in a plagiarism case requests adjudication, then all members involved might need to meet at once with the instructors to establish the facts of the case.

If you are truly believe yourself to be innocent, please submit a request of type 3 above (denoted P3 in the flowchart). We are very serious about ensuring that nobody is wrongly penalized!

If you aren’t sure which plea to enter, please email the instructors for additional information.

Phase 2: Internal Adjudication

If you request adjudication (plea 3 or 4), we will hold a meeting between you and ALL involved parties at the same time. During this meeting, we will attempt to establish the facts of your case, as well as an appropriate sanction.

We ask that if you come to adjudication, that you conduct yourself honestly. Attempts to be deceptive will be met very harshly.

From here, there are four potential results for each person, determined independently.

Phase 3: External Adjudication

If we are unable to come to an agreement in phase 2, we will refer your case to the office of student conduct. They will conduct their own investigation, and resolve your case through their own process.

Note that censures are likely to be more severe if the OSC determines you are guilty, possibly including a Reportable Warning, which will become a part of your official student record.


The process is described in the flowcharts below. A NRW is a non-reportable warning from the OSC. “Plea validation” refers to the process of ensuring that not everyone in the group has claimed “option 1”, which is impossible.


We hope this process is fair and encourages you to establish a more solid foundation as you move forwards with your future in CS.

This policy is subject to minor revisions and should not be considered set in stone.