PA Academic Dishonesty (Integrity) Policy

(ARC-PA Standard 5th B2.19b-c)

Effective: 5/16/2023


The University is an academic community and expects its students to commit to academic integrity by observing standards for academic honesty and respect. A university can function properly only when its members adhere to established goals and values. Therefore, academic standards are established to ensure that these principles are upheld. 

Specific to the academic pursuits of students, the University of Nevada, Reno, believes the maintenance of academic standards is a joint responsibility of the students and faculty of the University. Freedom to teach and learn depends on individual and collective conduct to permit the pursuit and exchange of knowledge and opinion. Faculty are responsible for creating an atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere includes an orderly testing room and sufficient safeguards to inhibit dishonesty. Students are responsible for relying on their knowledge and resources in the evaluation process. The trust developed in maintaining academic standards is necessary for the fair evaluation of all students.  Therefore, the UNR Med Physician Assistant Studies Program intends to assist learners in developing a mindset of maintaining academic integrity at all levels of progress throughout the program.  Integrity is consistent and steadfast adherence to a defined code of ethics. It includes honesty and soundness of mind and body. Students are expected to demonstrate integrity by following all UNR Med PA Studies Program Student Handbook policies, including those about academic dishonesty and unethical behavior. Physician assistant students are also expected to display the highest ethical standards commensurate with work as a health care professional. These are outlined in the
Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession published by the American Academy of Physician Assistants.


Cheating: For purposes of this policy, cheating is defined as (1) obtaining or providing unauthorized information while executing, completing, or in relation to coursework through verbal or unauthorized use of books, notes, text, and other materials; (2) turning in the same work in more than one class (or when repeating a class), unless permission is received in advance from the instructor; (3) taking an examination for another student, or arranging for another person to take an exam in one's place; (4) altering or changing test answers after submittal for grading; (5) altering or changing grades after grades have been awarded; (6) altering or changing other academic records once these are official; and/or (7) facilitating or permitting any of the above-listed items. 

For purposes of this definition of cheating, the term "unauthorized" is defined as not obtaining direct or explicit approval from the course instructor. For purposes of this definition of cheating, the term "coursework" is defined as an examination, laboratory experience or report, papers, homework or quizzes or any other class assignment or class activity. (UAM Section 6,502 Academic Standards.) Disruptive Behavior: For purposes of this policy, "disruptive behavior" is defined as behavior, including but not limited to the disruption, obstruction or unauthorized interruption of teaching or the learning environment (e.g. repeated outbursts from a student which disrupt the flow of instruction or prevent concentration on the subject taught, failure to cooperate in maintaining classroom decorum, failure to follow course, laboratory or safety rules), unauthorized text messaging, and the continued unauthorized use of any electronic or noise or light emitting device which disturbs others. (UAM Section 6,502 Academic Standards.)  Intellectual Honesty: Is an applied method of problem-solving characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in many different ways: 

  • One's faith or beliefs does not interfere with the pursuit of truth; 
  • Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted, even when such things may contradict one's hypothesis; 
  • Facts are presented in an unbiased manner and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another; 
  • UAM Section 6,502 Academic Standards.)

Additional Considerations

Use of Classroom Materials: copyrighted materials available in class are for educational use only. One copy is permitted per student for educational purposes. Redistribution of the copyrighted material is not permitted. 

Use of Social Media: Students are prohibited from posting information about patients, other students, faculty, staff, or preceptors on any social networking site (e.g. Facebook). Doing so violates the PA Studies Program's standards of professional behavior and is subject to disciplinary action. Faculty and staff who use social media do not interface with students in the PA Studies Program (e.g. faculty/staff do not "friend" students on Facebook.) Recording of PA Studies Program Activities: Students are strictly prohibited from photographing or recording any activity at clinical rotation sites. Such actions may be illegal and cause disciplinary action that may result in dismissal from the PA Studies Program.

Violation of PA Academic Dishonesty (Integrity) Policy

All students are required to adhere to the PA Studies Program Academic Dishonesty (Integrity) Policy in addition to those which govern the physician assistant profession. Physician assistant students must conduct themselves in a highly professional manner consistent with the patient care responsibilities they will be entrusted with during their program training. Students must adhere to the above standards.  

Students may receive academic and disciplinary sanctions for academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, or other attempts to obtain or earn grades under false pretenses. This policy is consistent with the UNR Policy 6502 and can be accessed at
: 6502 academic standards.

Review Process

Students failing to adhere to the standards of this policy will be referred to the PA Student Progress Committee. The PA Student Progress Committee adheres to Title 2 - Nevada System of Higher Education Code Chapter 10: Rules of Conduct and Procedures for Students of the Nevada System of Higher Education.