PA Academic Dishonesty (Integrity) Policy

(ARC-PA Standard B1.05)

Effective Date: 7/1/2017


The University is an academic community and expects its students to have a commitment to academic integrity through serious observance of standards for academic honesty and respect. A university can function properly only when its members adhere to clearly 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 to learn is dependent upon individual and collective conduct to permit the pursuit and exchange of knowledge and opinion. Faculty have the responsibility to create an atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere includes an orderly testing room and sufficient safeguards to inhibit dishonesty. Students have the responsibility to rely on their knowledge and resources in the evaluation process. The trust developed in the maintenance of academic standards is necessary for the fair evaluation of all students.

Therefore, it is the intention of the UNR Med Physician Assistant Studies Program to assist learners in developing a mindset of maintaining academic integrity at all levels of progress throughout the program.

Integrity is the quality of consistency 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 policies in the UNR Med PA Studies Program Student Handbook, including those pertaining to 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.


Academic Dishonesty: A student may receive academic and disciplinary sanctions for cheating, plagiarism or other attempts to obtain or earn grades under false pretenses.

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, visual 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 of 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.

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.

Intellectual Honesty: Is an applied method of problem-solving, characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in a number of different ways:

  • One's personal 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;
  • References, or earlier work, are acknowledged where possible, and plagiarism is avoided.

Plagiarism: defined as (1) the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit; (2) the submission of ideas, processes, results or words not originating with the author and developed specifically for the work at hand without the appropriate credit being given; or (3) assisting in the act of plagiarism by allowing one's work to be used as described above. Any ideas, processes, results, or words not originating with the author and developed specifically for the work at hand should be credited appropriately.

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 copyrighted material is not permitted.

Use of Social Media: Students are prohibited from posting any information about patients, other students, faculty, or preceptors on any social networking site (e.g. Facebook). Doing so is a violation of the PA Studies Program's standards of professional behavior and subject to disciplinary action. Faculty who use social media do not interface with students in the PA Studies Program (e.g. faculty do not "friend" students on Facebook).

Recording of PA Studies Program Activities: Students are strictly prohibited from photographing or recording any activity that occurs at clinical rotation sites. Such actions may be illegal and are cause for 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 with which they will be entrusted during their training in the program. Students must adhere to the above standards.

This policy is consistent with the UNR Policy 6502 and can be accessed at:   

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.

Title 2 -Chapter 10 can be located at:

Rev. 6/21/19