About the Honor Code

The Harvard College Honor Code is the result of five years of work by representatives from all parts of the academic community, including deans, teaching fellows, House Masters, faculty members, students, and administrative staff. Students from six classes (2012-2017) served on the Committee during the drafting process. This work began with the formation of the Committee on Academic Integrity in 2010, which was convened to study the academic environment at Harvard. 

The Academic Integrity Committee explored the academic environment on campus including surveying faculty, students, and teaching fellows. The Committee members also reviewed academic literature and studied Honor Code systems at other institutions. This work led to a preliminary recommendation that Harvard College adopt an Honor Code. A drafting subcommittee, of whom a majority of members were students, developed a comprehensive Honor Code and plan for an Honor Council composed of students, faculty, administrators, and teaching fellows. The proposed Honor Code system also included students as Student Academic Integrity Fellows (SAIFs) to provide guidance and support to students under investigation by the Honor Council.

During the 2013-14 academic year, the members of the Academic Integrity Committee held town halls and created a forum for online discussion for faculty and students to collect feedback on the proposed Honor Code. In the Spring of 2014, the Committee presented a final proposal for an Honor Code to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and to the Undergraduate Council. Both the faculty and the students voted to adopt an Honor Code for Harvard College. The legislation provided for the creation of the Honor Council to adjudicate cases concerned with potential violations of the Honor Code and rules on academic dishonesty. The Committee further prepared legislation for the Honor Code Affirmation, which was approved by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in April 2015.

The Honor Code is in effect for the academic community of Harvard College beginning in Fall 2015. The Academic Integrity Committee will continue to work to support the Honor Code and Honor Council.