Students will be asked to affirm their awareness of the Honor Code at various points during the academic semester. The goal of this affirmation is to reinforce the centrality of scholarly integrity to students’ membership in our academic community, as well as to remind students that they have already agreed to adhere to the standards of academic integrity as outlined in the Student Handbook.
The Affirmation will take several forms, depending on the student’s status, and particular assignments.
Freshmen As part of the writing placement process, Freshmen will be asked to respond to the following prompt:
The Harvard College Honor code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you enter this academic community, please write a couple of paragraphs in which you reflect on a time when you had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty. What in that experience do you think will help you uphold the values of the Honor Code as you read, write, study, and learn at Harvard?
In addition, please write a few sentences in response to the following question (your answer may be helpful to your instructors and advisors when they talk with you during the semester): What might you find new or confusing or challenging about these academic expectations?
Responses will be reviewed by Advisors and Expos Preceptors as part of advising conversations. Students will be able to access their statements throughout their time at Harvard and will have the opportunity to update and revise periodically.
All Students 1. During the bi-annual electronic registration process, all students will be asked to read the Honor Code and to type their name as signature, indicating their awareness of the Code.
2. At seated final exams, all students will be asked to read and sign a statement affirming their awareness of the Honor Code. Faculty will be provided with attendance slips that include the affirmation in their exam packets ("I affirm my awareness of the standards of the Harvard College Honor Code."). Faculty will be asked to distribute these slips with the exams and will ask students to sign the affirmation before starting the exam. Students will turn in the slips before starting the exam. Faculty may also have the option of including the affirmation on the printed exam and asking students to sign the affirmation directly there. Faculty may also ask students to hand write the affirmation and sign it directly on their blue book. To see a sample attendance slip, please click here.
3. For final papers and projects, take-home and in-class final exams, and on senior theses, Faculty are asked to request that students include an affirmation statement at the time of submission. The following text is recommended: “I affirm my awareness of the standards of the Harvard College Honor Code.” Faculty are welcome to edit this statement or to develop their own affirmation.
For a PDF of this statement, please click here. For an example of how one department developed an affirmation statement for senior theses, please click here.
If faculty have questions about how to incorporate the affirmation into assignments, please contact Lisa Laskin in the Office of Undergraduate Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.