One of the key differences between a high school and a university is the level of discipline you need to maintain. While both educational institutions have an extensive list of rules and regulations that you need to adhere to, their enforcement is done in entirely different ways. Most high schools will punish your misconduct with mostly detentions, and won’t take strict actions until a very serious offense occurs.

However, universities aren’t so lenient with their punishments and you may have to pay heavy consequences as a student for your academic misconduct. Several actions qualify for academic conduct and it is essential that every student knows them beforehand. However, it just so happens that a student forgets about the institution’s code of conduct or is unable to comply with them due to some external problem and is then wrongly charged for academic misconduct.

According to, this can have severe consequences on your future as it leaves a permanent black spot on your school record. You can lose your interviews and your chances of getting your ideal job become much lower due to this. There are several other consequences you may need to face depending on the severity of your misconduct and the strictness of the institution.

If you are a student who was recently charged with this but don’t know what to do, then worry not. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about academic misconduct, what actions qualify for it, what you should immediately do, and what happens if you don’t act on time.

What exactly is academic misconduct?


Academic misconduct is any practice that qualifies as a direct violation of the school’s code of conduct. Most institutions have a set rule of what their alumni are supposed to do and what they are not supposed to do, and not adhering to these rule sets leaves you directly vulnerable to an academic misconduct charge.

Universities only charge their alumni with academic misconduct after gathering enough evidence for their misdeeds from their staff and disciplinary team members. There are many actions that qualify as academic misconduct and as an alumnus, it will be in your best interests to avoid these activities as much as possible.

However, there are various instances where a student can be wrongfully accused of academic misconduct for a rule that they weren’t even aware of. Additionally, the student may unknowingly do some action in a state of mental disorientation because of their mental disorder or disability. In such cases, you have the complete right to defend yourself with a lawyer.

What actions qualify as academic misconduct?


Something that most students regularly get penalized with is plagiarism. This qualifies as duplicating another person’s content without properly addressing them. It is also considered plagiarism when multiple individuals and students work on your project or assignment and you submit it as your own without their consent, acknowledgment, or reference. However, this type of plagiarism is more popularly known as collusion.

The second line of action that does this is cheating. Most frequently seen in the institution’s examinations, it is any action that gives you an unfair advantage over other students for your test. Universities have very strict guidelines and rules regarding this and it is considered that cheating is the one action that can make you liable to the most severe penalties.

The last line of action most universities consider as misconduct is being dishonest or deceitful with the institution. Universities charge their students with this when the students use dishonest means to get their work done – like submitting a previously submitted assignment or lying about your grades from high school.

What are the direct consequences?


Depending on the severity of your actions and the strictness of the institution, the consequences can be varied. However, even the least serious consequence is suspension from the university grounds which can cause you to lose out on lectures as well as vital examinations. Provided you do something very serious that the university prohibits doing at all costs, you may even find yourself expelled from the university or college permanently.

As you can see, academic misconduct has extremely severe consequences which you may need to face head-on. However, these consequences can be mitigated and even eliminated in some cases if you think they are based on unjust and unfair grounds. Hiring academic misconduct lawyers in such cases is often the best idea as they can help you avoid all of these consequences.

What should you do when you get charged with academic misconduct?


The first and foremost thing you need to do when you get charged with academic misconduct is keep your cool at all costs. Of course, the natural urge for many students would be to prove their innocence to the university authorities. This urge should be curbed at all costs or otherwise you would only end up causing more damage.

If they call you to the office, oblige them and carefully pay attention to what they are saying. Consider why they are charging you with academic misconduct and what evidence they have. Ask crucial questions about the charge but don’t plead your defense just yet. If they instead send a statement of the charge, carefully read through all of it, considering evidence and the penalty.

After that is done, ensure that you keep safe whatever files and documents you have regarding the charge. A statement, for example, is an important document that will be vital for the case so keep it safe with you. Your next step should be to call an academic misconduct lawyer right away without wasting any time.

They will ask you for a few documents regarding the case, review it thoroughly, hear your side, and present to you the various options that are now available to you. After your choice is done, the lawyer will draft your case and fight for you in court either pleading for a lesser penalty or asking for a complete removal of all academic misconduct charges made against you.


Getting charged with an academic misconduct case by your educational institution is a scary thought and we hope this article provides you insight on what you should do when that happens. If it does, please consider following our website for regular updates as it will help us immensely.