The University of North Florida operates on the principle that all members of its community should be treated fairly in regard to their rights and responsibilities. In order to protect the integrity of the teaching and learning process, the University of North Florida expects all members of the academic community to respect the principle of academic freedom and to behave with academic integrity.
Briefly stated, academic misconduct consists of any attempt to misrepresent one’s performance on any exercise submitted for evaluation. The primary responsibility of ensuring adherence to the principle of academic integrity rests with students and faculty. Any infraction that comes to the attention of any person should be brought to the attention of the faculty member to whose course it pertains. A violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is also considered a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
Violations of the principle of academic integrity include, but are not limited to:
CHEATING: Intentionally using, providing, obtaining, or attempting to use, provide, or obtain unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices in any academic exercise. This definition includes unauthorized communication of information during an academic exercise.
FABRICATION & FALSIFICATION: Intentional and unauthorized alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information, while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in an academic exercise.
MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS: The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work, including oral reports, electronic files, or hard-copy form, for credit more than once without authorization.
PLAGIARISM: Intentionally or knowingly presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc. are common knowledge.
ABUSE OF ACADEMIC MATERIALS: Intentionally or knowingly destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material.
COMPLICITY IN ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Providing assistance in any form to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
All correspondence referred to herein shall be made through the students’ official University email address and the faculty or administrators’ official University email address.
When a faculty member determines that a violation of the Academic Integrity Code should result in a penalty, the faculty member will notify the student of the offense by sending an Academic Misconduct Reporting Form (Appendix C) to the student and a copy to the appropriate departmental Chairperson within twenty (20) calendar days after the date in which the faculty member identifies the violation. The Academic Misconduct Reporting Form documents the circumstances surrounding the accusation and any adjustment to a grade or other action taken or recommended by the faculty member. No proceedings or hearings may be held, except as outlined in the appeals process. If an unforgivable “F” is given or a grade is to be changed after the end of a semester, the finalized reporting form is to be sent to the registrar.
All students pursuing the MS degree are to form a thesis committee that meets the following requirements:
External faculty (i.e. faculty outside of the Biology department) or non-graduate faculty serving on a thesis committee must complete the Request for External Thesis Committee Member form or Request for Non-Graduate Faculty Thesis form. Both forms can be found here.
All students must meet with the GC at the end of each semester in order to assess progress. During these meetings, the GC will review in-class evaluations from Lead Lecture Professors and students (if on a GTA), class work completed that semester and progress towards degree. Thus, it is recommended that students keep careful track of their accomplishments and begin construction of a CV as soon as possible.
To ensure students are making appropriate progress toward completion of
their degree, the department of biology has set up a series of benchmarks that
all M.S. students should attain. Note that the timeline below includes
summers as semesters.
Semester 1: Form and meet with thesis committee (semester 2 for part
Semester 3: Write and defend thesis proposal (semester 4 for part
Pass written exam (semester 4 for part time)
Semester 4: Pass oral exam (semester 5 for part time)
Semester 5: Write and defend thesis
(semester 6 for part time)
While the completion of the research for a thesis can sometimes take longer
than two academic years, it is important to note that the first four benchmarks
are completely under the student’s control. Therefore, these benchmarks
are expected to be met by all students, and failure to meet will result in the
student being placed on academic probation and potential dismissal from the
program. Special consideration can be given to students that have changed
mentors or thesis projects.
In the fullness of time, students sometimes find it necessary to switch between M.S. and M.A .degrees, and vice versa. While the two degrees are similar in many regards, there are several differences, such as the number and types of classes, an M.S. research component and general expectations that must be addressed before switching programs.
The switch from the M.A. to M.S. degree is relatively straightforward. The following steps will be necessary:
There are times when it is necessary for a student to switch from the M.S. to M.A. degree. However, care must be taken as M.A. students have a greater credit hour requirement and often do not have research hours. Further, M.S. students are often supported by one of the limited departmental GTAs and represent a significant input of resources. Thus, the department has a vested interest in assuring that switching between programs is not an arbitrary decision, but rather reflects some sort of focused need. Therefore, the following conditions need to be addressed:
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