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Santa Clara University

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious issue at Santa Clara University and as an SCU student you are expected to respect the scholarship and ideas of others.  If you are thought to have cheated or plagiarized, you will be subject to judicial review and possible penalties.  For international students, these penalties may jeopardize immigration status and may result in students being required to depart SCU and the US.  

You should refer to the student handbook for more information.

At Santa Clara University, all members of the university community are expected to be honest in their academic endeavors. Any form of academic dishonesty or any acts deemed to be dishonest in an academic context are subject to academic and judicial action.  The entire Academic Integrity Policy can be viewed online on the website of the Office of Student Life.

Two of the most common forms of academic dishonesty that international students encounter are plagiarism and cheating. These often occur as a result of cultural differences that shape these concepts.


In the US, original ideas, knowledge and words are thought to be owned by the individual who created them. This means that if you choose to reproduce someone’s original ideas, knowledge or words in your academic work, you must give them credit by citing them in your work. Many international students have difficulty avoiding plagiarism because the educational system in their home countries values memorization and repetition of information in academic writing and exams. In the US, doing so without properly citing the source of the information is considered plagiarism and is in violation of Santa Clara University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Sometimes defining plagiarism can be very difficult. More information about avoiding plagiarism and how to properly cite information in your academic work can be found at Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.


Santa Clara University is a university at which integrity and honesty is both valued and expected. SCU has a zero-tolerance policy for cheating. In the U.S., cheating can refer to many practices.

It most often refers to using unauthorized assistance or sources in academic work such as an exam or paper. This includes using the work of your fellow classmates or allowing someone else to use your work.

For many international students who come from cultures where a more collectivistic mindset is valued and individualism and competition are discouraged, this can be a difficult concept to understand. In a more individualistic, learner- centered academic culture students are encouraged to express their own opinions free of the influence of others, including their friends and classmates.


Read ahead -

At the beginning of the course, you will be given a syllabus with the readings for the quarter. Take time at the beginning of the quarter to familiarize yourself with the readings before the day that they are due. Doing so will give you a chance to become familiar with not only the style of writing that is used in your subject but also the specialized vocabulary you will encounter.

Ask -

Don’t be afraid to ask your professors or even fellow classmates for help with your writing. They will be willing to look at your writing and offer feedback and suggestions.

Practice - 

As the expression goes, practice makes perfect. Take the time to practice your writing and you will notice an improvement. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but make sure you learn from them.

HUB Writing Center

Santa Clara University Writing Center or the HUB is home to a wealth of resources for students to improve their writing. Students can take advantage of the HUB’s free peer tutoring service as well as various workshops throughout each quarter.

Specifically, the HUB’s English for Academic Achievement Workshop is designed for students whose native language is not English and is geared towards improving the skills necessary to excel academically.


The University Library – Learning Commons – is a great place to study, conduct research, or just socialize. We have state-of-the-art computers, group study rooms equipped with projectors, an outstanding book and journal collection, printers, copiers, scanners, a café, and much more. The librarians are friendly and eager to help you. You can access library resources online. You can also communicate with librarians by chat, text, or email. Check out the Library Guide for International Students for more info.

US immigration regulations are complex and change frequently.  The University strives to maintain a website that is both current and helpful, however, Santa Clara University is not responsible for students maintaining lawful immigration status; this is the responsibility of the student.  Further, resources and links do not constitute endorsement by Santa Clara University.