Graduate Student Responsibilities

Being a graduate student involves more than completing coursework and other requirements.  Becoming a graduate student involves [1]:

Self Directedness:  In order to be a successful graduate student (and future professional) you must embrace and develop self-directedness.  Self-directedness is when you can function and take primary responsibility and ownership for your learning and development.  Taking ownership of your learning and development translates to engaging, belonging, identifying and practicing.  As a member of the IEOR Department, you will find that some of your most valued learning experiences involve self-directed projects and peer/professional networking and collaborations.

Possessing Professional Identity:  Enrolling in one of the graduate programs at IEOR means that you are on the road to becoming a professional and scholar.  A professional is one that possesses skills, demonstrates competence, displays responsibility, develops cultural and social sensitivity and etiquettes, and adheres to ethical standards.  Professionalism extends beyond the physical presence, but also the virtual including the various modes of communication (i.e. telephone, email/mail correspondence, text messages).  The faculty, professional staff, fellow students and employers will be holding you to the strictest and highest level of professionalism.

Developing a Collegial and Professional Network:  Your fellow classmates, faculty, and administration at Columbia University are part of your collegial and professional network.  The Department urges you to develop this network as it will become a critical resource which offers you help on coursework, professional development and personal support.  The Department urges you to develop your professional practice through collaboration and discussion.

Upholding a High Standard of Academic Integrity:  The University expects you to uphold the highest integrity and take ownership of your own work.  Intellectual integrity is the hallmark of educational institutions; academic dishonesty is one of the most serious offenses that a student can commit at Columbia.  It is punishable by suspension or dismissal.

In making clear our policy on academic dishonesty, it is not feasible to include here all the various forms, as they are innumerable.  It is useful, however, to list several obvious varieties in order to dispel confusion about actions that we will not tolerate:

1.      Cheating on exams or assignments: copying work of another student, using textbooks, notes, and/or electronic devices that are not permissible during the exam;

2.      Assisting another student in cheating;

3.      Submitting essays, or portions of essays, written by other people as one's own;

4.      Failing to acknowledge, through proper footnotes and bibliographic entries, the source of ideas essentially not one's own, including resources from the Internet;

5.      Failing to indicate paraphrases or ideas or verbatim expressions not one's own through proper use of quotations and footnotes;

6.      Submitting written work for one course to a second course without having received prior permission from both instructors;

7.      Collaborating on an assignment or examination without specific permission from the faculty member to do so;

8.      Selling of notes, syllabi, or papers.

This list, of course, does not pretend to be definitive.  Ignorance is no excuse for academic dishonesty.  If questions arise concerning proper use of quotations, footnotes, bibliographies, or cheating, the student should contact the instructor.  Seeking informed advice from a faculty member is the best way to avoid confusion about matters that can be complicated.


1 From Adult Learning & Leadership Advisement Guide, Teachers College, Columbia University. 


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