Course Policies

Time Commitment

Time commitment varies by program. Expect to spend at least 20 hours per week in our graduate level courses.

If you're like many students, you might find it hard to get started when there are no hard deadlines. So, doing well in an online course isn't just about intelligence, but also about being organized and self-motivated. Learning to control time instead of letting time control you is key! You might also find it a little strange communicating with faculty that you have never met in person. This type of work requires a whole different set of skills than learning in a traditional classroom.

Participation and Online Attendance

Student must login within the first 48 hours of a course start and at least once every 72 hours to maintain "active" status. Furthermore, students must log in on at least 4 of the 7 days per week.


Communication and conduct in your online course will be held to the same standards and be governed by the same policies as any on-campus course.


Students should know how to:

  • how to contribute to the course in a meaningful way
  • how to compose course assignments, e-mail messages and discussion board postings using appropriate tone, language, grammar and spelling (no flaming!)
  • how to avoid cheating, plagiarism, giving or receiving unauthorized assistance on tests or assignments
  • student rights and responsibilities


Students should contact their instructor if they have questions regarding netiquette.

Academic Integrity

Student Code

The rules stated in the University of Illinois Student Code apply to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The revised Student Code is divided into three articles:

Article 1, Part 4 (Academic Integrity) focuses specifically on the topic of academic integrity.

Using or attempting to use in any academic exercise materials, information, study aids, or electronic data that the student knows or should know is unauthorized.

Faculty members need to make in advance a clear statement of their policies and procedures concerning the use before examinations of shared study aids, examination files, and related materials and forms of assistance. Such advance notice is especially important in the case of take-home examinations.

During examinations, students should assume that external assistance (e.g., books, notes, calculators, conversation with others) is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the instructor.

Students must not allow others to conduct research or prepare any work for them without prior authorization from the instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, the services of commercial term paper companies.

Substantial portions of the same academic work may not be submitted for credit more than once or by more than one student without authorization.


Fabrication is the unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic endeavor.

"Invented" information may not be used in any academic endeavor without notice to and authorization from the instructor or examiner. It would be improper, for example, to analyze one sample in a survey and covertly "invent" data based on that single survey for several more required analyses.

Reliance upon the actual source from which cited information was obtained must be acknowledged. For example, a writer should not reproduce a quotation from a book review without indicating whether the quotation was obtained from the review or from the book itself.

Examples of fabrication:

  • Altering the answers given for an exam after the examination has been graded;
  • Submitting false documents for the purpose of being excused from a scheduled examination or other academic assignment.

Facilitating infractions of academic integrity is defined as helping or attempting to help another to commit an infraction of academic integrity, where one knows or should know that through one's acts or omissions such an infraction may be facilitated.

Examples of infractions of academic integrity:

  • Allowing another to copy from one's work during an examination would be committing a breach of academic integrity.
  • Taking an exam by proxy for someone else is an infraction of academic integrity on the part of both the student enrolled in the course and the proxy or substitute.

Unauthorized removal of an examination or quiz from a classroom.


See the section on Plagiarism below.

Bribes, Favors and Threats

Infractions of academic integrity include bribing or attempting to bribe, promising favors to, or making threats against any person with the intent to affect a record of a grade or evaluation of academic performance. This includes a student who conspires with another person who then takes the action on behalf of the student.

Academic Interference

This is defined as tampering with, altering, circumventing, or destroying any educational material or resource in a manner that deprives any student of fair access or reasonable use of that material or resource. Educational resources include computer facilities, electronic data, required/reserved readings, reference works, or other library materials.

Academic interference is defined by applicable laws, contracts, or University of Illinois policies (such as unauthorized use of computer licenses, copyrighted materials, intellectual property, or trade secrets). It would also include situations in which the student committing the infraction personally benefits from the interference, regardless of the effect on other students.

“Unauthorized Use of University of Illinois Resources” refers to unauthorized student use of University of Illinois resources for non-educational, private, or commercial purposes.

“Sale of Class Materials or Notes” is the sale to a commercial note-taking service of instructor-provided materials or of classroom lecture notes infringing copyright interests, if the instructor has explicitly requested that this not be done.


This section of the Resource Center provides a definition of plagiarism, and a brief scenario-based tutorial that will help you begin to think about and prevent plagiarism. You'll also find here links to the official University policies on plagiarism for each campus.

General Definition

Plagiarism is defined as representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic endeavor. This includes copying another student’s paper or working with another person when both submit similar papers without authorization to satisfy an individual assignment.

Direct Quotation Rules

Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or by appropriate indentation and must be promptly cited. Proper citation style for many academic departments is outlined in such manuals as the APA Formatting and Style Guide

The following is an example of an uncited direct quotation from a case in which the student in question was found guilty of plagiarism:

Original Source: To push the comparison with popular tale and popular romance a bit further, we may note that the measure of artistic triviality of works such as "Sir Degare" or even "Havelok the Dean" is their casualness, their indifference to all but the simplest elements of literary substance. The point is that high genre does not certify art and low genre does not preclude it. (From Robert M. Jordan,Chaucer and the Shape of Creation, Howard Global Campus Press, 1967, page 187.)

Student Paper: To push the comparison with popular tale and popular romance a bit further, you can note that the measure of artistic triviality in some works of Chaucer’s time period is their casualness. Their indifference to all but the simplest elements of literary substance. The point is that high genre does not certify art and low genre does not preclude it.

Paraphrase Rules

Prompt acknowledgment is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part. This is true even if the student’s words differ substantially from those of the source. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might introduce it with a statement such as "To paraphrase Locke’s comment..." and conclude it with a citation identifying the exact reference. The concluding citation also might say, "The last paragraph (two paragraphs, etc.) paraphrases statements by..." and then give the exact reference. A citation acknowledging only a directly quoted statement does not suffice as an acknowledgment of any preceding or succeeding paraphrased material. 

The following is an example of unacknowledged paraphrase that could warrant a charge of plagiarism.

Original Source: The era in question included three formally declared wars. The decision to enter the War of 1812 was made by Congress after extended debate. Madison made no recommendation in favor of hostilities, though he did marshal a "telling case against England" in his message to Congress of June 1, 1812. The primary impetus to battle, however, seems to have come from a group of "War Hawks" in the legislature. (From W. Taylor Reveley III, "Presidential War-Making: Constitutional Prerogative or Usurpation?" Global Campus of VirginiaLaw Review, November 1969, footnotes omitted.)

Student Paper: During this period three wars were actually declared by Congress. For instance, in 1812 a vehemently pro-war group of legislators persuaded Congress, after much discussion, to make such a declaration, despite the fact that Madison had not asked for it, though, to be sure, he had openly condemned England in his message to Congress of June 1, 1812.

Borrowed Facts or Information

Information obtained in one's reading or research that is not common knowledge should be acknowledged. Examples of common knowledge might include the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc. Materials that contribute only to one's general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography and need not be immediately cited. One citation is usually sufficient to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences in the paper draw their special information from one source.

Campus Links

Consult the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the campus Student Code.