Jump to content
  • 0
WildParax

Convicted of violating an obscure class policy in freshman year

Question

So I'm applying to grad school for an MBA and on all my applications they ask me if I have ever been involved in any disciplinary action at any institution. Of course, I have to answer truthfully but I'm really worried that my application will be considered a lot less than someone equivalent to me because of this violation. I want to be honest and straightforward so I'm going to give some context to what happened.

It was in my freshman year of college during my first computer science class. After turning in an assignment I looked online to look for more efficient methods and enrich my understanding of the subject. I came across a bugged solution that someone was having trouble with. Out of intellectual curiosity, I put this buggy solution in my repository to debug and learn from. It’s worth noting that anything I learned from in this exercise was never included in my original assignment as it was already turned in. I was never able to fully debug the program so I left it in my repository and commit and pushed it to GitHub to work on later. At the time, I was unaware that my GitHub repository would be under such scrutiny by the course faculty. It was later tagged by MOSS, the program they use to flag significant similarity between codes. At the time I was aware of a policy that restricted students looking at solutions online but I didn’t fully understand the extent of the policy. So I took it to a hearing. Unfortunately, the professors felt strongly that I violated the course’s policy. This policy stated that students are not even allowed to look at code online as it may produce “undue influence.” As a result, I received an “F” in the course.

I fully understand that unawareness of this policy was my fault and mine alone, but I think my professors were slightly overzealous in their accusations. If I take responsibility for my actions, show how I've learned from it, and given the weird context do you think grad schools will at least weigh this less than they normally would? Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 answer to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Depends on the rest of your academic/professional profile, your recommenders, and how eloquently you are able to explain this on an application. I didn't have any academic honesty violations on my PhD apps, but I did receive an F at one institution that I attended. Careful, honest, and self-aware explanations went a long way, but my field is far smaller and perhaps more forgiving of poor grades than MBAs would be. However, to be quite honest, it is my impression that academic dishonesty in any form is treated much more seriously than bad grades; you will likely face more scrutiny than someone with an otherwise-identical profile. Cheating is a huge red flag for a university admitting a graduate student. 

First, it might be worth speaking to people in the admissions department at universities you are applying to in order to find out their impression of your story as you recounted it here. Ultimately, you have little to lose by being thoroughly honest and applying. Make sure to explain clearly and concisely what the experience taught you. Don't spend too much time explaining every granular detail of the situation: it can come across as making excuses, especially since the university found you culpable. Be clear that while you did not intend to cheat, you take full responsibility for your actions and its consequences. Maybe explain the ways that this experience influenced your approach to university policies afterward. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.