Academic Authenticity

WGU Academic Authenticity Policies

WGU holds, as a core value, that respect for ideas and intellectual property rights is a critical value in academic communities. All members of the university community share responsibility in ensuring that the authentic expression of those ideas is observed.

“Academic Authenticity” means the ethical completion of WGU coursework. Examples include appropriately attributing text, pictures, tables and graphs used in coursework to the creators, and each student completing their own coursework. Academic Authenticity is fundamental to the educational process at WGU.

The following policies apply to all WGU students and assessments regardless of location, and every WGU student is expected to uphold these Academic Authenticity rules:

  1. Intellectual Property
    1. Students may not use any information found, requested, or purchased on the internet (or elsewhere) that may include WGU assessment materials or responses to those materials (i.e., answers to assessment questions or projects completed by someone else).
    2. Similarly, students may not create and/or transmit responses to assessments or projects, as those responses may potentially be submitted to WGU or another institution by someone else.
    3. Students may not copy, record, or disclose WGU assessment or project material to anyone else. This includes copying for personal use and disclosure on websites, blogs, and other social media.
    4. Any previously completed Capstone Project from another WGU degree or another institution is not permitted to be used for the creation and submission of the Capstone Project for the degree in which the student is currently enrolled.
    5. Students may consent to have their capstone work archived for restricted view by other students and alumni. They may also use and repurpose their capstone and other performance tasks for use when they graduate as an electronic portfolio in furtherance of the academic or professional careers, with care not to violate B and C above.
  2. Assessments
    1. General
      • Unless directed by official WGU course instructions to work with other students, all assessments and projects must be the student’s own individual work. Students are not allowed to engage in unauthorized collaborative efforts with, or obtain assistance from, others at any point in the research, creation, completion, submission, or revision of assessments.
      • Students shall not falsify or deliberately misrepresent information submitted to meet the requirement of any assessment.
    2. Objective Assessment
      • When taking a proctored WGU assessment, the student may not access any device or material not specifically approved in advance, nor communicate with anyone except the proctor; this includes reading the questions aloud.
      • All audio and video equipment must be in working order, and the student is required to remain in the view of the proctor at all times.
    3. Performance Assessment
      • If students use material from any source, an appropriately formatted citation must be provided. To use the work of another without proper citation is plagiarism and may lead to sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from the University.
      • All assessments and projects submitted by any WGU student will be evaluated for compliance with these rules. All written work will be checked by WGU Evaluation faculty, utilizing originality software, for evidence of plagiarism. To protect each student’s identity, students are encouraged to remove all personal information, such as phone numbers and addresses, from each assessment or project. The plagiarism checker will store a copy of all work submitted to prevent its use by other students.


The Code of Student Conduct defines violations of this policy as "cheating" subject to sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University. Student access to assessment scheduling or task submission may be locked while an investigation of alleged violations of this policy is underway.





Article Number: 20376, 1016