MIT Sloan Professional Standards

Maintenance of a productive living and learning environment requires that all members of the MIT Sloan community exercise due respect for the basic rights of one another. The Values Statement which follows accordingly reflects this important principle.

Values Statement

To foster an appropriate living and learning culture, MIT Sloan students, faculty and staff:

  • Value differences and respect each other's abilities
  • Promote effective teamwork
  • Expect academic honesty
  • Support each other's successes
  • Help each other attain personal and professional objectives
  • Hold each other accountable for decisions made and actions taken

MIT Sloan's Professional Standards provide a guideline for professional behavior by students, faculty, and staff inside and outside of the classroom, and directly reflect the Values Statement above.

Fundamental to the principle of independent learning and professional growth is the requirement of honesty and integrity in the conduct of one's academic and non-academic life. The MIT Sloan School is committed to creating an environment in which every individual can work and study in a culture of mutual respect. When making individual decisions we must keep in mind the interests of the many other stakeholders.

Academic Honesty

As a member of the MIT Sloan academic community, the highest standards of academic behavior are expected of you. It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of the standards and adhere to them. These standards are discussed below, specifically regarding plagiarism, individual work, and team work.

This discussion of academic honesty is not exhaustive, and there may be areas that remain unclear to you. If you are unsure whether some particular course of action is proper, it is your responsibility to consult with your professor and/or teaching assistant for clarification.

When students are found to have violated academic standards, disciplinary action will result. Possible consequences include grade reduction, an F grade, a transcript notation, delay of graduation, or expulsion from MIT Sloan.


Plagiarism occurs when you use another's intellectual property (words or ideas) and do not acknowledge that you have done so. Plagiarism is a very serious offense. If it is found that you have plagiarized — deliberately or inadvertently — you will face serious consequences, as indicated above.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources - both within the body of your assignment and in a bibliography of sources you used at the end of your document.

Internet Research

Materials gathered through research via the Internet must be cited in the same manner as more traditionally published material. Lack of such citation constitutes plagiarism.

These definitions were drawn from the MIT Libraries Web site. For more information please visit: The Information Navigator.

Individual Assignments

Many assignments in the MIT Sloan coursework are expected to be done individually. The information below outlines what is meant by "individual" work. These rules should be observed unless otherwise defined by the instructor. If students are unsure whether some particular form of interaction is proper, the instructor and/or teaching assistant should be consulted.

When you are asked to do individual work, you are expected to adhere to the following standards:

  • Do not copy all or part of another student's work (with or without "permission").
  • Do not allow another student to copy your work.
  • Do not ask another person to write all or part of an assignment for you.
  • Do not work together with another student in order to answer a question, or solve a problem, or write a computer program jointly.
  • Do not consult or submit work (in whole or in part) that has been completed by other students in this or previous years for the same or substantially the same assignment.
  • Do not use print or internet materials directly related to a case/problem set unless explicitly authorized by the instructor.
  • Do not use print or internet materials without explicit quotation and/or citation.
  • Do not submit the same, or similar, piece of work for two or more subjects without the explicit approval of the two or more instructors involved.

Please note that many classes will require a combination of team work and individual work. Be sure that you follow all the guidelines for individual work when a faculty member identifies an assignment as an individual one.

Team Assignments

When you are asked to work in teams, there is a broad spectrum of faculty expectations. Three general types of appropriate collaboration on team assignments are described below. The instructor will indicate in the syllabus what his/her expectations are. If there is any uncertainty, it is the student's responsibility to clarify with the professor or TA the type of team work that is expected.

Type 1 Collaboration

The professor states that collaboration is allowed, but the final product must be individual. An example of this might be a problem set.

  • You are allowed to discuss the assignment with other team members and work through the problems together.
  • What you turn in, however, must be your own product, written in your own handwriting, or in a computer file of which you are the sole author.
  • Copying another's work or electronic file is not acceptable.

Type 2 Collaboration

The professor states that collaboration is encouraged but that each person's contribution to the deliverable does not have to be substantial (taking a "divide and conquer" approach). An example of this might be a brief progress report.

  • Each team member is encouraged to contribute substantially to the team assignment, however, the team may choose to assign one or more team members to prepare and submit the deliverable on behalf of the team.
  • Regardless of how work is shared or responsibilities are divided among individual team members, each member of the team will be held accountable for the academic integrity of the entire assignment. If, for example, one member of the team submits plagiarized work on behalf of the team, the entire team will be subject to sanctions as appropriate.
  • The team may not collaborate with other students outside of the team unless the professor explicitly permits such collaboration.

Type 3 Collaboration

The professor states that collaboration is expected and that each team member must contribute substantially to the deliverable. An example of this might be the FYC or the OP project.

  • Each team member must make a substantial contribution to the assignment. It is not, for example, acceptable to divide the assignments amongst the team members (e.g., part of the team does the FYC and the other part does another project), though the team may divide the work of any one assignment to complete it as they deem appropriate.
  • The team may not collaborate with other students outside of the team unless the professor explicitly permits such collaboration.

To repeat, if there is any question about the rules for a particular assignment the student should check with the faculty member.

Personal Conduct

MIT Sloan's Professional Standards provide a guideline for professional behavior by students, and faculty inside the classroom. The MIT Sloan School is committed to creating an environment in which every individual can work and study in a culture of mutual respect. When making individual decisions we must keep in mind the interests of the many other stakeholders.

Consistent with the general goal of mutual respect, faculty, students, and staff are reminded to demonstrate:

  • On-time arrival to classes and presentations, with uninterrupted attendance for the duration.
    • For example, those who arrive on time to an event or class and stay until it ends show courtesy to both the speaker and the audience, and avoid disrupting the session for others.
  • On-time initiation and termination of classes and presentations.
    • For example, there is a 10-minute transition time period allocated between MIT Sloan class sessions. A class session or any other public meeting is expected to formally end 5 minutes before its scheduled ending time, and the following class session or meeting is expected to begin 5 minutes after its scheduled starting time. Students and faculty who observe this practice allow classrooms to be cleared in a reasonable way, facilitate traffic flow between rooms, and minimize disruptions to MIT Sloan's tightly-scheduled facilities.
  • Maintenance of a professional atmosphere. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Using respectful comments and humor
      Be aware that once you matriculate at MIT Sloan, you'll be representing the MIT Sloan School and MIT for the rest of your life. Make a positive impact as an individual and School representative by extending respect to your MIT Sloan community colleagues and all other guests and strangers. For example, minimize misunderstanding by communicating thoughtfully and using humor carefully in a context of mutual respect with new acquaintances and strangers-and in the context of your preexisting relationships with your friends. Those who use the 'Golden Rule' (e.g., treating others as they would like to be treated themselves) as a starting point in their interactions with others will always have solid friendships and business relationships at hand.
    • Utilizing computers and technology suitably (e.g., silencing wireless devices, no Web-browsing or emailing)
      For example, those who switch off their cell phones before the start of class respect our academic environment by allowing uninterrupted learning to proceed. Similarly, those who turn off laptop computers before a class or meeting avoid 'multitasking' activities such as internet browsing and emailing that are unwelcome and distracting to their neighbors. Unless specifically permitted by a faculty member, an event organizer, or a presenter, laptops should remain closed during MIT Sloan class sessions, presentations, and meetings.
    • Refraining from distracting or disrespectful activities (e.g., avoiding side conversations and games)
      As with the improper use of cell phones and laptops, side conversations and game playing during meetings, events, and classes are distracting and discourteous to colleagues, guests, and presenters, reflect poorly on the MIT Sloan School-and should be avoided.
  • Courtesy towards all guests, hosts and participants in the classroom.
    • Community members are expected to maintain decorum in interactions with members and guests of the MIT Sloan community. Such behavior should: 1)—reflect MIT Sloan Professional Standards, and; 2)—be consistent with the North American business practices. Appropriate, courteous behavior enhances MIT Sloan's reputation and encourages others to participate in our activities, hire our students, and contribute to our School. In MIT Sloan's environment, students are expected to observe the proper dress, decorum, and etiquette that is appropriate to MIT Sloan Professional Standards and North American business customs for each setting they are in. For example, unless otherwise specified, business casual attire is the norm for the classroom.
  • Observance of the most conservative standards when one is unsure about which norms apply.
    • For example, if you are unsure whether a faculty member allows the use of laptop computers in class, assume that laptops are not permitted unless/until you learn otherwise. And if you are unsure if your comments will be offensive to someone, particularly from another culture, refrain from sharing them.

Upholding these expectations and the standards upon which they are based is a shared right and responsibility for all faculty, students and staff at the MIT Sloan School. As a learning and professional community, we seek and deserve no less.


Time Management and Organization

Citing and Using Sources

Academic Integrity at MIT: Expectations of All Students