Dean’s Statement on Academic Integrity

January 6, 2019

To All Viterbi Students,

With the beginning of the Spring Semester, I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year that is joyous, creative, innovative and inspiring!

I would also like to remind all of us to continue upholding the highest standards of academic integrity. We are committed to a culture of learning that makes Viterbi “first at USC, a leader in the nation with constantly rising quality.”  An important component to that culture is our conduct in the classroom or outside of it, in the lab, and in all our other endeavors.

Today’s exponentially changing world brings an important responsibility to all of us in engineering and technology. Powerful technology brings equally powerful unintended consequences, which can be prevented or managed based on our ethical values. One such value is academic integrity- a keystone to our Viterbi community. And the main responsibility of upholding a high standard of academic integrity is yours.

Each student has the responsibility to conduct themselves with honor, integrity, and the courage to maintain those qualities. This can be as simple as not cheating on exams or homework assignments and as challenging as navigating through an internship hiring process. By adhering to such ethical standards you will create the foundation that will serve you well in your life, as you are becoming a leader in engineering, technology or in any other endeavor you might pursue.

Pragmatically, you also need to consider that there are potentially serious impacts for violations of academic integrity policy. Such possible outcomes include: Receiving a lower grade, failing a course, losing one’s standing in the school.

If you are unsure of a policy – when to collaborate, how to cite sources, what is allowed and what is not – talk with your course instructors and mentors and get clarification. Our faculty and department staff are here to help you. Please take the initiative to ask questions and raise concerns if any policy is unclear to you.

Please know that academic and personal resources are available to help you:

  • Master’s and PhD students can contact the Graduate and Professional Programs office (GAPP) office in OHE 106 ( for helpful resources.
  • The Student Health Center ( is available for other, non-academic needs, including counseling.

Please let me or my office know if you have any concerns or questions.

Welcome to another year and Fight On!

Yannis C. Yortsos

Published on January 6th, 2019

Last updated on January 6th, 2019