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Honor Code & Honor Councils

The Honor Code

One of the most significant traditions at William & Mary is its student-administered honor system. The essence of the honor system is individual responsibility; students are empowered both to maintain the Code and its underlying principles.

The Honor Code sustains a documented history that dates back to at least 1736. Today, students administer the Honor pledge to each incoming student and educate faculty and administration on the relevance of the Code and its application to students' lives at the university. Students administer the Code through six honor councils and the Honor System Advisory Committee.  At its ideal, the Code provides for a level academic playing field in which all students are evaluated on the basis of their hard work and ability.

The Honor Code prohibits lying, cheating, and stealing.  For definitions of each offense, view Honor Infractions in the Student Handbook.

The Pledge

"As a member of the William & Mary community, I pledge on my honor not to lie, cheat, or steal, either in my academic or personal life. I understand that such acts violate the Honor Code and undermine the community of trust, of which we are all stewards."

The Honor Councils

William & Mary's Honor Council consists of six councils: Undergraduate, Education, Law, Marine Sciences, Business, and Arts and Sciences. The governing bodies of each of these entities determine the criteria for selection/election of their officers and council members.  

Ours is the oldest student honor code in the nation and now you are a part of it. We also work to uphold a safe and appropriate living/learning environment for all students reflected by the standards in our Code of Conduct.