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Academic Integrity

Do the Right Thing: Ethics, Integrity, and Professionalism

The final decision about your application to any health professions program will involve a holistic review of what you’ve done and who you are. Your academic preparation and your exploration of the profession via activities will be assessed, of course. But admissions committee members also look for evidence that you are able and willing to uphold the ethical and behavioral standards of their profession.  

All admissions personnel expect transparency from you as you apply, and they also conduct formal checks. Criminal background checks are now nearly universal for people admitted to health professions programs. A letter from your college or university describing your record as a citizen of the campus community, sometimes called a dean’s recommendation letter, including violations of academic integrity, issues in residence halls, and similar incidents (should any have occurred) may also be required. Please come to discuss any problems like this with an advisor before you apply.  

Academic Integrity and Ethics: How Can I Learn More?

Determine as early as possible how you plan to follow a code of behavior that you understand and respect and that you feel fits with guidelines and expectations of professions that will privilege you with some responsibility for the health and well-being of others.

Here are some examples of statements about ethical behavior from some of the organizations of health professions programs:

D.O. Schools

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: Core Competencies for Medical Students

Dental Schools

American Dental Education Association: Statement of Ethical Conduct in Applying to Dental School

M.D. Schools

American Association of Medical Colleges: Core Personal Competencies for Applicants


American Nurses Association: Nursing Code of Ethics

Here on campus, you might want to explore issues relating to integrity, right and wrong, and the fair treatment of others as part of how you learn about the kind of professional you plan to be.

  • Academic Integrity: The LSA Honor Council emphasizes a positive understanding of integrity. At its foundation, academic integrity grows naturally from a commitment of treating everyone in the community with “honesty, fairness, respect, and trust.”
  • Campus Community