Undergraduate Bulletin Final Examination Policy

In many courses, final examinations are an integral part of the learning and evaluative process. Some courses, by virtue of the structure, material, or style of presentation, do not require a final examination. The following policy in no way requires an instructor to administer a final examination.

  1. Final examinations in semester-long undergraduate courses in the University are to be given only during the scheduled final examination period in accordance with the official schedule of examinations as published by the Registrar’s Office.
  2. The term “final examination” as used here shall be defined as any examination of more than one-half hour’s duration that is given in the terminal phase of a course. As defined, “final examinations” may be either comprehensive, covering the majority of the content of a course, or limited to only a portion of the content of a course.
  3. No examinations of more than one-half hour’s duration are to be given during the last five regularly scheduled class days of a semester.
  4. Instructors seeking any exceptions to the above policy must submit a written request through their respective department chair to their college dean, or directly to their dean in those schools with no departmental structure. If the dean approves the exceptions, the instructor must notify the class of the new scheduled final examination date at least three weeks before the last regularly scheduled class day of the semester. At the end of each semester, each college and school dean must submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs a summary of all exceptions granted to the final examination policy.
  5. The above regulations notwithstanding, the instructor in any course should always retain the freedom to reschedule a final examination for an individual student should such a student present a case of unquestionable hardship in his or her scheduled examinations. Such rescheduling should, however, be done in the final examination period if at all possible.

Reading Day: A day reserved for preparation for final exams. It is scheduled after all the regular class lectures and before final exams. As a rule, Reading Day should not be used as a make-up day and activities should not be scheduled that conflict with students' ability to study for final exams.

Three Finals on One Day: If a student has three examinations in one day as a result of a departmental exam or of the official rescheduling of an examination after the initial final examination schedule has been published, then that student has the right to be given a makeup examination for the departmental or rescheduled examination. The request for such an exam must be made to the instructor in the appropriate course no later than two weeks before the last day of classes of the given semester. If possible, the makeup examination should be given within the final examination period.

Retention of Exams: Each instructor shall retain the final examination papers in his/her courses for one semester so those students wishing to see their papers may do so. This regulation does not apply in those instances in which the instructor chooses to return the papers to the students at the end of the course.

Exams Outside of Regular Class Hours

It is expected that exams, quizzes, and other in-class assessments will be scheduled during regular class times. Instructors who have a compelling educational reason for scheduling exams outside of regular class hours must so notify students during the first week of classes. The choice of time for any exam scheduled outside of regular class hours must take into account, as far as possible, students’ commitments to other class meetings, employment responsibilities, religious observances, etc. When this is not possible, appropriate and equitable accommodations must be made for students having such commitments.

Exam Proctoring

The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education strongly recommends that the instructor responsible for a course be present during examinations. Not only does it signal respect for students and for the intellectual work completed together, but it also allows for those questions that arise in the exam room—ranging from typographical errors to substantive matters—to be answered by the person who is most knowledgeable about the exam. In all cases, those responsible for proctoring examinations should be mindful of the rules of academic integrity, and should be prepared to enforce them in the examination room.