Final Exam Policy

The exam time for a course is designated by letter code in the course descriptions posted on WebAdvisor. Prior to registration for each semester, the scheduled time for each letter code is published on the Academic Calendars page maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

Students are required to arrange travel and vacation plans to allow them to take all exams at the scheduled time. Exceptions are permitted only in the following circumstances:

  1. Three final exams scheduled for the same day.
  2. A documented disability for which the appropriate accommodation requires a change in exam time.
  3. Extraordinary extenuating circumstances.

Exceptions require the permission of both the course instructor and the department chair and must be approved before the last week of classes except in unforeseeable emergencies.


Tests, Papers, and Examinations

  1. All hour-tests should be scheduled as soon as possible in the semester; they should be announced to classes at least a week before they are given.
  2. According to Faculty vote, no hour-test or final written examination may be given during the last five weekdays before classes end in any semester. Hour-tests and final examinations may not be given on study days.
  3. The following guidelines regarding take-home examinations have been adopted by vote of the Faculty:
    • Instructors should make clear the ground-rules for take-home tests given during and at the end of the semester: the amount of time allowed for the writing of the examination, whether the examinations are to be taken with open or closed books, whether or not students are allowed to collaborate and the nature of that collaboration, and when the examinations are due.
    • Take-home finals may be handed out during the last week of classes. In no case should an instructor require a student to hand in a take-home examination before the time period originally scheduled for the final examination of that course. If no final examination period has been scheduled for a course, the exam may not be due prior to noon on the second day of examinations.
  4. If a written assignment is used in place of a final examination, in no case should an instructor require a student to hand in the written assignment before the time period originally scheduled for the final examination of that course. If no final examination period has been scheduled for a course, the written assignment may not be due prior to noon on the second day of examinations.
  5. The schedule of final examinations for the ensuing academic year is included in the Academic Calendar published online by the Registrar’s Office. Examination periods are three hours in length. Students shall be given the full three hours to complete a final exam unless the syllabus specifies a shorter time period. However, students granted extra time for accommodations shall receive any additional time to which they are entitled. The time and date that an alternative final assessment, such as a term paper or take-home final, is due should be stated in the syllabus and must be no earlier than the starting time of the scheduled final for the course.
  6. After an hour-test or examination has been taken by a student, no re-examination is permitted. This regulation should not be construed as prohibiting the retaking of hurdle examinations under self-paced instructional systems such as the Keller method.
  7. All regularly scheduled classes must include a culminating assignment in the form of a final written exam, written assignment, oral exam, or comparable activity. Exceptions are permitted only with the approval of the Provost.
  8. Under the Honor Code it is normal practice to allow students to take their examinations to other, presumably quieter, examination rooms within the building in which an examination is being given. This practice does not extend to permission to leave the building.
  9. Faculty are urged to establish clearly announced (preferably in writing) due dates for all term papers, laboratory reports, and other exercises and to make positive note of receipt of these exercises and examination papers when they are handed in. While the burden of proof regarding completion of an exercise or assignment is on the student, a clear record of receipt of the material can reduce the possibility of later controversy. Students should be urged to keep copies of all significant reports and papers, as well as pertinent notes and other documentation, at least until the original copy has been graded and returned by the instructor.

This policy was adopted by vote of the full faculty. Suggested changes should be submitted to the Academic Standards and Awards Committee. (Revised 2014)