Final Examinations and Final Week of Classes

Faculty members recognize their obligation to provide timely interim and final assessments of student performance in their classes. This may be done in a variety of ways, to be determined by each instructor. The assessment methodology should be spelled out clearly in the syllabus, with an explanation of the relative weight each item will contribute to the final grade.

The Registrar schedules a time for a final examination for each course. These times are available on the Registrar’s website early in the semester, so students should have adequate time to make travel plans. It is permissible to omit the final examination, provided that other equivalently comprehensive assessment techniques are employed. If final examinations are given, they must be given at the time and place scheduled by the Registrar unless exemption has been authorized by the chair and dean.

In order to balance student workload during the final week of classes, the following describes prohibited times for administering examinations or other assessment instruments in undergraduate courses only.

Reading days: No exams or assessment instruments whatsoever may be administered, and no papers or other assignments may be due, on designated reading days.

Final day of class: With the exception of oral presentations or laboratory assessments, no exams or other student performance assessment instruments whatsoever may be administered, and no papers or other assignments may be due, on the final day of class. Faculty may administer the Course and Teacher Survey.

Other days of the final week of classes: No final examinations may be administered, and no take-home exams may be due, during the final week of classes. Other major examinations and tests may be administered only with the explicit written consent of the dean of the college (quizzes and minor assignments are permitted). No paper or other assignment may be due on other days of the final week of classes unless clearly scheduled for that week in the course syllabus that is distributed at the outset of the course.

The below section refers to both graduate and undergraduate courses:

*Tests or student learning assessment mechanisms are to be employed periodically. In the interest of fairness, faculty members should take steps to avoid situations where some students have access to previous examinations while others do not. This can be done in several ways: faculty members may collect examination papers from students so that these cannot be circulated in later semesters, or faculty members may make previous examinations available to students either electronically or by other means. Copies of semester examinations are to be filed with the chair of the department and/or the dean of the college.

*Occasionally students will encounter conflicts in the examination schedule such that two of a student's examinations are scheduled at the same time or three examinations are scheduled on the same day. In the event of such a conflict, the student must notify the instructor at least seven days in advance of the scheduled exam. The instructor will make alternative arrangements for the student to complete the examination. In resolving conflicts, multiple section exams should take precedence over exams for a single section, and courses in the major should take precedence over non-major courses. Extraordinary difficulties encountered in effecting such an arrangement will be resolved by the dean of the student's college.

*If a student is absent from a final examination for any reason other than a conflict, he or she must contact the instructor within 24 hours of the scheduled beginning of the examination to request permission from the instructor to take a make-up examination. The instructor may, if he or she wishes, arrange a make-up examination at a mutually convenient time. If the faculty member has reservations about the legitimacy of the student's reasons for missing the examination, the faculty member may refer the student to the office of the college dean, who will evaluate the student’s request for a make-up. If the office of the dean approves the request, the faculty member will arrange a make-up examination for the student or assign other work in place of the final examination. If the student does not contact the faculty member within 24 hours, the student must receive permission from both the office of the dean and the faculty member before being allowed to take a make-up examination.

*Faculty members should attend the administration of the final examination in order to answer any questions and ensure high standards of academic integrity. When they are unable to do so, department chairs are to see that sufficient proctors are provided for each examination room. Where there is a shortage in any department, assistance should be requested from other departments.

*Faculty members must retain in their possession all final exams and other unclaimed exams, papers, and student course projects and materials for a period of twelve months following the end of the semester in which they were used to establish grades.

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