Final Examinations and Other End-of-Semester Exercises

Advances in pedagogy and variations in practice across fields have broadened the range of commonly used end-of-semester evaluative exercises beyond traditional sit-down final examinations. The rules and guidelines that follow aim to protect students from unreasonable demands on their time while simultaneously providing instructors the flexibility necessary to design evaluative exercises appropriate to their courses.

The Academic Calendar sets aside after the last week of classes a four-day study period followed by a period for final examinations. The Registrar's Office assigns to every course a specific day and time during final-examination period at which time the course's final exam, if any, will take place. The designated final-exam days and times are scheduled carefully to minimize conflicts and spread students' workloads as evenly as possible over the exam period.

It is university policy to discourage more than two examinations for a student in one twenty-four hour time period. Members of the faculty are urged to grant student requests for a make-up examination, particularly if their course is the largest of the three involved and thus has the strongest likelihood of offering a makeup for other valid reasons, e.g. a student's illness or a death in a student's family.

Legislation of the University Faculty governing study period and final examinations and other end-of-semester exercises is as follows:

  1. No final examinations may be given at a time other than the time appearing onthe official examination schedule promulgated by the Registrar's Office without prior written permission of the dean of the faculty.
  2. No permission will be given, for any reason, to schedule final examinations during the last week of classes or the study period preceding final examinations.
  3. Permission will be given by the dean of the faculty to reschedule examinations during the examination period itself if requested in writing by the faculty member, but only on condition that a comparable examination also be given for students who wish to take it at the time the examination was originally scheduled. The faculty member requesting such a change will be responsible for making appropriate arrangements for rooms or other facilities in which to give the examination.
  4. The final due date for a take-home final examination can be no earlier than the date appearing on the official examination schedule promulgated by the Registrar's Office without prior written permission of the dean of the faculty.
  5. A course that requires a culminating end-of-semester exercise (for example, a paper, project report, final critique, oral presentaiton, or conference) in lieu of or in addition to a traditional final examination must advertise at the beginning of the semester the nature of the exercise.
  6. A course that requires a culminating end-of-semester exercise and does not offer a final examnation must allow studetns at least until the date appearing on the official examination schedule promulgated by the Registrar's Office to complete submission of materials associated with the culminating exercise. (For example, a student making a presentation during the last week of classes or during study period will have at least until the scheduled final-exam date to submit a final write-up or equivalent.)

5/14/08 Senate approval