Planning for the End of Term

Undergraduate Subjects

Graduate Subjects

General information

To ensure that student and faculty workloads do not become overwhelming, the Faculty regulates examinations and work assignments at the end of term. Nonetheless, violations of these regulations are reported each term. While usually well intended, requirements that are in violation of the rules often impose hardships on students. When violations occur, the Faculty Chair has the responsibility to resolve them. The Chair will contact the instructor, and, in the case of undergraduate subjects, will inform the Department Head as well.

It is often difficult and awkward to resolve such situations late in the term in a way that is fair to the students and that preserves the educational value intended by the instructor. For this reason, please read these guidelines carefully and contact the current Faculty Chair, Professor Steven Hall, no later than Add Date (fifth week of the term) with any questions.

Students are entitled to expect that no faculty member will deviate from these rules except with prior permission of the Faculty Chair and that any such approved exception will be announced and appropriately emphasized early in the term. Having students vote on any deviation from the rules is not an acceptable procedure. (See Section 2.50 of the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty on assignments and examinations.)

Dates

Last Test Date for undergraduate subjects Friday December 5
Last day of classes Wednesday December 10
Final examinations Monday - Friday December 15-19

See 2014-15 Academic Calendar for additional dates.

Scheduling Final Exams

Final examinations are held during the five-day final examination period at the end of each term and are scheduled through the Schedules Office. Final examinations are scheduled in either the morning (9:00 A.M. to noon) or afternoon (1:30 to 4:30 P.M.) on examination days.

A final examination must be scheduled to last at least one hour and not more than three hours; ex camera examinations for undergraduate subjects are the only exception to this regulation. Final examinations may not be cancelled once they are announced, and, after the final examination schedule is published, the time of the final examination may not be changed. Instructors may not administer a take-home examination as a final examination, except as permitted with respect to ex camera examinations.

Students are responsible for attending the final examinations required in the subjects for which they are registered. The schedule of final examinations is published on the Web by the end of the third week of the term. The Schedules Office contacts students who have conflicts between scheduled final examinations to notify them of the conflict examination schedule, which is announced the day after Drop Date. The Schedules Office also provides instructors with the conflict examination schedule immediately after Drop Date.

Exercises After the Last Scheduled Class

No required classes, examinations, oral presentations, exercises or assignments of any kind may be scheduled after the last regularly scheduled class in a subject, except for final examinations scheduled through the Schedules Office. (The architecture design reviews that occur during finals week are considered to be equivalent to final examinations and are scheduled by the Department of Architecture.)

Formal reviews must be held during regular class periods. However, instructors may schedule optional reviews or sessions at which the instructing staff is available to answer questions for students who choose to attend after the last day of classes. No new material may be introduced during optional events.

An instructor may give an extension to an individual student for an assignment, but blanket extensions should not be given to the entire class.

Excused Absences from Final Exams

A student may be excused from a scheduled final examination for reasons of illness or significant personal problems. To seek an excused absence in these situations, an undergraduate student should contact a dean in Student Support Services and a graduate student should contact the Dean for Graduate Education. Faculty members with questions about this process should contact the appropriate office. (See definition of "O" and "OX" grades in Section 2.63 of Rules and Regulations of the Faculty.)

In addition, the faculty member in charge of a subject may excuse a student from a final examination for reasons such as a conflict with another examination or religious holiday. In these cases, a mutually satisfactory agreement must be reached between the student and the faculty member, the agreement ratified in advance of the examination by the head of the department in which the subject is offered, and the faculty member must be prepared to submit a grade based on other evidence.

Faculty members are not required to provide make-up examinations to accommodate an individual student's personal plans at the end of the term.

Undergraduate Subjects

End-of-Term Tests

In all undergraduate subjects, there shall be no tests after the Last Test Date (Friday, December 5). (Section 2.53 of the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty defines the Last Test Date as the Friday preceding the start of the Reading Period.) Unit tests may be scheduled during the final examination period.

End-of-Term Assignments for Subjects with Finals

For each subject in which there is testing during the final examination period, no assignment may fall due after the Last Test Date (Friday, December 5).

End-of-Term Assignments for Subjects without Finals

For each subject in which there is no testing during the final examination period, at most one assignment may fall due between December 5 and the end of the last scheduled class period in the subject. This single assignment may include both an oral presentation and a written report if the two derive from the same project. However, students must not be required to attend additional lecture or recitation hours beyond the assigned units to accommodate oral presentations.

Optional assignments between December 5 and the last scheduled class period in the subject should be for self-study and may not be used toward part of the grade in a subject, even for extra points or as substitutes for earlier assignments.

Ex Camera Finals

In some undergraduate subjects, final examinations may be ex camera (out-of-room) examinations. Ex camera examinations are a different mode of testing that gives students access to computers and libraries and evaluates their abilities to select resources and answer questions of an integrative nature. Ex camera examinations are not intended as a way to increase the amount the material covered. A faculty member must obtain the permission of the Chair of the Faculty to hold an ex camera final examination and permission will be granted for no more than five years. The ex camera examination must:

  • be scheduled through the Schedules Office,
  • be offered over the course of a single afternoon — starting at 1:30 P.M. and ending no later than at 7:30 P.M., and
  • permit students unrestricted use of resources.

Graduate Subjects

End-of-Term Tests and Assignments for Subjects with Finals

For each subject with a final examination, no other test may be given and no assignment may fall due after the Last Test Date (Friday, December 5).

End-of-Term Tests and Assignments for Subjects without Finals

For each subject without a final examination, at most, either one in-class test may be given, or one assignment, term paper, or oral presentation may fall due between December 5 and the end of the last regularly scheduled class in the subject.

If an in-class test is given, its length is limited to one normal class period (or to one and one-half hours, whichever is shorter).

Students must not be required to attend additional lecture or recitation hours beyond the assigned units to accommodate oral presentations.