Academic Regulations & Procedures


Ordinarily, final examinations are given in all courses other than advanced seminars and independent studies, although an instructor may arrange to use other means of evaluation. The final examination schedule is determined by the Registrar’s Office. Students may elect to take their exams at the regularly scheduled times. (For a course that is neither a ten-week nor second five-week course, a one-week period after the last class meeting stands in for the official examination period.) A professor may not require any student to take an examination at a different time if the student prefers the scheduled time. Instructors and space permitting, students may also elect to self-schedule their final examinations. Open-book exams may not be self-scheduled. Consult the Registrar’s Office for a list of regularly scheduled and self-schedulable final exam slots.

Students wishing to take a self-scheduled exam must signal this intention to their instructors by the beginning of the last week of classes. If this is not done, the student must sit for the exam at the regularly scheduled time and place. Students who have formally elected to self-schedule, however, may change their minds and sit for the exam at the regularly scheduled time slot, unless the instructor is only offering the exam as a self-scheduled exam.

An instructor may not require more than one major project due after the last day of class. In particular, only one traditional in-class final, take-home final, final paper, final presentation, etc., may be required during the final examination period. All other work for the course must be due by the last day of classes. (In rare cases with extenuating circumstances, instructors may make adjustments to these last-day-of-class deadlines for individual students, as described in the End of Term Deadlines policy.)

Students should be informed at the beginning of the course of the nature of the final project or final exam (e.g., traditional, self-scheduled, or take-home).

No final examination shall be given on Reading Days or before the start of the examination schedule. In particular, take-home exams may not be assigned or due during Reading Days; they must be available to students to start at any point during the final examination period (or earlier), with the deadline for completion being the end of the official examination schedule.

A student who has exams (that cannot be self scheduled) in each of three consecutive exam periods shall be entitled to have one of the three rescheduled; if all three professors are unwilling to reschedule, then the student is entitled to have the third exam rescheduled.

A student may miss a final exam only for reasons of illness or circumstances beyond the student’s control, and must obtain permission from an associate dean of students beforehand. Extensions will not be granted to students who fail to sit for final exams through their own negligence, whether due to poor planning or tardiness.

See also extensions and reading days.

Last Revised: February 22, 2023

For: Faculty, Students

Last Reviewed: March 1, 2024

Maintained by: Office of the Provost