The schedule of final examinations is prepared by the Registrar’s Office for each semester and is published in the Schedule of Classes provided for advising and registration. Students have a right to take exams at the scheduled times, and they are expected to be present at those times.
There are a few permitted exceptions for students. Students may request moving the exam to another date if the scheduled time conflicts with, e.g., a religious obligation or a University-sanctioned intercollegiate sports competition (e.g., an NCAA national tournament or championship meet), if a student has three or more exams scheduled on one day, or for some other reason beyond the student’s control. We ask that you work with the student to arrange a reasonable solution to the problem. In general, the exam schedule is designed to avoid conflicts between exams, so that should seldom be a problem.
Faculty members are expected to respect that schedule also. Professors do not have the option of requiring students to take a final exam at any time other than the one officially sanctioned in the Registrar’s schedule of courses. It is simply not fair to students to alter the exam schedule. It gives them less time than they are supposed to have to study for exams, and it disrupts important end-of-term work in other courses. For these reasons, final exams are not permitted to be given during the last week of classes or during study day.
If you have a problem beyond your control (e.g., you need to be out of town to present a paper at a professional meeting) that seems to require a change in your exam schedule, the procedure calls for you to check with your department chair and then with me in advance concerning the proposed schedule change.
Finally, a question occasionally comes up about the appropriateness of having term papers that synthesize course content or other such projects due during exam week versus the last week of classes. Faculty members have the option of assigning a comprehensive project or take-home final in lieu of holding an in-class final at the scheduled time. However, the spirit of our policy is to avoid loading students in the last week of scheduled classes with, in effect, the additional work of a final exam. Therefore, take-home finals, or an alternative reflective assignment, are due when the scheduled final exam would occur. Students may choose to turn in such assignments early, but requiring them to do so is not in keeping with the point of our policy.
Lastly, a study day is given to students each semester to enable them to prepare for exams. Under no circumstances should departments and/or professors schedule anything (beyond study sessions) on Study Day.