Midterm and Final Exams

Midterm Examinations

Midterms are scheduled at the discretion of instructors on various dates throughout the fall and spring semesters. There is no GS policy on make-up exams for missed midterms, and faculty members are not required to provide make-ups. A student who misses a midterm exam due to illness or family emergency should notify both the instructor and their GS advisor immediately. Typically, it is the student's responsibility to discuss with the instructor whether a make-up exam is possible. Make-ups for midterms are usually administered by the faculty member or the department. Please note that no make-ups for midterm exams may be administered after the semester has ended.

Final Examinations

Final examinations are given at the end of each term. The Master Exam Schedule can be found on the University Registrar's website and provides a tentative guide to final examinations. Students are urged to consult the final examination schedule section in SSOL during the early weeks of each term for the most accurate information. Students are expected to be present for the exam period and should plan their schedules to accommodate the scheduled exam times. Examinations will not be rescheduled to accommodate travel, work, or family plans.

Three or More Final Exams Scheduled for the Same Day

If a student has three examinations scheduled during one calendar day, as certified by the Registrar, an arrangement can be made with one of the student's instructors to take that examination at another mutually convenient time during the final examination period. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the appropriate documentation from the Registrar's Office in a timely manner and to negotiate with professors for an alternative date for one of the finals during the official examination period. GS advisors can be helpful to students negotiating such arrangements.

Incompletes

Students must complete all coursework by the last day of exams in a given semester. For students who cannot complete their coursework or are unable to take a final examination, an incomplete for a course in progress may be granted by the General Studies Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) or the Premedical Committee. 

The only reasons for which an incomplete will be granted are incapacitating illness, as certified by the University Health Services or a personal physician; serious family emergency; or circumstances of comparable gravity. Students who wish to receive an incomplete must, in consultation with their GS or Postbac advisor, petition the Committee on Academic Standing or the Premedical Committee in writing. To be granted an incomplete, it is expected that students will have completed all work in the class with the exception of the final paper or final exam.

There are three categories of incompletes available as accommodations: a deferred examination; an incomplete on written work (i.e. the final paper or project for the course); and an incomplete take-home exam. Faculty members, while consulted for approval of specific incompletes, are not authorized to grant extensions beyond the end of term. Students should contact their advisors first when an exam or deadline is missed. Petitions for official incompletes at the end of term should be based on unexpected circumstances that arise only within the last two weeks of the course and that may prevent a student from the timely completion of the final coursework or exam.

When an incomplete is granted, the Dean of Students office will contact the instructor of the class to inform them and provide instructions for how the incomplete will be administered. The faculty member issues a temporary grade of AR and a contingency grade the student will earn if the outstanding work is not completed.  The AR is then converted by the Dean of Students Office to an IN (incomplete), another temporary grade and an indication of the incomplete status of the course. The IN is replaced by a permanent grade issued by the faculty member once outstanding work is completed. 

Students who are granted an incomplete are assigned a deadline for completion of the overdue written work or a date by which a deferred examination must be taken. For written work and take-home exams, the deadline is typically five to six weeks past the end of the finals period; deferred examinations are scheduled during the first two weeks of the following term. (Note: deferred examinations are not typically scheduled over the summer.) Students who fail to meet the assigned deadline or miss the deferred examination are issued the contingency grade provided by the instructor as their permanent final grade.

In very rare cases where incapacitating circumstances continue beyond the end of the term, students may apply for an extension of the incomplete. Even with an approved extension, all incompletes must be resolved by the end of the term immediately following the approval (i.e. an incomplete in a fall course must be resolved by the end of the following spring; an incomplete in a spring course must be resolved by the end of the following fall). The only exception is for students who are on continuous leave following the approved incomplete. In such cases, the incomplete must be resolved upon re-enrollment.

Students with more than two incompletes usually cannot enroll in the following semester without the explicit permission of the Committee on Academic Standing or the Premedical Committee. When allowed to enroll, students with more than two incompletes will usually be advised to enroll part-time. Undergraduate students with one or more incompletes in the spring term are not allowed to enroll in the first summer term or to study abroad in the summer without permission of the Committee on Academic Standing.

Incomplete Written Work

Students must submit a formal petition for an incomplete on written work (typically the final paper) within 48 hours of the missed deadline. Students are advised to submit a draft of their written assignment to the faculty member while the petition for an incomplete is being considered by the CAS or the Premedical Committee, noting to the professor upon submission that an incomplete has been requested and that a final product will follow.

Deferred Exams

In situations in which an incapacitating illness prevents a student from sitting for a final exam, the student should contact their advisor immediately to submit a formal petition for an incomplete exam. Students must provide documentation of illness by University Health Services, a personal physician, or an emergency room within seventy-two hours of submitting the petition. If the incomplete petition is approved, the student will be permitted to sit for the exam on one of the official deferred exam dates published in the GS Academic Calendar. Students cannot pick the date; they will be notified of the date, time, and place of the exam.

Note: An incomplete can only be requested before taking an exam.  Once a student has engaged with examination materials it is usually no longer possible to request an incomplete. In the event that a student experiences a medical issue during an exam, they should let their professor or exam proctor know immediately and ask for guidance.

Incomplete Take-Home Exams

In situations in which an incapacitating illness prevents a student from engaging a final take-home exam, the student should contact their advisor immediately to submit a formal petition for an incomplete.  Students must provide documentation of illness by University Health Services, a personal physician, or an emergency room within seventy-two hours of submitting the petition. If the incomplete petition is approved, the student will be given the opportunity to complete a take-home exam at a later time, often five to six weeks following the end of the finals period.  

Note: Although some professors may choose to allow students approved for an incomplete to take additional time towards the original exam, in most cases students should expect to complete a new take-home examination under the same time conditions as the original.

Examinations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services to avail themselves of approved accommodations and other important services. Students with disabilities are expected to take exams with or at the same time as the rest of the class. However, some students may need special accommodations for exams depending on their disabilities. Each term the Office of Disability Services requests that students provide them with complete and advance information about their examination schedule so that appropriate accommodations can be made if disability-related modifications are needed.