Campus Policies on Final Examinations and Reporting of Grades

As the semester nears an end, I write to remind all those teaching undergraduates of the campus policies on scheduling final exams (including final unit exams) and the reporting of grades.

University Senate policy recognizes that the last week of classes is an especially busy period for students since many semester projects, lab reports, term papers, portfolios, etc. become due. In recognition, the Senate established the policy, stated below, that any final examination, which could be adequately administered during the final examination time period scheduled for the course, MUST be given during finals week and not add another burden to the students' final week of normal classes.

Final Examinations

  1. Final examinations must be given during finals week at the scheduled time, which is published in the Undergraduate Class Schedule. Final examinations must not be given in the last week of classes without advance permission of the dean of the instructor’s college. Such permission is rarely given and will be granted only for the most pressing academic reasons.
  2. If there is no final examination as such, but only a series of quizzes, the last examination (or test or quiz) must take place on the assigned day during finals week.
  3. Final unit examinations may be given during the last three meetings of a class only if a regular final examination is also scheduled at the appropriate period during finals week.
  4. The time or date of a final examination may not be changed without permission of the dean of the instructor’s college. Because it is likely to cause conflicts or too many examinations on one day for some students, such approval is rarely granted.

Final Grades

Final grades must be submitted (via the SOLAR System or) to the Office of Records within three working days of an examination. Term papers and other student work should be collected early enough to allow instructors to submit grades on time. Please contact the appropriate School or College Dean's office if the nature of the examination and the size of the class would warrant additional time. Grades for a course with no final examination should be handed in as soon as possible, and no later than three working days after the scheduled final exam time for the class.

Assigning Special Grades

An “Incomplete” (I) grade is assigned when circumstances prevent students from completing the expected coursework during the semester. In these cases, prior arrangements are usually made between the instructor and the student. PLEASE NOTE: University policy prohibits assigning an “I” grade to a student and then allowing the student to audit the course in the following semester and take the final examination at the end of that semester. A “No Record” (NR) should be assigned to a student whose name appears on the final grade roster only when the instructor has no record of that student ever having participated in the course.

Retaining Records

Final examinations and papers should be retained for one year. Where there is a possibility that a grade may be challenged or some other irregularities exist, we recommend that relevant documents be maintained for at least three years.