IV.F. Rules Governing Final Examinations

(Source: Provost Memorandum 2-67, April 19, 1967; Office of the Provost, Almanac, May 1, 1979; revised, Almanac, November 21, 1995; revised, Almanac, November 25, 2003; revised, Almanac, November 22, 2005; revised, Almanac, November 18, 2008; revised, Almanac, March 31, 2015)

  1. No instructor may hold a final examination nor require the submission of a take-home final exam except during the period in which final examinations are scheduled; when necessary, exceptions to this policy may be granted for postponed examinations (see 3 and 4 below). No final examinations may be scheduled during the last week of classes or on reading days.
  2. No student may be required to take more than two final examinations on any calendar day during the period in which final examinations are scheduled. If more than two are scheduled, the student may postpone the middle exam. If a take-home final exam is due on a day when two final examinations are scheduled, the take-home exam shall be postponed by one day.
  3. Examinations that are postponed because of conflicts with other examinations, or because more than two examinations are scheduled on the same day, may be taken at another time during the final examinations period if the faculty member and student can agree on that time. Otherwise, they must be taken during the official period for postponed examinations.
  4. Examinations that are postponed because of illness, a death in the family, for religious observance or some other unusual event, may be taken only during the official periods: the first week of the spring and fall semesters. Students must obtain permission from their Dean’s office to take a postponed exam. Instructors in all courses must be willing to offer a make-up examination to all students who are excused from the final examination.
  5. No instructor may change the time or date of a final exam without permission from the appropriate Dean.
  6. No instructor may increase the time allowed for a final exam beyond the scheduled two hours without permission from the appropriate Dean.
  7. No classes or required class activities may be held during the reading period.
  8. The first examination of the day begins at 9 a.m. and the last examination concludes by 8 p.m. There will be one hour between exam time blocks.
  9. All students must be allowed to see their final examination. Exams should be available as soon as possible after being graded with access ensured for a period of at least one regular semester after the exam has been given. To help protect student privacy, a student should have access only to his or her own exam and not the exams of other students. Therefore, for example, it is not permissible to leave student exams (or grades or papers) in publicly accessible areas.
  10. Students may not be asked for their Social Security Numbers. Instructors may not publicly display a student’s Penn ID or any portion of the Social Security Number, nor use name, initials or any personally identifiable information to post grades. Even when an identifier is masked or absent, grades may not be posted in alphabetical order, to protect student privacy.
  11. Final exams for the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) courses must be given on the regular class meeting night during the week of final examinations. No change in scheduling is permitted without unanimous consent of all students in the class and the director of LPS. LPS final exams may not be administered during the last week of class or on a reading day.

In all matters relating to final exams, students with questions should first consult with their Dean’s offices. Faculty wishing to seek exceptions to the rules also should consult with their Dean’s offices. Finally, the Council of Undergraduate Deans and SCUE urge instructors to see that all examinations are actively proctored.