Exams or Student Learning Assessment Policy

Authority: Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management
Date Enacted or Revised: Revised September 30, 2013; September 18, 2015; May 17, 2022

Assessments of student learning must be included in each course section. These assessments should be appropriate for the type of course and the type of learning being assessed. Examples of appropriate assessments include but are not limited to exams, demonstrations, projects, and performances.

Final Exams

Faculty are required to give a final exam or assessment in each course during the scheduled final exam period. Final exams must cover at least the material offered during the last half of the term or, preferably, the material offered during the entire term.

A faculty member may not exempt any student from a final exam; however, with the approval of the department head and dean, the final exam requirement may be waived for courses in which exams are not applicable.

Final exams may not be given outside the official University exam schedule unless a University-approved excuse applies.

Make‑up Exams and Required Course Assignments

The course syllabus must provide expectations for class attendance and procedures for make-up exams or course work missed due to excused absences.

Students who miss exams or required assignments due to a planned absence for University-approved events must present the approved University-excused absence, signed by the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management, to the instructor prior to missing class. Instructors must accept official University excuses. The instructor may allow the student to take an exam or submit assignments prior to the planned absence or may allow the student to arrange to make up exams or assignments within two weeks after the absence. Lab assignments, oral presentations, artistic performances or similar assignments may require special consideration and extended time to arrange completion.

Students who are absent due to medical issues should present valid documentation signed by a healthcare provider to the instructor as soon after the absence as possible. The instructor will determine if the absence is excused or unexcused. Medical documentation is subject to verification by the instructor. Proof of medical issues that cause a student to be absent for an extended period must be presented to the instructor as soon as possible after the student receives this diagnosis from a medical professional.

The instructor may allow the student to complete exams or assignments in an alternative course format (i.e., use of Moodle, use of note takers, independent study, etc.), if appropriate. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to make arrangements and discuss whether options are available to complete the course requirements. Note: An “incomplete” grade for the course must be in accordance with University policy.

When the excuse is presented to the instructor in the specified time frame, the instructor will provide the student with an opportunity to complete any outstanding work due to the absence. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to make arrangements for makeup work or exams. After the student has provided the instructor with an official University excuse, make-up assignments or exams should be completed as soon as possible after the absence or, when appropriate, prior to the absence.

Instructors will not require a student to make up all exams at once.

Make-up exams must be completed prior to the beginning of the University final exam period. Faculty may not create make-up policies that result in punitive actions against students who miss exams or are absent due to University-excused absences or other excused absences.

Mid‑term Exams

Mid‑term exams are not required, but mid‑term grades, if applicable, should be based on all graded assignments prior to mid‑term. All instructors are requested to encourage students to discuss mid‑term grades with their advisors. Instructors of lower-level courses should post grades at or near the mid-term mark.

Scheduled Exams in the Week Prior to Final Exam Week

There will be no scheduled exam in a lecture-only section during the last class meeting before final exams if the section has multiple meeting dates per week; an exam may be administered during the last class meeting before final exams in a section that meets only once per week for at least 150 instructional minutes. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the dean of the college in which the course is taught.

Exams in Online Sections

Web and web-hybrid sections are required to adhere to this policy. Course syllabi should include provisions related to all course exams (mid-term, final, and others) and stipulate the types of exams, timeframes within which the exams will be administered, and specific requirements for each exam.

When selecting time frames for web exam availability, instructors are expected to ensure that the timeframe reasonably permits all students to complete the exam. Given that students generally enroll in web sections for convenience to accommodate personal schedules, instructors should consider utilizing blocks of time that include both daytime and evening hours (e.g., a single, 24-hour block of time; two, three-hour blocks of time, including one morning block and one evening block).

Face-to-face class meetings may be used to administer exams in web-hybrid sections. For web sections, no face-to-face class meetings at prescribed times or locations are permitted; however, proctored exams for web sections are permitted as long as reasonable accommodations are made to meet student needs.


This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.