Term Regulations

These term regulations and examination policies derive from Rules and Regulations of the Faculty, which can be found on the web here, and apply to undergraduate academic exercises during the fall and spring terms. Questions of interpretation and requests for exceptions to regulations should be referred to Professor Krishna Rajagopal, the Chair of the Faculty. Exceptions to regulations should be granted for no more than five years.

All subjects

Class times

Exercises should, in general, be held between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M., Monday through Friday.  Exercises begin five minutes after and end five minutes before the scheduled hour or half-hour; this gives students time to get to their next class and allows the faculty member coming into the classroom adequate time to set up. Teaching assistants who conduct recitations or tutorial sessions should be made aware of this rule.a

Beginning of Term

Early in the term, the faculty member should inform students of expectations regarding permissible academic conduct. Particular attention should be given to such questions as the extent of collaboration permitted or encouraged, and the use of prior years’ materials in completing problem sets, lab reports, and other assignments.

Scheduling Final Examinations

Final examinations are held during the final examination period at the end of each term, and are scheduled through the Schedules Office. A final examination should last at least one hour and not more than three hours. Final examinations may not be cancelled once they are announced, and, after the final examination schedule is published, the time of the final examination may not be changed.

Students are responsible for attending the final examinations required in the subjects for which they are registered. The schedule of final examinations is issued several months before the examination period. Students should obtain a copy of the schedule and report any conflicts in examinations to the Schedules Office before the time limit given.

After the last scheduled class

No classes, examinations, or exercises of any kind may be scheduled after the last regularly scheduled class in a subject, except for final exams scheduled through the Schedules Office. Formal reviews should be held during regular class periods, but the rule does not exclude the possibility of sessions after May 17th at which the instructing staff is available to answer questions of students who choose to attend. (The architecture design reviews that occur during finals week are considered to be equivalent to final examinations and are scheduled by the Department of Architecture.) An instructor may give an extension to an individual student, but blanket extensions should not be given to the entire class.

excused ABSENCES from final examinations

A student may be excused from a scheduled final examination for reasons of illness or significant personal problems. Undergraduates should contact a dean in Counseling and Support Services and graduate students should contact the Dean for Graduate Education if they wish to seek an excused absence; faculty members with questions about this process should contact the appropriate office. See definition of “O” and “OX” in the Faculty Rules and Regulations, 2.62.3.

The faculty member in charge of a subject may excuse a student from a final examination for such reasons as conflicts either between examinations or with religious holidays. In these cases, a mutually satisfactory agreement should be reached between the student and the faculty member, the agreement ratified in advance of the examination by the head of the department in which the subject is offered, and the faculty member prepared to submit a grade based on other evidence.

Undergraduate Subjects

class times

For undergraduate subjects, during the instructional period of the fall and spring terms, there should be no required academic exercises between 5 P.M. and 7 P.M. Monday through Thursday, and between 5 P.M. Friday and 8 A.M. Monday. Monday evening class times are reserved for regularly scheduled classes, and evening tests and required reviews are prohibited. This rule covers “optional” sessions such as those that introduce new material or discuss upcoming test content. When an optional review session is scheduled for a Monday evening, students should have an alternative way of obtaining comparable help within the normal, instructional periods, e.g., faculty office hours.

beginning of term

By the end of the first week of classes, the faculty member must provide:

  • A clear and complete description of the required work, including the number and kinds of assignments;
  • The approximate schedule of tests and due dates for major projects;
  • Whether or not there will be a final examination; and
  • The grading criteria and procedures to be used.

By the end of the third week, the faculty member must provide the precise schedule of tests and major assignments.

tests and academic exercises outside of scheduled class times

Tests, required reviews, or other academic exercises outside scheduled class times should not be held on Monday evenings. This regulation is intended to reduce conflicts with evening classes and undergraduate seminars and to invigorate student activities and programs in the living groups.

Tests held outside scheduled class times should:

   Not exceed two hours in length, 

   Be scheduled through the Schedules Office, 

   Begin no earlier than 7:30 P.M. when held in the evening, and

   Not be held on Monday evenings. 

   A student who is unable to take the test owing to a conflict with a scheduled academic exercise or extracurricular activity must be allowed to do so at another time.

When a test is held outside scheduled class time, during that calendar week: 

   A regularly scheduled class hour (lecture or recitation) should be cancelled, or

   No assignment should fall due.

final examinations

In some undergraduate subjects, final examinations may be ex camera (out-of-room) examinations. Ex camera examinations are a different mode of testing intended to give students access to computers and libraries and evaluate their abilities to select resources and answer questions of an integrative nature. Ex camera examinations are not intended as a way to increase the amount the material covered.

Ex camera final examinations may be held with the permission of the Chair of the Faculty. Permissions should be granted for no more than five years. The ex camera examination must:

   Be scheduled through the Schedules Office, 

   Be offered over the course of a single afternoon — starting at 1:30 P.M. and ending no later than at 7:30 P.M., and

   Permit students unrestricted use of resources.

End-of-term tests and assignments

In all undergraduate subjects, there should be no tests after the Last Test Date, December 4 (Section 2.53 of the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty defines the Last Test Date as the Friday preceding the start of the Reading Period). Unit tests may be scheduled during the final examination period.

For each subject in which there is testing during the final examination period, no assignment may fall due after the Last Test Date.

For each subject in which there is no testing during the final examination period, at most one assignment may fall due between the Last Test Date and the end of the last scheduled class period in the subject. This single assignment may include both an oral presentation and a written report if the two derive from the same project.

Optional assignments during the last week should be for self-study, and may not be used toward part of the grade in a subject, even for extra points or as substitutes for earlier assignments.