Final Exam Regulations Revised

View All


Printer-friendly version PDF version

Final Exam Regulations Revised

To: UA Faculty


Dennis Ray, Chair, Undergraduate Council; Koen Visscher, Chair, Graduate Council; Celeste Pardee, Assistant Director for Academic Policies/Organizations

Subject: Final Exam Regulations Revised

Date: April 15, 2016

Effective in Fall 2016, all final examinations for undergraduate and graduate courses should be scheduled in accordance with the revised Final Exam Regulations (see below).  

Revisions to the regulations were made in response to a request from the Office of Academic Initiatives/Student Success for increased flexibility in scheduling exams for fully online courses. The revisions were approved by the Undergraduate Council on November 10, 2015, the Graduate Council on November 20, 2015, and by the Faculty Senate on March 7, 2016. 

The revised Final Exam Regulations are now posted on the Registrar's website.

Approved Revisions: New Item, number three and revised Items four and eight of the Final Exam Regulations (in bold font):

  • No classes or laboratories will be held after the last day of classes.
  • All courses offered for credit shall include a final examination or a summative assessment (e.g., portfolios, essays, project reports).
  • Final exams must be limited to the published examination period for that term (e.g., semester, first 7-week session, pre-session). See item #4 for the process by which exceptions may be made.
  • It is Faculty Senate policy that all forms of exams (quizzes, take homes, etc.) are prohibited on any scheduled class or reading day during the calendar week in which regularly scheduled final exams begin. Specific exceptions for certain courses may be made with approval from the appropriate academic unit head and academic dean. Students shall be informed of any such exceptions in the class syllabus.
  • Exams for classes starting after the hour will be held according to the schedule for that hour. Example: classes starting at 2:15 p.m. will hold the exam at the same time as the 2 p.m. classes.
  • In courses where the exam is given according to the class meeting time, the lecture hours only are considered in determining the exam period, unless the course is a laboratory only with no lecture. The exam will be given in the same room in which the lecture has been held, unless otherwise informed.
  • Certain courses will have Common Final Exams. Common Final Exams can be scheduled only in courses that have four or more class sections or more than 200 students. Rooms for these course finals will be announced by the instructor prior to the final exam period.
  • Instructors of fully-online classes are required to specify in the syllabus when—during the official final exam period—they will hold their final exam or by what date and time students are required to submit their summative assessment. 
  • A student having two or more exams scheduled for the same time period will take the exam in the course with the largest total enrollment. The student must then arrange with the instructor of the other course to schedule a make-up exam at the earliest possible time during the final exam period.
  • A student having four or more exams scheduled for one day may, upon prior notice to the instructors concerned, arrange to take the fourth and fifth, etc., exams on some other day during the exam period. The student must report to the Office of the Registrar, Registration and Transcripts, Administration 210, no later than fourteen calendar days before the end of classes to obtain an authorization form for the rescheduling. The exams to be rescheduled are those in courses having the lowest enrollment(s).
  • Candidates for graduation who have a final examination scheduled during their college commencement recognition ceremony shall be given the option of rescheduling that exam. Faculty may verify the date and time of college commencement ceremonies on the UA Commencement Ceremony website.
  • As Confirmed by the Faculty Senate: No deviation from the exam schedule, once it is published, is authorized.

Rationale for the revisions:

Instructors of online classes need more flexibility in scheduling a time-bound final exam within the published examination period.

In January 2011 when one online class exam period was designated (item seven in the former policy, eight above), students only took one to two online classes. Now that students enroll in three or more online classes, a single exam period is problematic.

Most UA peer institutions permit instructors of online classes to select any time within the final exam period for a time-bound final exam.

Item three is a response to student complaints that final exams for semester classes were scheduled on Saturday/Sunday, which is not within the published examination period.

Effective Term: Fall 2016 for all undergraduate and graduate courses. 

Note: College academic deans recommend that departments with online programs and/or multiple online courses coordinate their exam times to avoid conflicts.

Questions may be addressed to Celeste Pardee, Curricular Affairs, at 621-5375, or

UA@Work is produced by University Communications

Marshall Building, Suite 100. 845 N. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719 (or) 
P.O. Box 210158B, Tucson, AZ 85721

T 520.621.1877  F 520.626.4121

Feedback University Privacy Statement 

2020 © The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona