Failure to Take a Final Exam

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Unexcused Failure to Take Exam: A student will receive a failing grade in any course in which the student fails to take the final examination without being previously excused.

Illness or Emergency Before Exam: A student who is ill or has an emergency prior to the beginning of a final examination must notify the Dean of Students prior to the start of an examination, provide supporting documentary or other evidence, and request to be excused. If the student is excused, the student will receive an Incomplete ("I") if he or she does not take the exam. However, a student who is excused from an examination but decides nonetheless to begin or continue the examination is precluded thereafter from receiving an Incomplete ("I") in the course on the ground that a failing or low grade was caused by physical or emotional illness or other emergency.

Illness or Emergency During Exam: A student who becomes ill or has an emergency during an examination and is unable to continue should immediately notify the examination proctor and the Dean of Students, and request to be excused. All cases caused by medical emergency must be documented by competent medical personnel in writing or in a direct telephone conversation between the physician and the Dean of Students. If the student is excused, and does not in fact complete the exam, the student will receive an Incomplete ("I").

Excuse After Exam: A student who requests to be excused after failure to take an examination must submit a written request to the Dean of Students. Approval will be granted only in unusual circumstances for compelling reasons that justify failure to request in advance that the examination be rescheduled. Such reasons include serious personal illness requiring the care of a physician and death or serious illness in the student's immediate family or household, such that a request to be excused prior to the exam could not have been submitted. A student who is excused from an examination will be given a grade of "I" (Incomplete).

Make-Up Exams:

  • Professors are not obliged to give special make-up examinations at the end of the semester in which the student missed an examination. A student who has been excused from an examination must take the examination administered at the end of the next regular semester in which the course is offered, even if that means delaying graduation. Exceptions to this rule are recognized in the following instances:
  • If the course is next offered in the summer session following the academic year in which the student failed to take the examination, the student may elect to take the examination administered at the end of the summer session. Written notice of this election must be filed with the Dean of Students prior to the beginning of the summer session.
  • If the course is next offered during the regular academic year by a faculty member other than the faculty member in whose course the student was enrolled, and the faculty member who taught the student is scheduled to teach the course during the following semester, the student may petition the Dean of Students for permission to take the examination at the end of the semester in which the course will be taught by the faculty member in whose course the student was enrolled. This petition must be filed with the Dean of Students at least four weeks prior to the date of the examination the student must take if the student's petition is denied.
  • A student who is excused from an examination for compelling reasons and who is scheduled to graduate at the end of the examination period may petition the Dean of Students to request a special make-up examination, which may be granted only if the professor approves.
  • If the student is able to take the examination before the examination period is completed, the Dean of Students believes that the blind grading process will not be compromised, and the professor is willing to allow the student to take the examination, an exception may be granted.
  • The School of Law does not permit special make-up examinations in other situations.

Pending Honor Council Proceedings: A student who has been denied the opportunity to take an examination because of a pending Honor Council proceeding and whose case was subsequently determined by the Honor Council not to have probable cause would normally be permitted to take a special make-up examination. A student for whom probable cause was found, but who is subsequently found not guilty in an Honor Council proceeding, would also be permitted to take the examination if the elapsed time makes this feasible. Otherwise, the general rules set forth above apply.