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Final Exams

Final exams (those covering the work of the entire semester) must be administered during the final exam period at the end of the semester. Final exams are offered in the following formats:

Scheduled Examinations

The preliminary schedule is posted online around the time of fall or spring break as well as just outside the registrar's office and should be reviewed carefully. Any problems should be reported to the registrar's office.

Instructors should announce to the class the time and place of the exam once the schedule has been determined. Students should check the schedule for any possible course exam conflicts. If any problems exist, the registrar's office should be notified immediately.

Self-Scheduled Exams

Final exams should be two hours in length, with an extra 20 minute allowance for reading and returning completed exams to the centers.

Faculty are required to provide the appropriate number of copies (one per student plus five extra) to the registrar's office at least one week prior to the start of the exam period.

Exams must be produced according to the following specifications printed at the top of the exam:


No special arrangements may be made for students to take exams outside the exam period. Any student experiencing difficulties in scheduling should be directed to her class dean. Five-college students should meet with the senior class dean. All self-scheduled exams must be administered through the registrar.

Completed exams are available for faculty to pick up throughout each exam period. After the final period, exams are ready at 4:45 p.m. in order to allow time for sorting exams. The registrar's office remains open until approximately 6 p.m. on the final afternoon.

Take-Home Exams

Faculty legislation states:

"No take-home examinations may be given unless they are 'open-book.' No restriction may be placed on writing time except for the deadline by which the examination is to be handed into the instructor. Both the deadline and the place of delivery must be specified."

Instructors must be specific about the time and place of delivery. Students should be instructed to keep copies and to deliver papers in person to the instructor or other department personnel. If the take-home exam is to be mailed, students should be instructed to keep a copy and send the exam by certified mail, return receipt requested, and if by fax or e-mail to confirm its receipt with the instructor.

Sample guidelines are available in Appendix G of the code of Faculty Legislation.

The pre-exam study period is set aside to prepare for exams. Deadlines for papers, take-home exams, or other course work cannot be set during the pre-exam period.

At the start of each semester, the registrar's office will contact all instructors of introductory and intermediate courses to determine the type of exam to be given and to provide specific information concerning exam procedures. It has become practice not to give exams in seminars. Further details are available at the above links.

Students are not permitted to take exams early.

Instructors and students are not permitted to make special arrangements to administer final exams outside the regular exam period. If a student (Smith or Five College) has a problem with the exam schedule, she should be instructed to contact the class dean's office.