Graduate Course-Specific Final Exam Information

Graduate Course-Specific Final Examinations Information

This information applies to course-specific final examinations for individual courses. This information does not refer to comprehensive, cumulative, or general exams for degree programs.

Instructors of graduate courses are encouraged to provide a clear form of assessment of student work that shall be consistent with and sufficient for the learning goals of the course. This may include activities such as final examinations, final papers, final individual/group projects or presentations, portfolio reviews, or other forms of cumulative assessment.

Final Course Exam Scheduling

If an in-class final examinations is required for your course it must be given in the places and at the times scheduled by the University.

If a time is scheduled for a course in the official finals schedule, the time may not be changed. Very few exceptions to move and change final exams – requested by either faculty or students – are approved because of limited space and a short, tightly scheduled exam period. Please keep in mind fairness to students: many plan their studies and projects far in advance of finals based on the published exam schedule.  To depart from the published ground rules causes not only inconvenience, but also inequity.

Even the well-intentioned inclination of a faculty member – or of a student – to change a scheduled finals time can have a devastating effect upon students who are then frustrated by a suddenly altered schedule.  Even apparent consensus among students to change an exam time can mask an unanticipated intrusion by the majority upon the legitimate expectations of a few.  We therefore approve such requests on a very limited basis.

Finals may not be administered on Reading days.

Each teaching member of the staff should announce to each class exactly when and where the final is scheduled for the particular section.  While such an announcement would probably be helpful in all cases, it would be especially useful in sectioned classes where finals are held at a number of different times.  It seems it is not uncommon for students who are absent from a finals to present as excuse that they did not understand correctly when or where the final was to be held.

Missed Final Course Exams 

If a student does not take your final at the time scheduled in the official schedule, no matter how valid and urgent his or her reason, one of the following grade reports must be made:

(a) If in your judgment, it is reasonable to suppose that the student could pass the course by a reasonable performance on the final, you are to mark the student “X.”

(b) Otherwise, you are to mark the student “F”. (Please note that a grade of “F” should not be turned in simply because the student is absent – nor should the instructor attempt to evaluate the reasons for the absence.)

(c) A third option is that when a student’s absence from a final is not excused they shall receive no credit for the final. Depending on the student’s previous performance in the class and the weight of the final in the grade, this need not mean failure in the course. However, a student whose absence is excused by the Graduate School shall have an opportunity to take a final without penalty.

Once you have reported a student as being absent from a final, you should not thereafter give the student a make-up final or any further work of any kind until you are authorized to do so by one of the following offices, as appropriate:

  • For medical reasons, Student Health Services call (860) 486-4700.
  • For graduate degree students and non-degree students enrolled in graduate courses, The Graduate School call (860) 486-3617.

Academic Misconduct

The incidence of cheating unfortunately increases during finals. Instructors are reminded that the current Student Code pamphlet outlines University Senate policy and guidelines for confronting cheating and other forms of academic misconduct.  The policy states, in part, the following:  “Instructors shall take reasonable steps to prevent academic misconduct by students in their courses.” During the course of the finals, an instructor or proctor who observes suspicious behavior should warn the individuals involved regarding the appearance of their actions and request them to cease the suspicious actions immediately.

The Graduate Catalog provides the following process for addressing Misconduct Allegedly Committed Within an Academic Course:

The instructor, dean or department head who believes that scholarly misconduct has occurred within an academic course (the Complainant) shall retain all evidence of the alleged misconduct in its original form.

Original papers or other materials need not be returned to the accused student. Copies of the accused student’s work will be provided upon request. All instructors within the course shall be notified of the allegation and the proposed academic consequences before the student is notified of the alleged misconduct.

Within 30 business days of becoming aware of alleged misconduct, the Complainant shall notify the accused student and their major advisor in writing of the allegation of misconduct and the academic consequences to be imposed. The notice shall be sent by the Complainant to the accused student by email, to the student’s official University email address, and, if appropriate, by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the mailing address on file with the University. The notification shall advise the student that they have 10 business days from the date the notice is sent via email to contact the Complainant to address the alleged misconduct and/or file an appeal, and that if the student fails to do so, the academic consequences described in the notice shall be imposed. The Complainant will provide a copy of the written notification sent to the accused student to the Graduate School, and also will maintain a copy. (Complainant may use the Scholarly Misconduct Graduate School Reporting Form). The Graduate School shall notify the Complainant of the receipt of an appeal filed by the accused student within five business days. If an appeal is filed, the Complainant shall within five business days forward to the Graduate School information supporting the allegation.

An accused student may file an appeal in writing with the Graduate School. Please see the Complaint, Appeal and Hearing Procedures of the Graduate School.

The procedures for evaluating the appeal and referral to a hearing will follow the guidelines set forth in the Complaint, Appeal and Hearing Procedures of the Graduate School.

A student who has been notified that they have been accused of scholarly misconduct may not withdraw from the course in which the alleged misconduct has occurred without the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. If a semester concludes before a scholarly misconduct matter is resolved, the student shall receive a temporary “I” (Incomplete) grade in the course until the instructor submits the appropriate grade.

Please see the Graduate Catalog for information on Misconduct Allegedly Committed Outside of an Academic Course.

Each discipline may have additional technical standards that could account for misconduct. Tor these rules, see your department.


Semester grades should be reported to the Registrar as soon as possible after the completion of the final examination and no later than 72 hours after the completion of the exam


Final papers should be retained for a reasonable period of time after the final is over.  Unless papers are returned to the students, the instructor should keep them at least through the following semester.