University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Scheduling Examinations, Final Examinations, and Study Days: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

Policy Statement

A. Examinations During the Term

  1. Examinations during the term (e.g., mid-terms) will normally be given only during the regular class sessions, except that make-up exams may be given at other times arranged to accommodate student class schedules. Exams may be held at times other than the regularly scheduled class period only under unusual circumstances, and only if approved by the dean of the college in consultation with the Vice Provosts and Deans of Undergraduate or Graduate Education or the appropriate decision-making office on the system campuses. Any regularly scheduled examination to be held outside of regular class time must be listed in the published class schedule.
  2. Accommodation must be provided by the examining department(s) to any student who encounters an academic conflict, such as between an examination scheduled outside of regular class time and the regular class period of another course, or between two exams scheduled to be held simultaneously outside of regular class time.
  3. Comprehensive examinations, which require reflection, study, and application of the work of the entire semester, are strongly encouraged, but must be given during the final examination period. The only examinations allowed during the last week of classes are those equivalent in scale, scope, length, and percent of grade to other examinations given in that class during the term. Although late-semester examinations may rely on cumulative knowledge of the work of the course during the semester, such examinations must not be comprehensive in nature if they are given prior to the final examination period.
  4. Asynchronous/take-home examinations are specifically exempted from this section of the policy.

B. Final Examinations

  1. All classes will follow the standard examination schedule.
  2. Final examinations on the Twin Cities campus will extend over a six-day period. The Crookston, Morris, and Rochester campuses will each determine the length of their final examination period.Professional schools with different calendars as allowed by the academic calendar policy are permitted to have exams that vary from the requirements of this policy.
  3. Instructors may use asynchronous online or take-home exams that allow students to take an exam at a time of their choosing rather than at a scheduled final examination time.The due date for these exams must not be earlier than the published Standard Final Exam Schedule day/time for that course(See 7c below.)
  4. Final examinations normally will be two clock hours (120 minutes) long.
    1. Instructors and departments must decide in advance of scheduling a course if the examination is to exceed two hours, and must work with the appropriate campus scheduling office to schedule the location of the exam.
    2. Examinations that exceed two hours must be noted in the class syllabus, so that students are informed and can try to fit the longer examination into their schedule of final examinations.
    3. Accommodation must be provided by the examining department to any student who encounters a conflict with another final examination because of this lengthened examination time.
  5. For courses that do not run for a full semester, the final examination will be administered (or due, in the case of take-home or other out-of-class examinations) on the last day of the course. Short courses that end with the semester may choose to use the final exam time scheduled for that course or use the last day of instruction.
  6. Final examinations at times other than regularly scheduled:
    1. Examinations outside the final examination period. Instructors are permitted to schedule their final examinations outside of the scheduled examination days only under extraordinary circumstances and with the approval of their dean and the campus chief academic officer. For the Twin Cities, this is the Vice Provosts and Deans of Undergraduate or Graduate
    2. Moving an examination within the final examination period. When an instructor concludes they wish to move the final examination for the course from the originally scheduled day/time to a different time and/or day during the final examination period, the change must be (1) proposed by the instructor and (2) have the concurrence of the department chair. If the proposal to change the exam time is made after the first day of class, the change must also be approved unanimously  by an anonymous survey of the students in class.
    3. Asynchronous and Take Home Exams.
      1. Asynchronous classes holding synchronous online exams should use a time that ensures maximum compatibility within the Standard Exam Schedule and must be published in the syllabus showing both the day and hour the exam will be given.
      2. Asynchronous classes holding asynchronous/take-home exams must ensure the due date for the exam is not later than the last day of the published Standard Final Exam Schedule.
      3. Synchronous classes holding asynchronous/take-home exams must ensure the due date for the exam is not earlier than the published Standard Final Exam Schedule day/time.
    4. Laboratory practicums may be given during the final week of classes during the normal lab period, and take-home or other out-of-class finals may be distributed prior to the final exam period but may not be due before the scheduled final exam for that course.
    5. Summer term final examinations. Final examinations for summer terms will be scheduled during the regular meeting time of the course on the last day.
  7. 7. Students with final examination conflicts, or with three (or more) final examinations in one calendar day, will be expected to notify and provide documentation to instructors as soon as possible during the term. Instructors are expected to make appropriate accommodation to eliminate the conflict. In the event that none of the instructors agrees to make appropriate accommodations, the student should contact their advisor. If a student has three or more examinations in one day or a time conflict because one exam date was changed, the instructor who changed the exam must make the accommodation. Note: this section does not cover cases where a student has three (or more) examinations within a 24-hour period, only cases where the student has three (or more) examinations from morning to evening the same day.

C. Study Days

Each campus is strongly encouraged to have a student day added to the schedule, when the calendar permits.  For campuses that choose to have one, the day after the last scheduled day of instruction will be designated as a Study Day. In the event classes end on a Friday, final examinations will not start until the following Monday and Saturday and Sunday will be designated Study Days.

D. Classes and Events During the Study Day/Finals Period

  1. No classes will be permitted after the last scheduled day of instruction for that term/semester for any course.
  2. Instructors may not use the final examination period to hold a class during the first hour of the examination period and then conduct the final examination during the remaining hour(s).
  3. Classes are not permitted on Study Days.
  4. Exams are not permitted on Study Days.
  5. No University-sponsored extracurricular events, which require the participation of students, may be scheduled from the beginning of Study Day to the end of Final Examinations. Exceptions to this policy may be granted ONLY by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy. Twin Cities Athletic events are governed in accordance with the Administrative Policy: Intercollegiate Athletic Events during Study Day and Finals Weeks: Twin Cities.
  6. Instructors must provide an alternative and timely opportunity for students to complete course requirements they were unable to complete because of Administrative Policy: Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences and due to academic conflicts in exam scheduling.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth  campus.

Professional schools with different calendars as allowed by the academic calendar policy are permitted to have exams that vary from the requirements of this policy.

Special Situations

The Senate Committee on Educational Policy has the authority to grant waivers to the provisions of this policy and will report such waivers to the Faculty Senate at its next meeting.

Reason for Policy

This policy defines exams and outlines common scheduling practices and guidelines to allow students and faculty to plan for Study Day and examinations with a minimum of scheduling conflicts.




Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How should students who miss the final exam due to a COVID related absence be accommodated?

    Instructors should accommodate students who are unable to take a final exam due to COVID. A makeup exam may be scheduled outside the final examination period. Please see the Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences policy for more information.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact(s) Sarah J Kussow 612-626-7086 [email protected]
Twin Cities Campus Procedures Sarah J Kussow 612-626-7086 [email protected]
Crookston Campus Jason Tangquist 218-281-8424 [email protected]
Morris Campus Marcus Muller 320-589-6011 [email protected]
Rochester Campus Parry Telander, Registrar 507-258-8023 [email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
  • Sarah J Kussow
    Associate Director of Scheduling & Operations, Office of Classroom Management


Study Day
A day designated in the Academic Calendar reserved for study, which occurs immediately before finals period or during finals period; no required classes or exams may be scheduled on a Study Day.
Synchronous Online Class
Students and instructors must be online at the same time, at scheduled days and times. 100% of instruction is online with no in-person meetings. Exams are also all online.
Asynchronous Online Class
Instructors provide materials and assignments that students access online at any time or within a given time frame (such as one week), rather than instructors and students meeting together as a class on a regular schedule. Exams are also all online. No synchronous or on-campus meetings.


Campus Scheduling Office
Create a standard final exam period schedule each fall and spring semester.
College Deans
Provide approval for moving exams during the term and for moving final exams outside the final exam period.
Senate Committee on Educational Policy
Make a decision on requests for exceptions to this policy.
Department Heads
Provide approval for moving final exams within the final exam period.
Senate Committee on Educational Policy
Make a decision on requests for exceptions to this policy.


March 2022 - Comprehensive Review. Key Changes:
  1. Reordered and condensed content for clarity.
  2. Added new information regarding asynchronous exams.
  3. Clarified study day language.
  4. Added grammatical updates.
May 2016 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. 1. Clarifies that a course with a single exam must have the exam during the finals week. 2. Replaces “coordinate campuses” label with “system campuses”. 3. Provides clarity around the final exam period. May not necessarily be a final exam week.
December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
April 2009