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

Responsible Officer
Rachel Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost
Robert McMaster
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Scott Lanyon
Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
Primary Contact
Sarah J Kussow
Associate Director of Scheduling & Operations, Office of Classroom Management
Last Revised
Effective Date

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 Provost and Dean of Undergraduate 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. In a course where only one examination is given during the term, that examination must be given during the final examination period.
  4. Take-home examinations are specifically exempted from this section of the policy.

B. Final Examinations

  1. All classes that normally permit undergraduates to enroll will follow the standard examination schedule. Final examinations on the Twin Cities campus will extend over a six-day period. It is not a violation of this policy for a faculty member to use secure online test-taking, authorized by the academic unit, that permits students to take an exam at a time of their choosing rather than at a scheduled final examination time. System campuses will each determine the length of their final examination period.
  2. Final examinations normally will be two clock hours (120 minutes) long.
  3. Instructors may schedule longer examinations with the approval of their department, which will arrange longer use of the examination room with the appropriate campus scheduling office. Instructors and departments must decide in advance of scheduling a course if the examination is to exceed two hours, and must work with the campus office that schedules central classrooms on scheduling the location of the exam. Any examinations that exceed two hours must be noted in the class schedule, in order that students are informed and can try to fit the longer examination in their schedule of final examinations. 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.
  4. Instructors may offer take-home final examinations (but see 7(c) below).
  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, except that short courses that end with the semester may use the final exam time scheduled for that course.
  6. The requirement that the final examination period on the Twin Cities campus be six days will not apply to units that have been granted an exemption from the University calendar by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy.
  7. 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 academic officer. (For the Twin Cities, this is the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education.)
    2. Moving an examination within the final examination period. When an instructor and students conclude they wish to move the final examination for the course 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. 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.
    4. 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 none of the instructors agrees to make appropriate accommodation, the student should contact the student's advisor. If a student has three or more examinations in one day 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.
    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.

C. Study Days

Each campus will decide whether or not to have a Study Day; when the calendar permits, a Study Day should be added to the schedule. For campuses that choose to have one, the final examination period will begin on the second day after classes end, with the day after classes 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 that normally includes undergraduate students. Instructors may not schedule classes on a Study Day.
  2. Instructors may not hold a regular class during the final examination period (which can interfere with students' other exams) and may not hold a class during the first hour of the examination period and then conduct the final examination during the remaining hour(s).
  3. No University-sponsored extra-curricular 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. Instructors must provide an alternative and timely opportunity for students to complete course requirements they were unable to complete because of an absence permitted by this policy.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.

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 Diane Douglas 507-258-8008 [email protected]


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.


There are no specific responsibilities associated with this policy.

Related Information


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

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