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Finals Week/Final Exams Policies

Policy Number: 100410

Current Policy

Category: Academic » Grading



NAU is committed to the academic success of our students. The following policy has been developed to ensure that students are not overly burdened at the end of the term with non-academic activities and to ensure that final exams are administered as specified on the Registrar’s Office Final Exam Schedule. Finals Week refers to the last week of the term, and the dates are defined in the Registrar’s calendar. This policy applies to both graduate and undergraduate programs and applies to regular 16-week and short-format classes that end during Finals Week.

1. Classes during the Week Prior to Finals Week

Classes will meet as scheduled during the week prior to Finals Week. New material may be presented during this week. Course assignments (excluding assignments given in lieu of a Final Exam, see Item 3) are due no later than the last day of classes prior to Finals Week.

2. Final Exams Cannot be Administered Prior to Finals Week

Under no circumstances will a final exam in any class be moved to the week prior to Finals Week, with or without the unanimous consent of the students in the class, except in the individualized instruction classes that are self-paced and allow students to elect when to take the final exam.

3. Final Exams

There will be a final exam in all undergraduate courses where a final exam is considered by the faculty of a department to be appropriate. Where the class objectives provide for a type of final exam that differs from a standard final exam, a different type of assessment or evaluation may be provided, with prior approval by the dean of the college/director of the school by midterm.

4. Scheduling of Final Exams

Final Exams must be scheduled at times that conform to the official schedule published by the Registrar.  Final exams for online classes will be given on the date and in the manner specified in the class syllabus. Exam times listed in the Registrar’s Office Final Exam Schedule will take precedence when there is a conflict on exam times.

5. Final Exams for Evening Classes

All final exams for classes starting 5 p.m. or later must be scheduled for the first regular meeting time during Finals Week as listed on the Registrar’s website.

6. Take Home Final Exams

Take-home final exams, or their equivalent, are due at the time scheduled for the final exam or during Finals Week if the class does not have a specific meeting time.

7. Final Exams Not Fitting the Schedule

If there is difficulty fitting non-standard time classes into the published schedule, the instructor must choose the starting time of the closest exam period. A poll of the class should determine whether there would be an actual conflict. If insurmountable conflicts are encountered, the instructor must contact the department chair or, if necessary, the dean for assistance.

8. Approval to Move a Final Exam Within Finals Week 

Approval to move a final exam within Finals Week may be granted by the dean of the college/director of the school in cases when there are exceptional circumstances and strong pedagogical reasons for the move.  In addition, the request must demonstrate it is in the best interest of the students, all students enrolled in the class have agreed to the change, and the change does not force any of the enrolled students to take three finals in a 24-hour period (see item 9). Requests for approval must be made at least three weeks in advance of Finals Week.

9. Multiple Exams in a Day

NAU's policy is that no student should be forced to take more than two final exams in a 24-hour period. If a student is scheduled for three or more exams within a 24-hour period, it is his/her responsibility to seek an alternative schedule. At least two weeks before the scheduled exam(s), the student should approach the faculty members to determine which exam is easiest to reschedule. Unless there are pedagogical scheduling problems with doing so (such as a common exam or the use of lab or other special equipment), a faculty member should provide an alternative date for the student to take the exam(s). In the event that such pedagogical reasons arise, the student should ask the other faculty members to accommodate an alternative date. If such agreement cannot be reached between student and faculty member, the student should request the chair or the dean to request an alternative date of one of the faculty members.

10. Scheduling of Athletic Events

No off-campus Intercollegiate Athletic competitions may be scheduled during the week prior to Finals Week or during Finals Week unless such competition is part of the approved Big Sky Conference scheduling or NCAA tournament or championship. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.

11. Scheduling of Other Competitions

No off-campus competitions involving student academic or student affairs organizations or Club Sport Athletic teams may be scheduled during the week prior to Finals Week or during Finals Week unless such competition is scheduled by a regional or national organization of which the local organization is a member. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the college dean and/or the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

12. Scheduling of Field Trips

Faculty members are not to schedule field trips during the week prior to Finals Week. In addition, faculty members should not schedule field trips during Finals Week unless the trip is the final exam for the class and fits within the time allowed in the final exam schedule. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the dean of the college or school in cases when there are exceptional circumstances not under the control of the faculty member and where such exceptions would be in the best interest of the students. Requests for exception must be made at least three weeks in advance of Finals Week.

13. Scheduling of Other Events

Student groups and organizations are not to schedule concerts, major social events, or any activity that might conflict with academic studies or finals, except on weekends. Events scheduled by parties external to the university that require attendance by NAU students are exempt from this policy.