Examinations are part of the process of education at the same time that they are a means to measure the student's performance in course work. Their structure, content, frequency, and length are to be determined in accordance with the nature of the course and the material presented in it, subject only to the limitations contained herein.
Great flexibility is available regarding the types of examinations that an instructor may choose to employ. Examinations, including final examinations, may be, for example, in-class essay examinations, take-home essay examinations, objective examinations, oral examinations, or appropriate substitutes such as papers or projects. Instructors may use any type of examination, paper, or project, or any combination thereof, guided only by the appropriateness of the types of examinations, papers, or projects for the material upon which the student is being examined.
When the final examination is an in-class examination, the following regulations apply:
- A three-hour period is reserved during examination week for the final examination in each course of more than 2 units. This examination period must be available for students, but not necessarily in its entirety, if an in-class examination is given. In courses with extraordinary meeting times, such that ambiguity might exist as regards the period reserved for the final examination, the schedule should be clarified and students informed no later than the end of the second week of the quarter.
- Examinations in 1- or 2-unit courses must be completed by the end of the last class meeting before the End-Quarter Period, except in Summer Quarter when examinations must be completed during the last regularly scheduled class session.
When the final examination or its appropriate substitute is not an in-class examination (for example, when an instructor chooses to employ a take-home examination, paper, or project in lieu of an in-class examination), the following regulations apply:
- The schedule and format of the final examination or its appropriate substitute shall be made known not later that the end of the second week of the quarter and, if changed subsequently, may be only an option of the plan originally announced by the instructor.
- Although the instructor may ask students to return take-home examinations early in the final examination period, the instructor may not call them due until the end of the regularly scheduled examination time for that course.
In submitting official Study Lists, students commit to all course requirements, including the examination procedures chosen and announced by the course instructor. In choosing courses, students should take cognizance of the official schedule of final examinations announced on the Registrar's web site at http://registrar.stanford.edu/students/courses/exams.htm. Students anticipating conflicts in final examination schedules should seek to resolve these with the instructors involved before the Preliminary Study List deadline at the beginning of the quarter. If accommodation cannot be made at that time, the student should revise his or her Study List before the Final Study List deadline at the end of the third week of the quarter in order to be able to meet the required final examination.
If unforeseen circumstances prevent the student from sitting for the regularly scheduled examination, instructors should make alternative arrangements on an individual basis. Such unforeseen circumstances include illness, personal emergency, or the student's required participation in special events (for example, athletic championships) approved as exceptions by the Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policy (C-USP). Inquiries regarding these circumstances may be directed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Sweet Hall.