Dean's Notes, Exam Excuses, and Incompletes

Occasionally an undergraduate may experience personal, health, or other circumstances that impact their ability to complete academic work. The policies and options available to students vary depending on the nature of the student's situation and the timing and kind of academic work in question. Information related to students with registered disabilities is available in the link on the navigation bar on the left.

During the Semester

Dean's Notes

Faculty have jurisdiction over academic practices within their courses. However, Deans of the College and Student Support Services may at times provide dean's support notes on behalf of students who are experiencing personal or health circumstances that have an impact on their ability to do academic work. Students should consult course syllabi and speak with their instructors about their individual circumstances before consulting with a dean.

Conflicts Due to Religious Observance

In accordance with the University's non-discrimination policy and its Faculty Rules, instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for students who cannot take a quiz or exam on the scheduled date due to a religious observance. Faculty should include instructions regarding their own policies on these matters in course syllabi. Students must inform instructors of any conflicts within the first four weeks of the semester, or as soon as possible after the exam date is announced (whichever is earliest). Examples of suitable arrangements for exams that conflict with a religious holiday may include: (1) creating a course policy in which any student may choose to drop an exam or assignment score for any accepted reason, specifically including religious holiday observance as one of those reasons; (2) providing the opportunity for a makeup exam or an equivalent assignment; and (3) allowing extra-credit assignments to substitute for missed class work. Alternate arrangements may vary by course depending upon factors such as the size of the class, nature of the course content, and mode of instruction.

During the Finals Period: Exams and Other Kinds of Assessments

Final Exams

Per faculty rules, the Office of the Dean of the College is solely responsible for determining whether a student's absence from a final examination is excused. Faculty wishing to grant a student an exam excuse may contact Deans Gail Cohee, Carol Cohen, Christopher Dennis or Yolanda Rome, the deans authorized to grant exam excuses. Please note that students' travel plans are never an excuse for missing a final exam. In emergency situations, students who are unable to contact their professors must contact one of the authorized deans. The dean will determine whether or not an exam excuse is warranted.

Make-up exams for approved exam excuses are administered by the Registrar in the second week of the subsequent fall or spring term. The Registrar's Office informs students by email of the date, time, and location of make-up exams.

Courses with ABS notations are counted toward academic standing at the beginning of the subsequent term. If a make-up exam is not completed by midterm of the subsequent semester, the ABS will be changed to an NC (no credit).

Incompletes

In cases where a student has outstanding work in a course other than a final exam, a course instructor may choose to grant a grade of Incomplete. As noted above, only an authorized dean may excuse a student from a scheduled final exam. The authority to grant an Incomplete rests with the course instructor, who may simply enter a notation of INC when submitting a student's final grade.

An Incomplete from the fall that is finished by the following February 1st will improve a student's academic standing (e.g. from Warning to Good Standing). Spring semester Incompletes must be completed by the following July 1st in order to count toward academic standing. If a student finishes an Incomplete by the stated deadline but the faculty member does not submit a grade by that time, the Chair of the Committee on Academic Standing may change the student's academic standing if the faculty member confirms that the work was completed and received by the deadline.

Incompletes made up after the stated deadlines but within one academic year from the time the Incomplete was granted do not change the student's academic standing. However, they do count as completed courses. Credit for Incompletes finished after the one-year deadline must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing.

Students and faculty members should be aware that thesis-related independent study courses taken in the first semester of senior year, if not completed by the end of the semester, result in a transcript grade of "INC." Also, transcripts by the Registrar at the end of the seventh semester bear such Incompletes. If this presents a problem with post-graduation plans, students are strongly encouraged to register for a single-semester thesis course in the semester they will complete the thesis work.