Exam Excuses, Dean's Notes, and Incompletes

Exam Excuses

The Dean of the College office 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).

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 are encouraged to speak with their instructors before consulting with a dean. 


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 one-semester thesis courses taken in the first semester of senior year, if not completed by the end of the semester, result in a transcript grade of "I". 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.