G. Reading Period and Final Examination Period
- Due dates for course work It is expected that instructors will require all course assignments, other than term papers and term projects, to be submitted at the latest by the last day of reading period. Term papers and term projects are to be submitted at the latest by the last day of the final examination period. For the dates of the reading period and final examination period, consult the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines. Instructors do not have the authority to give permission for these deadlines to be extended; only the residential college dean has this authority. See “Work Incomplete at the End of Term” in section H. Even if an extended deadline should be announced by the instructor, a grade reflecting work submitted after the end of the term cannot be accepted unless a Temporary Incomplete was authorized by the student’s residential college dean.
- Reading period The Yale College Faculty established the reading period between the end of classes and the beginning of final examinations in order to provide a period of about a week during which students might conclude their course work and prepare for final examinations. The instructor of each course determines whether or not that course observes the reading period. A course that does not observe the reading period is identified in the course listings by the abbreviation “RP” at the end of the course description or by a phrase such as “Meets RP” or “Meets during reading period.”
The assumption underlying the faculty’s institution of the reading period was that no additional assignments would be required during the reading period in a course observing it, but that students would use the reading period in their own way to consolidate and augment the work of the course. Such being the case, no final examination may be administered during the reading period. A final examination in a course, whether or not the course observes the reading period, must be administered during the final examination period. No take-home final examination may be due during the reading period. An instructor may, however, set the due date for a term paper or project during the reading period.
- Final examinations Yale College expects every course to conclude with a regular final examination or with a substitute for such an examination. The substitute should be in the nature of a final examination in that it requires the student to demonstrate proficiency in the discipline and subject matter of the course. Substitutes may include, for example, an oral presentation or examination, a term essay, or the last of a series of hour tests administered during the last week of classes. Final examinations normally last either two or three hours but, in either case, students are permitted to take an additional half-hour before being required to turn in their answers. This additional time is given for improving what has already been written, rather than for breaking new ground.
- Scheduling of final examinations The University Registrar’s Office has assigned a specific time and date for the administration of final examinations in most courses in Yale College. The time of the final examination is determined by the meeting time of a course during the term. If the meeting time of a course is changed from that originally published, the time of the examination is defined by the new meeting time. If a course is published with no scheduled examination but the instructor subsequently decides to offer a final examination, it must be administered at the time defined by the meeting time of the course. A schedule of final examinations may be found on the page Final Examination Schedules.
- Date of administering final examinations Since the final examination schedule has been carefully designed to make efficient use of the entire final examination period and to minimize overcrowding of students’ schedules, a final examination must be administered on the date and at the time specified. On occasion instructors have administered final examinations at times different from those assigned. Such an arrangement is allowed under the following conditions: (a) that two different and distinct final examinations be administered; (b) that one of these examinations be administered at the regularly specified time within the final examination period; (c) that the alternative examination be administered at a regular examination starting time during the final examination period; and (d) that no student be required to obtain permission to take the alternative examination.
- Take-home final examinations Take-home final examinations are sometimes substituted for regular final examinations. If a course has been assigned a final examination date, a take-home examination for that course is due on the scheduled examination day. If a course has not been assigned a final examination date, a take-home examination for the course is due on the day specified in the final examination schedule by the meeting time of the course. See Final Examination Schedules. If a course does not meet at a time covered by the final examination schedule, a take-home examination may not be due during the first three days of the final examination period. No take-home examination may be due during the reading period.
- Due dates for term grades An instructor is required to submit term grades promptly after the completion of a course. Fall-term grades are due by 5 p.m. on January 4, 2016; spring-term grades are due within one week of the end of the final examination period; grades for seniors in the spring term are due within forty-eight hours of the end of the final examination period.
In submitting term grades, the instructor is expected to apply appropriate penalties for missed or incomplete work unless the late submission of the work has been authorized by the student’s residential college dean or by the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing. If an instructor reports a mark of Incomplete for which there has been no authorization by the college dean, the Incomplete will be recorded by the University Registrar’s Office as a grade of F.
- An hour test at the end of term instead of a final examination Some instructors do not give final examinations of the usual two-and-one-half-hour or three-and-one-half-hour length, but instead terminate their courses with an hour test that is the last in a succession of hour tests administered during the term.
For courses that do not observe the reading period, this hour test may be administered during the reading period, since, in such courses, regular class meetings are scheduled to extend through the reading period. A course that does not observe the reading period may also administer the hour test during the final examination period at the time specified in the final examination schedule.
For courses that do observe the reading period, the hour test may not be administered during the reading period, but may be administered only during the last week of classes or during the final examination period at the time specified in the final examination schedule.
- Senior departmental examinations In those major programs requiring a senior departmental examination, that examination is scheduled on the two weekdays preceding the final examination period in the fall and spring terms. In a department or program in which a two-day written senior departmental examination is administered on those days, a senior may, with the written consent of the appropriate instructors, be excused from final examinations in as many as two courses in the major in the term in which he or she takes the departmental examination. In a department or program in which the senior departmental examination takes place on only one of the two scheduled days, a senior may, with the written consent of the instructor, be excused from the final examination in one course in the major in the term in which the departmental examination is taken. If the senior departmental examination takes place before the scheduled days, or if a senior essay or senior project takes the place of the examination, a student may not omit a final examination.