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Majors & Degrees

Finals Week

Policy 1.2
Approved by: President
Responsible Officer: Registrar
Responsible Office: Academic Affairs
Originally Issued: 09/22/1986
Last Revision: 08/13/2020
Category: Academics
Related Policy
SDBOR Policy 2.1.1 Academic Calendar
SDBOR Academic Calendars


Final assessments are an integral part of the instructional program at DSU. This policy establishes a uniform assessment process for credit-bearing courses during the scheduled finals week to ensure procedural consistency in the evaluation of student performance in expected learning outcomes.


  1. Credit-Bearing Courses. Designed for students who are interested in earning college units toward a certificate or degree. Students who take credit-bearing courses receive a letter grade at the end of the course.
  2. End-of-Semester. Refers to the period in which DSU offers and teaches a course.
  3. Exam: Any end-of-course evaluative activity that assesses student learning in course. These activities could include, but are not limited to, the following: portfolios, performances, presentations, written tests, papers, demonstrations, or combination thereof.
  4. Non-Credit Bearing Courses. Designed for students who want to gain knowledge but are not using the credits toward a degree.


  1. Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs Responsibility. The Provost/Vice President shall prepare the finals week student fall term and spring term exam schedules well in advance of the fall and spring semesters schedules established by the Board of Regents annual academic calendar.
  2. Faculty Responsibility.
    1. For credit-bearing courses, faculty members shall, schedule final assessment within the dates specified in the published BOR calendar and by DSU Academic Affairs for each respective semester.
    2. DSU expects faculty teaching credit-bearing courses to include appropriate procedures for evaluating student performance at the end of the course.
    3. All classes are required to schedule activities during finals week to meet the expected time requirements for a given credit hour.
  3. Student Responsibility. Students are required to take their final exams at the designated times.
  4. Student Exam Conflicts.
    1. Students shall not be required to take more than three semester exams in any one day of finals week.
    2. Students can request to change their finals week exam schedule for any of the following reasons:
      1. Extraordinary emergency situations.
      2. Extraordinary situations beyond the student’s control.
      3. A student has more than three exams in any one day of finals week.
  5. Academic Levels. Semester exams shall apply to certificate level courses, bachelor level courses, and graduate level courses.


  • This policy does not apply to non-credit courses.
  • It is the faculty discretion to determine the appropriateness of giving final semester exams to students in laboratory courses, independent studies, and seminars.


  • Instructors can give the final course exam outside of the established finals week exam schedule if they have prior approval from the dean of the college that is responsible for the course and all students in the course agree to such a change. This change shall be clearly communicated to all students well in advance of finals week.
  • Any other exceptions to this policy shall be for extraordinary circumstances and granted only by the Provost/VP of Academic Affairs.


  1. Instructor Request to Give Final Exam Outside of Established Finals Schedule.
    1. An instructor shall submit a request to the dean of the college responsible for the course to give a final exam outside of the established DSU scheduled time period.  The faculty member must also indicate that all students have agreed to this change.
    2. The respective dean’s office shall keep a record of such requests, approvals, and denials.
  2. Student Request to Change Finals Week Exam Schedule.
    1. The student, after consultation with her/his advisor, shall submit the designated DSU form to the dean responsible for the course in which the student is requesting permission to reschedule a final exam.
    2. The student can access the Student Request to Change Final Exam Schedule online or through the dean’s office responsible for that course.
    3. The respective dean’s office shall keep a record of such requests, approvals, and denials.


Exam Schedule Form