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COVID-19 Updates

Guidance for Final Examinations during 2021-22


The Educational Policy Committee (EPC) provides the following guidance to instructors with regard to the end of the quarter and final exams during this academic year's transition period from emergency remote instruction to primarily in-person instruction.

The existing Senate Policy on Final Exams is in effect for academic year 2021-22. Instructors are advised to refer to the Policy for information on final exam requirements. In addition, please note the following:

  • Final examinations are required in all undergraduate courses, unless the Undergraduate Council (UGC) has approved an alternative on the course approval form. If a course has a scheduled final exam, instructors must provide some type of final assessment in keeping with this requirement; it is not permissible to cancel the exam or base students' grades on any alternate arrangement.
    • For courses approved with a final examination for the final evaluation method: If a department, college, or program plans to offer the course in future quarters with an alternative form of evaluation (such as final paper, presentation, or project), they are encouraged to submit a course change in eCourse to request a change to the final evaluation method for review by the Undergraduate Council.
  • An online final examination for the final evaluation method may be administered for an in-person course during 2021-22. Please see  guidelines below on scheduling requirements and scheduling flexibility for remote final examinations.
  • Instructors are advised to clearly communicate to students how they will be graded and evaluated throughout the course. Providing information about the format of the final and course grading criteria is recommended, including any changes made during the quarter.
For non-R courses that are offered remotely, instructors are advised to refer to the following additional guidance below. Please contact the Academic Senate Office (academicsenateoffice@ucsd.edu) with questions about final exams policy.

Scheduling for Remote Courses

Scheduling Requirements

  • An online final exam may not exceed three hours duration and instructors are required to make the exam available during the date and hour at which the examination for the course was scheduled by the Registrar’s Office.

Scheduling Flexibility

  • An instructor may open an online final exam earlier than the regularly scheduled final exam time. The final may not be made available before the first Saturday of finals week and it should not be made due until the end of the regularly scheduled exam session. It is very important to clearly communicate to all students in a course when the final will be available.
  • Final exams designed as “take-home” exams may exceed three hours duration. Instructors are reminded that students are completing exams in multiple courses during final exam week and to please be sensitive to the challenges that our students are facing.

A note about Incompletes: The Academic Senate recommends that the option for an Incomplete should only be considered after other options have been exhausted. Although instructors should be receptive to student requests for an incomplete, both the instructor and student need to understand the expectations and policies that go along with assigning an “I” grade.

COVID-19 Updates