Notification of the examination policy must be provided on the course syllabus that is distributed on or before the first class. This examination information is maintained in a public file by the head of the department or division offering the course for reference upon request.

Non-Final Exams (Senate Policy 44-30)

Evening Exams

Evening examinations may be scheduled for courses that do not usually meet in the evening (defined by the Registrar as meeting before 5:30 p.m.). Evening exams are scheduled by the Registrar and are announced to students by the instructor during the first week of the semester. A course may not have more than four evening exams in a semester. At University Park, evening exams are scheduled in one of the following periods: 6:00 to 7:15 p.m. (75 minutes) or from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. (75 to 120 minutes).


A student is permitted to make up a missed exam without penalty if he/she has a conflict between an exam/quiz and a scheduled University-approved activity (as established in the Class Attendance policy, 42-27) or if he/she has more than one exam/quiz scheduled at the same time.

Associate deans at University Park and the campus colleges and the directors of academic affairs at the University College campuses will assist their students in resolving any conflicts.

Student and Faculty Action: Detailed guidelines are provided in the Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, F-4.

Final Exams

Final examinations must be administered during the final exam period (see Schedule, below). During the last week of classes, no comprehensive examinations may be scheduled; only quizzes and narrowly limited tests worth no more than 10 percent of a student's grade may be given.

When a course requires an alternative final evaluation (e.g., term paper, final project, take-home examination, studio project) that is worth more than 10 percent of a student's grade, the submission deadline can be no earlier than the first day of the final examination period.

Exceptions to this policy may be granted for educational reasons if authorized by the faculty of the program offering the course and approved by the appropriate college dean or campus chancellor.


Final examination periods are a maximum of 110 minutes long. At each Penn State campus, the Registrar's office determines the final exam schedule. At some campuses (including University Park), a student may access his/her personalized final exam schedule on LionPATH (available approximately the fifth week of the semester). At other Penn State locations, the final exam schedule is posted on the campus Registrar's website.

The Registrar's office provides access to the Final Exam Schedule for every course listed by campus and, for University Park, by college and department.


An overload conflict occurs when three or more final exams are scheduled on any one calendar day or in three consecutive examination periods. For example, if there are six exam periods per day: 8:00-9:50, 10:10-noon, 12:20-2:10, 2:30-4:20, 4:40-6:30, and 6:50-8:40, a student would have an overload conflict if he/she has a final scheduled at 4:40-6:30, 6:50-8:40, and at 8:00-9:50 the next morning.

Students who have an overload conflict may elect to take the exams when scheduled or may file for a conflict exam during the Final Exam Conflict - Filing Period listed on Academic Calendars. When a student files for a conflict exam, the Registrar's office determines which exam will be moved. When the exam is rescheduled, the student will receive an email notification of the change, and the change will be reflected on the student's final exam schedule.

The final exam conflict filing period is three weeks long. No conflicts may be filed after the last day of the final exam conflict filing period. If a student with a conflict mistakenly does not file for a conflict exam during this period, he/she should try to resolve the conflict with the course instructor. A student who changes his/her schedule (e.g., late add, section change) after the final exam conflict filing period will receive an email telling them to check their exam schedule. If the change has created a conflict, the student is responsible for resolving the conflict with the instructor.

The conflict final examination procedure is described in the Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, F-3.

Last Update: September 2016

Reference(s): Senate Policy 44-10