Examinations are defined in Senate Policy 44-10.


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.

Exams (Non-Final)

Evening Exams

Evening examinations may be scheduled for courses that do not usually meet in the evening. 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.


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.

Student Action: See instructions in Class Attendance.

Note: The procedures a student may follow if he/she is not satisfied with the arrangements for the make up of a missed exam are detailed 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 eLion beginning the first day of the final exam conflict filing period (approximately the sixth week of the semester). A personal message on eLion notifies the student that his/her final exam schedule is available. At other Penn State campuses, the Registrar's office provides the final exam schedule and arranges for conflict exams.

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.

Authorized advisers can use ISIS screen ARUSEF to view a student's final exam schedule.


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.

For students at University Park, overload conflicts are noted on their personalized final exam schedules. Students who have an overload conflict may elect to take the exams when scheduled or may use eLion to file for a conflict exam, in which case one of the exams will be moved to another day. 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.

Reviewed: July 2015
Last Update: October 2009

Reference(s): Senate Policies 44-10, 44-20, 44-25, 44-30, 44-35