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Common Hour Exams

Common hour exams are given during the semester for multi-section courses. Dates and times are posted online at These exams take the place of one class meeting and are included in the student’s commitment to the course upon enrolling in it.

     Common Hour Exam Policies:

    1. The nominal examination time may be one to two hours.

    2. For each Common Hour Examination, students will be excused from an equivalent period of instruction.

    3. Requests regarding the date, duration, and room assignments for Common Hour Examinations must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the 20th class day of the prior semester.

    4. Departments must provide for make-up/conflict examinations or other equivalent means of evaluating the student who are absent from the scheduled examination for legitimate reasons.

    4.1 Make-up examination for conflicts are to be given only to those students who, at the same hour:

      a. Have another Common Hour Examination
      b. Have a regularly scheduled class
      c. Are engaged in an activity or event sanctioned in paragraph 310.01 of the Student Conduct Code (Official student representatives with a regularly scheduled practice or meeting that conflicts with a Common Hour Exam see point 5 below.)
      d. Sustained a personal emergency that prevented participation in the scheduled examination.

    4.2. During the first week of classes, the Registrar’s Office will disseminate a list of the students who have conflicts among scheduled common hour examinations (cf 4.1.a.). This list will be updated regularly after that date and made available to instructors. A priority list for resolving conflicts between common hour examinations (cf 4.4.) will also be published during the first week of class.

    4.3. Students are responsible for identifying conflicts. Apart from unforeseeable, personal emergencies (4.1.d.), students are required to confirm the need for make-up examinations with the instructor as early as possible, but no later than ten days before the scheduled examination.

    4.4. In the event of a conflict between scheduled common hour examinations (cf 4.1.a.), the priority of scheduled versus make-up examination will be determined by the priority list published by the Registrar’s office. The order of priority will varied from semester to semester.

    4.5. Dates for make-up examinations will be arranged by the instructor. The examinations are to be equivalent to the original examinations as a means of evaluating the student. These examinations and their scheduling are to be non-punitive.

    5. Students officially representing MSU who have regularly scheduled practices or meetings that conflict with a Common Hour Exam may arrive up to 30 minutes late. However, such a student must notify his/her instructor no later than 24 hours before the scheduled exam. Such students shall receive equivalent time to complete the exam.

    6. All faculty should consider the Common Hour Examination schedule when planning ad-hoc evening examinations and other activities. Common Hour Examinations take precedence over all activities that occur outside of scheduled class hours except as provided for in this policy.

Final Exams

Final examinations in one-credit courses are given during regular class periods. Final examinations for all other courses are scheduled by the Registrar and published online, and may not be rescheduled or given prior to the start of the final examination period. According to University policy, the examination period is instructional time, and it is expected that some instructional use is made of this period if a final examination is not given. When a final examination is given it must be given at the time shown in the examination schedule. Exception: no formal laboratory classes are held during final examination days.

A student who has three or more final examinations on any one day should first contact the instructors of the courses to see if one exam can be rescheduled. If this rescheduling cannot be resolved, then the student should contact the assistant dean of his or her college at least one week before the beginning of final examination week to assist in resolving the conflict.

CLEP and Challenge Exams

See Advanced Standing.

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