Final Exam Information

Fall 2021 Final Exam Schedule

The Final Exam Schedule for each semester is normally posted at the beginning of Week 8 of the semester; however, due to academic accommodations that have been made for Fall 2021, the Final Exam Schedule will not be posted until October 22, 2021.

Once it is available, the Fall 2021 Final Exam Schedule will be posted on the Course Schedule and on the Student Detail Schedule in ESTHER. All undergraduate courses are assigned final exam times, even if a final exam is not scheduled by the instructor.

While we understand that students, faculty, and families would like the Final Exam Schedule posted early in the semester, we are unable to post it sooner than we currently do. Because the Final Exam Schedule is largely based on student registrations in courses, it is not possible to post a Final Exam Schedule prior to drop deadline for a semester since a large number of registrations change during the week of the drop deadline.

Final exam period: Wednesday, December 8 - Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

Students should keep in mind that the semester begins with the first day of class, and ends with the last day of the final exam period. For that reason, and because final exams may be scheduled up to and through the last day of the final exam schedule, undergraduate students are encouraged to make their travel plans on dates after the last day of the posted final exam period. Additionally, with take-home final exams, instructors have the option and may choose to make those due on the last day of finals. As stated in the General Announcements:

“The due date of take-home exams may be no earlier than the end of the examination time assigned to that class by the Office of the Registrar. Instructors may specify due dates later than this time, but not later than the end of the last day of the examination period.”

Final Exam Information on the Course Schedule

To view final exam information on the course schedule:

  1. Go to the Course Schedule.
  2. Search for the section for which you would like to see the final exam information.
  3. A result of your search will appear. By default, the Course Meeting Times/Locations are shown. To see the final exam information, click the "Show Final Exam" toggle button in the Meeting/Location column.

    Show Final Exam

  4. After you click the toggle button, the Final Exam information will appear.

    Final Exam Time

You may also view the final exam information in the section detail by clicking on the CRN.

Detailed Schedule

Final Exam Information in the Student Detail Schedule in ESTHER

For the courses that you are registered for, the final exam date, time, and location will appear in ESTHER once it is available. To view this in ESTHER:

  1. Go to ESTHER and log in.
  2. Click Student Services.
  3. Click Registration.
  4. Click Student Detail Schedule.
  5. Select the appropriate Term.
  6. On the schedule, final exam date, time, and location will appear in the "Scheduled Meeting Times" next to the Type of "Final Exam"

    Student Details

Final Exam Types

Final exams are classified into these types:

  • Scheduled Final Exam-OTR Room: A final exam will Be held at a specific time assigned by the Office of the Registrar in a specific location. The OTR will supply a classroom for the exam location, which will be listed in the Course Schedule.
  • Scheduled Final Exam-Dept Room: A final exam will Be held at a specific time assigned by the Office of the Registrar in a specific location. The department will supply a classroom for the exam location; if that location is provided to OTR, it will be listed in the Course Schedule.
  • GR Course-Dept Schedules Exam: All graduate courses currently carry this designation. Students should check with the instructor as to whether or not a final exam will be held, at what time, and where.
  • Scheduled Online Final Exam: A final exam will be held at a specific time assigned by the Office of the Registrar. The final exam will be held online and the room will be noted as "FULLY ONLINE." The OTR will not supply a classroom for these exams unless one is requested to be reserved for students who may need it for final exam completion.
  • Take-Home Exam: A final exam will occur but it is not held at a specific time or place, and it is of a different nature than scheduled exams. "Take-home exams should be made available to students as soon as possible after the semester's last day of classes, and no later than the end of the next business day after classes have ended. Take-home exams may be no longer than five hours in length. The due date of take-home exams may be no earlier than the end of the examination time assigned to that class by the Office of the Registrar. Instructors may specify due dates later than this time, but not later than the end of the last day of the examination period," and "With regard to due dates, final papers or projects will be treated the same as take-home exams" (Final Examinations, General Announcements).
  • No Final Exam: No final exam will be held.

General Guidelines for Faculty

Instructors must submit Final Grades online via ESTHER.

As stated in the Final Examinations section of the General Announcements, "The decision to give a final exam as a required part of the course rests with the instructor. All tests and examinations are conducted under the honor system. No examinations or other course assignments may be due between the last day of classes and the first day of the final examination period. Examinations are considered final examinations when they:

  • Cover more than the material learned since the last exam, or
  • Are the only exam in the course, or
  • Require comprehensive knowledge of the entire course

Such exams may be given only during the final examination period. All undergraduate level classes will be assigned a final examination time by the Office of the Registrar. Instructors may choose to use that time for a scheduled final. If they choose this option, the Registrar will assign a room, and the final exam will be administered in that room at the designated time. Instructors may choose instead to give a take-home exam or no exam at all. Some instructors assign end-of-term projects or papers rather than final examinations. With regard to due dates, final papers or projects will be treated the same as take-home exams."

Consequently, the Office of the Registrar schedules a final exam period for all undergraduate-level courses, regardless of whether the course has a scheduled final exam, a take-home final exam, or no final exam. Instructors can decide how they want to use their scheduled final exam period.

Students should be able to determine whether a course has a scheduled final exam (face-to-face or online), a take-home final exam, or no final exam by consulting their course syllabus or their instructor(s).

Conflict Resolution Rules for Faculty and Students

Scheduled Exam Conflicts

In accordance with the General Announcements,

"...students cannot be required to take more than two scheduled exams in two consecutive calendar days. Students also cannot be required to complete more than two take-home and/or scheduled final exams on the same calendar day (unless this is the last day of the examination period). In both instances, if the student wishes to make alternative arrangements and is unable to work out such arrangements with the instructor(s) involved, the instructor of the third and any subsequent exams will be required to allow the student to reschedule that exam."

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the large number (1000+) of courses to be scheduled in only seven exam days, the Office of the Registrar cannot consider the above stated conflict rules when building the final exam schedule.

Religious or Other Personal Conflicts

Rice’s policy of non-discrimination on the basis of religion and our core values of diversity and inclusion require instructors to make reasonable accommodations to help student avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with the scheduled final. The student should work with the instructor to find an alternate time. If the instructor is not amenable, the student should consult with the Department Chair. If a resolution cannot be found, then the student should consult with the School Dean. Should a resolution still not be found, then the student should consult with the Provost.

PLEASE NOTE: As Rice's policy is to celebrate all student’s right to their religious beliefs and practices, the Office of the Registrar is not able to take in consideration the numerous practices over the seven day period as it would be impossible to accomplish a schedule to meet all needs.

Scheduling Methodology

Please see the Final Exam Scheduling Methodology for more information.

Special Requests, Questions, and Assistance

Since the Office of the Registrar constructed the final exam schedule with the goal of minimizing exam conflicts, it is virtually impossible to honor a request for a change to an assigned exam time slot. A single change to the exam schedule may introduce a myriad of new conflicts, so each change request must be analyzed to assure that no direct conflicts would result. Even a request to reschedule a final exam to a later time slot may not be granted because such a delay may affect student travel plans. Consequently, we are cautious about modifying the final exam schedule. Nevertheless, if you would like us to consider a special request, please contact registrar@rice.edu.

Classroom assignments for final exams are posted on the Office of the Registrar website two (2) weeks prior to the start of final exams. Classroom assignments are made from the requests indicated on each department's Course Offering Schedule Review. For final exams added to the schedule after completion of the schedule review, or for any changes to classroom use plans, please contact registrar@rice.edu.

The Office of the Registrar may be unable to assign a classroom for a request received less than two weeks prior to the start of the exam period.

If you have any questions about the final exam schedule or classroom assignments, please contact registrar@rice.edu.