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Student guide regulates finals week

(Editor's note: The Tech received this as an open letter to the MIT community.)

These are just a few comments that we (UA Committee on Educational Policy) have received lately:

"I have a 15-page paper due on the day of my final exam!"

"Not only do we have a two-hour test on Friday, but our lab report is due on Monday. Oh, and that's all in the same class!"

"Three problem sets due this week and all of my classes have finals!"

"We have a final, but we still have an optional problem set this week and a design project due this Friday!"

Now, what were those regulations again? Oh, here they are! Here are just a few excerpts from the 1990 "Guide for MIT Undergraduates and Faculty Advisors":


1/3 No comprehensive examinations (an exam covering most of the term's work) can be given at any time other than during the final exam period.


1/3 For each subject which has a final exam, no examination may be given and no assignment may fall due during the six days preceding the reading period. Of course, regular classes and reading assignments may continue during the last week of the term, and new material presented during this period may be covered in the final exam.


1/3 Each subject in which no final exam is given may have at most one of the following during the six days preceding the reading period:

a one-hour quiz during a regularly scheduled class period, or

one assignment (term paper, take-home exam, problem set, oral presentation, etc.) falling due.

(A quiz of one and one half hours is allowed, but only if done within a regular class period.)


1/3 Major assignments should be assigned early enough to allow students the opportunity to manage their time effectively. Instructors are asked to provide, during the first three weeks of classes, a complete syllabus of requirements in each subject, including the due dates for required work, and the schedule of examinations during the term, and grading criteria and procedures.


1/3 No assignment, of any kind, may fall due after the last regularly scheduled meeting of the class for that subject. An instructor may give an extension to an individual student, but extensions should not be given to the majority of the class.


1/3 Any departure from these rules requires the permission of the Committee on Academic Performance for undergraduate subjects or the Committee on Graduate School Policy for graduate subjects. Asking students to vote on some deviation from the rules is not an acceptable procedure.


We'd love to elaborate, but we have to get back to work.

Barbara Brady '92->

Chair, SCEP->

Keelan Yang '94->

Vice-Chair, SCEP->