Fifteenth (15th*) Week Policy

To properly administer the week before final exams


A semester is comprised of 15 weeks of instruction, one week of break, and finals week. The 15th week refers to the last week of classes before final exams.

Final examinations for full semester classes are to be given ONLY at the regularly scheduled time as listed on the Final Exam Schedule webpage or at another time DURING FINALS WEEK mutually agreeable to all concerned.*

The only examinations that may be given during the last week (15th week) of classes are: laboratory practical examinations, make-up or repeat examinations, and self-paced examinations. However, the following must be applied:

Projects, papers, and speeches scheduled for completion during the last week (15th week) of classes must have been assigned in writing by the end of the eighth week and must be completed no later than Wednesday of the 15th week. This stipulation refers to the project and its scope, but not the topic. Furthermore, ALL requirements, except for the final exam, must also be completed no later than Wednesday of the fifteenth week. However, if the instructor is replacing the final exam with either a project, paper, or speech, the due date for the assignment can be any time during the 15th week or during finals week (providing that the assignment has been given by the eighth week). The exception to this is a class meeting one day a week on a Thursday or Friday for which all policies/requirements are shifted to either a Thursday or Friday, respectively. Complaints about failure to follow the above outlined procedures should be made immediately.

Complaints should first be made directly to the instructor of the course in which the violation has occurred or is likely to occur. This could be done by simply directing the instructor’s attention to this policy statement. If the problem cannot be worked out, the student may inform the President of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN) of the progress of the complaint and request aid in correcting the problem. If corrective actions are not taken within two days, the complaint should be submitted to the department chair or head by the student or the ASUN representative on behalf of the student. If the chair/head is unable or unwilling to resolve the complaint within two days, the complaint should be submitted to the College Dean, and if the Dean is unable or unwilling to resolve the problem within two days, the student, or the ASUN representative on behalf of the student should appeal to the Director of Undergraduate Education Programs in the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Resolving the complaint should in no case take longer than eight working days.

The Fifteenth Week policy does not apply to classes offered by the College of Law.

* The phrase "mutually agreeable to all parties concerned" entails the following:

  • Mutually agreeable: the professor/instructor presents an alternative to the procedures listed above. He/she then obtains in an anonymous method agreement or opposition from each student for three consecutive class periods. The process of obtaining agreement to the alternative procedure must be completed by the end of the twelfth week of the semester. If no anonymous opposition is expressed on any of the three days, the professor/instructor may then choose to adopt the mutually agreeable procedures for finals week which would otherwise be prohibited under the above policy. However, in no case can an exam be scheduled after the end of the official exam period. A written record of this process should be maintained.
  • *All parties concerned: the professor(s)/instructor(s) for a given course/course section as well as all students enrolled in that course/course section.

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