Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

2 On Classes and Exams 

2.1 The Syllabus
Each course and each section of multi-sectioned courses taught in the University’s colleges must have a syllabus on file in the office of the dean of the college in which they are offered.  Accrediting organizations require that these syllabi, as well as the final exams of the course, be kept on file.  The filing also helps the Offices of Departments, Programs and Deans answer student questions about course requirements. Be sure that each syllabus and each examination is labeled with the course number and title, semester date and the instructor's name. The Dean's Office of each school will notify their faculty about the procedure for submission of these materials to their office.

The syllabus is meant to be a detailed outline of the course with: 

• the specific learning objectives of the course explicitly listed
• how students will be graded
• the numbers of papers and exams that will be required and their weight in the final grade
• the material that will be covered, including recommended reading
• attendance policies
• expectations for class participation
• policy on late papers and missed exams
• possibilities for extra credit and/or revision of work
• the expectation that written work be comprehensible and grammatically correct
• the instructor's name, office, telephone and/or email, and office hours
• discussion of the Arts and Sciences Policy on Academic Integrity and the sanctions therein 

2.2 Academic Calendar

Different schools may have different academic calendars. The Academic Calendar for individual schools can be found on Fordham's website at this link: Or you may go the main page of Fordham's website and use the quicklinks in the upper right corner and click on Academic Calendar. This takes you to a listing of all the schools where the current academic year calendar for each school can be accessed. There is a link to future academic years.

2.3 Student Attendance (FCLC, PCS)

Students are expected to attend every class of every course for which they are registered. If an instructor wishes to have a different attendance policy, it must be spelled out in the syllabus distributed to each student registered for the course, including whether and how absences will affect the grade for the course.

If a student has been absent for several meetings, please notify the appropriate Class Dean of the student’s home school. The Class Dean will contact the student. Instructors of PCS courses should see section 3.2.1 for awarding grades to students whose attendance has been poor.

Students are responsible for keeping a record of their own absences and may not exceed the maximum number allowed. While students may consult the instructor about their record of attendance, the instructor is the final judge of that record.

Student Health Services will not provide notes excusing students from class. Students can give permission for their class deans to contact Student Health Services. The class dean will contact students’ professors and provide sufficient information to allow the professor to decide whether the absence will be excused, depending on the attendance policy for the course.

Religious Holidays – A University Policy

A number of religious faiths are represented in the Fordham student body. If any of your students must miss a class or an examination owing to a religious observance not specified in the Fordham calendar, you should make a reasonable attempt to accommodate him or her. Students who intend to avail themselves of any aspect of this Religious Observance Provision, should advise and notify their instructor preferably at least two weeks prior to any affected class session. To avoid problems, you should have students review the examination and deadline dates on your syllabus and inform you during the first weeks of class of a conflict or an expected absence due to a religious holiday. You may note this directly on the syllabus, and it is not unreasonable to ask students to notify you in writing.

2.4 Student Attendance (FCRH, GSB)

Students are expected to attend every class of every course for which they are registered. Each class meeting has its own dynamics and provides a unique opportunity for learning. While acknowledging the critical importance of class attendance, the institution also recognizes that there are times when absence from class is unavoidable.

Absences for reasons of religious holiday, serious illness, death in the student’s immediate family, or required participation in a university-sponsored event are, with the appropriate documentation, excused absences, and students will be given an opportunity to make up class examinations or othergraded assignments. The maximum number of total excused absences will not exceed six class meetings for a course that meets three days per week, four class meetings for a course meeting two days per week, or two class meetings for a course that meets once a week.

If a faculty member chooses to allow unexcused absences, the number of excused and unexcused absences combined may be limited to the maximum number noted above. Faculty members are under no obligation to allow make-up work for unexcused absences. Faculty who choose to establish a more stringent attendance policy must have the approval of their department. All faculty must include their attendance policy in the course syllabus distributed atthe first course meeting.

In cases where unusual circumstances cause a student to miss a significant amount of class time for reasons beyond the student's control, the student should confer with the faculty member and class dean to ascertain if it is feasible to complete the work of the course. If a student misses a week of class, faculty members are encouraged to notify the appropriate class dean of the student’s home school. The class dean will contact the student.

Procedures for Documenting Student’s Excused Absence

Personal Illness and Death in the Immediate Family: In case of personal illness, verification will be accepted from a physician writing on official letterhead or prescription pad or from the Fordham Student Health Center. Students who go the Student Health Center may give a verbal release to speak with a professor, coach, dean or parent. This person may contact the Student Health Center to verify the date the student was present. For student athletes and ROTC, if the clinical staff at the Student Health Center make a clinical decision to excuse an absence due to illness, the head trainer of athletes will be notified or a note provided to ROTC students. In case of death, a letter from a family member or other appropriate verification is required. These documents should be sent to the class dean of the student’s home school as soon as possible. The class dean will notify the instructors of the student’s situation.

Religious Holidays: Students who are absent due to religious holiday(s) should notify their instructor in writing preferably at the beginning of the semester, but no later than two weeks prior to any affected class session. Faculty members who intend to observe religious holidays on days when the university is in session should note such dates on the syllabus and alert the students as to how the work for the missed class will be made up.

Participation in University-Sanctioned Activity: There is a variety of activities in which students serve as representatives of the Fordham community. The most visible of these is varsity athletics but others include the debate team, ROTC, presentation of research, the University choir and the dance team. The authorized administrator/director of the activity will provide a written list of the dates of the activities, including travel time, at the beginning of the semester to each of the students. Students will provide each of their professors with the scheduled list of excused absence(s) at the beginning of the semester. The faculty will acknowledge the scheduled absence(s) by signing an accompanying letter. In some cases—e.g., the scheduling of a championship tournament or a rescheduled competition—the actual timing of the event may not be known at the beginning of the semester. In such cases, the authorized administrator will make every effort to notify instructors as soon as possible.

In any of the above four circumstances, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain any class notes or other course material missed due to the absence from peers in the course. It is also the student’s responsibility to speak with the instructor to make arrangements for missed examinations or graded assignments. The manner in which the work will be made up is left to the discretion of each faculty member.

There are university resources available to assist faculty in accommodating students. Tutoring is available through the individual departments. Assistance with proctoring of examinations is available through the Academic Records Office, the class deans associated with each of the colleges, the Office of Academic Advising for Student Athletes, or the secretary or graduate assistants of one’s own department.

2.5 Activity Period

Activity time (please refer to the current block schedule for the exact scheduling of the activity period) is set aside each week (except during reading days and the week of final examinations) for departmental or administrative meetings, student activities, etc. No classes, laboratories, or seminars may be scheduled during these hours. No student activities may be held during reading days or the final examination period.

2.6 Midterm Exams and Assistance to At-Risk Students

The importance of midterm exams or other early graded assignments cannot be over-emphasized; they are frequently the first gauge the student has as to how well or how poorly he or she is doing in a particular course. For this reason it is imperative that the Danger of Failing notices for sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as the mid-semester grades for freshmen are submitted to the Office of Academic Records in a timely fashion.

Required Reporting: There are 4 reports which are required for all instructional staff. These reports must be filled out via your my.fordham account. Academic Records will contact you via your Fordham email with instructions when these reports are coming up. The reports and tentative dates are noted below:

1. Initial Student Attendance (identified as Last Date of Attendance on my.fordham) - the week following the end of add/drop (check the Academic Calendar for due date of Round 1 Last Date if Attendance);
2. Midterm Grades for Freshmen and Danger of Failing for Other Students (identified as Midterm Grades on my.fordham) - the week following midterm week (check the Academic Calendar for due date of mid-semester evaluations) ;
3. Late Semester Student Attendance (identified as Last Date of Attendance on my.fordham) - the 8th or 9th week of classes (check the Academic Calendar for due date of Round 2 Last Date if Attendance);
4. Final Course Grades (identified as Final Grades on my.fordham) - begins the week of final exams extending for fall grades through the University opening day in the spring semester and for spring grades through commencement day in spring semester (check the Academic Calendar for these events).

The Faculty Tab of My.Fordham.Edu provides the ability to grade your courses online (see Teaching Resources 7.3.5 for more detail). Banner will list the classification, degree expected term and college of each student. This allows the faculty teaching their school's courses to report midterm letter grades for any freshmen in their courses and to identify those sophomores, juniors and seniors who are in danger of failing and report the reason for the poor performance using the rubric provided.

2.6.1 Fordham College at Rose Hill and the Gabelli School of Business 

The period for midterm exams is listed in the University’s academic calendar. At this time in October and March, all instructors are expected to advise their students of their academic progress. Examinations given at this time should be administered within the scheduled class meeting.

Faculty are required to submit mid-semester grades, as described above. Similar forms will also be distributed by the HEOP office, and the Academic Advising Office for Student Athletes.

2.6.2 Fordham College at Lincoln Center

Since the dean's office closely monitors student performance, please respond expeditiously to requests for information on any student experiencing academic difficulty. If reached soon enough, many of our students can be helped to succeed through tutoring and academic advising. Note that each FCLC student is assigned a personal academic adviser. Should problems arise, the adviser is often in the best position to help. Faculty members are also required to submit mid-semester grades, as described above. Please be sure to use this opportunity to identify these students so that they may be warned about their unsatisfactory performance while there is still time for them to attempt to rectify their deficiencies or to withdraw from the course before the deadline.

2.6.3 Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies

Midterm exams should be administered in class during the weeks in October and March as designated in the University’s academic calendar. Instructors are also expected to advise students of their academic progress immediately thereafter, and are required to submit mid-semester grades,as described above.

Timely evaluation and notification is helpful to students in determining which corrective actions might be taken or whether it would be prudent to withdraw from the course prior to the deadline for doing so without academic penalty.

2.7 Reading Days

Reading days are listed in the Colleges’ academic calendars for FCRH, FCLC and GSB (day). They are usually the two days followingthe last day of classes. Mandatory classes are not allowed during this time, but optional review sessions may be scheduled.

The purpose of these daysis to give the student the opportunity for independent and more concentrated study prior to the examination period. The reading days, like the final examination days, are part of a state-mandated fifteen-week semester. It is understood that the readings done during this period are part of the student's regular course work, and under no circumstances are additional assignments to be given for these days. It is expected that faculty involved in teaching increase their presence on the campus during this period and be more accessible to their students byoffering additional office hours.

2.8 Final Examinations

It is expected that final examinations will be administered in each course, except in special cases where a final project is pedagogically appropriate. The day, time, and room for the final examination are scheduled by the Office of Academic Records. The current version of the final exam schedule can be found on Fordham’s website at
(For evening courses in any college and for weekend courses offered in Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies, final examinations are scheduled for the same day, time, and room as the course itself.) A final examination may not be rescheduled without the written permission of the Associate Dean. Examination booklets will be distributed by the Departments.

All instructors are expected to retain copies of their students’ final examinations for at least one calendar year in case students request a consultation about them. Accrediting organizations require that final exams be kept on file. Each examination should be labeled with the course number and title, semester date and the instructor's name. The Dean's Office of each school will notify their faculty about the procedure for submission of these materials to their office after the exam is administered.

Final examinations may never be given during the last days of class prior to the final examination period, nor can they be given during reading days. For the current academic year, the Deans have scheduled common modern language final examinations on the afternoon of the second reading day. Take-home exams must be distributed in a timely fashion during the last week of classes and be due no earlier than the regularly scheduled examination date. Whether for an in-school examination or otherwise, all students and the instructor are required to meet for a last course session during the final examination period.

If a student has two or more examinations scheduled on the same day and time, he or she should arrange with the instructor to take one exam at another time. If that is not possible, the student should be instructed to see their Class Dean as soon as possible.

2.9 Absence from Final Examinations

A student may be excused from taking the final exam at the normally scheduled time and be given a grade of ABS only for illness, personal emergency, or some special contingency. See 3.2.1 for more detail.

If a student has permission to take a deferred examination, the procedure to do so varies by the college. In most cases, the deferred exam should be completed in a timely enough manner, so that the professor can grade the exam and submit a change of grade form. See Change of Grade Section 3.3 for more detail.

2.9.1 Fordham College at Rose Hill.

If there are students absent with an excuse from the final examination, copies of deferred examinations are normally left with the Chair, Associate Undergraduate Chair or secretary of the department offering the course when the final grade sheet is submitted. Faculty offering interdisciplinary courses will normally leave the deferred examination with their home department. The Chair, Associate Chair or secretary will arrange for the administration of the deferred examination and return of the examination to the instructor for grading.

2.9.2 Fordham College at Lincoln Center

If a student is absent without prior arrangement from the final exam, the instructor shall assign a grade of ABS and provide the Office of Academic Records with a copy of the final exam. The deferred exam will be administered by the Office of Academic Records and the completed exam returned to the instructor for grading. It is the student's responsibility to apply for the deferred exam and provide the necessary documentation of the excuse.

2.9.3 Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies

The ABS grade gives the student permission to take a deferred exam. No form is necessary for this grade. An ABS should not be given automatically, but only where the student has earned such consideration by his or her attendance and serious effort during the term. If it is necessary to give a student a grade of ABS, please submit a new exam to the PCS Office at the relevant campus. Students will be notified in writing that they have an ABS and the "deferred exam" will be administered by the Dean's Office on a scheduled day and time and then sent to the instructor for grading.

2.9.4 Gabelli School of Business

GSB faculty may give students with a valid excuse/absence from a final examination the grade of ABS This grade indicates that the student was absent from the final exam and that you are allowing them to make up this missed final exam or you are giving them the opportunity to make a case for why they should be allowed to make up the final exam. Students will be notified in writing that they have an ABS and will be instructed to contact their professor so that they may arrange to make up the exam with the faculty member directly or so they may make up the exam in the Dean's Office.This should be determined by the student and the professor. It is the professor’s responsibility to be prepared to offer the student a make-up exam and bewilling to either proctor ithim/herself or have the exam delivered to Elizabeth Cardiello in Hughes Hall, Room 500A, (extension 4100) so that the student may arrange to take the make up exam here in the GSB Dean's Office.

2.10 Postponement of Examinations

Rules for postponing final exams due to inclement weather follow the rules for the cancellation of classes due to weather (10.9). If the Vice President closes the university during the scheduled examination period, the Dean of the appropriate College in consultation with the Office of Academic Records will establish the new time for the examination.

2.11 Proctoring Examinations

In order to sustain a climate of academic integrity, extra care should be taken to develop alternative examinations and to proctor examinations during the allocated testing period.

2.12 Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality

Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality survey, known as SEEQ, is administered onliine each semester near the end of the term.

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