Classes and Exams

2.1 The Syllabus

Each course and each section of multisectioned courses taught at the University must have a syllabus on file in the office of the dean of the college/school in which the course is 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 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 college/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, including


  • the instructor's name, office location, telephone number, email address, and office hours as well as expectations for correspondence
  • the specific learning objectives of the course explicitly listed
  • notes on how students will be graded, as well as the grading scale to be used (please be specific if you are not using the same scale as listed in section 3.2)
  • the numbers of papers and exams that will be required and their weight in the final grade
  • a list of the material that will be covered, including recommended reading
  • notes on how students taking four-credit courses will be required to commit additional time to the course—through extra readings or assignments, for example 
  • attendance policies and outcome resulting from nonattendance (see section 2.3)
  • expectations for class participation and how it will be graded
  • policies on late papers and missed exams
  • possibilities for extra credit and/or revision of work
  • discussion of the University Academic Integrity Policy and the sanctions therein (see section 4); instructors are encouraged to state here any actions that would lead to concerns about an academic integrity violation. For example, it is recommended stating here that no phones may be accessed during exams, any requirements about using AI, or any other considerations that would initiate an Academic Integrity Violation charge).
  • a paragraph to make students aware of the University services available for students with disabilities. A sample paragraph you can use is given in section 8.2 (italicized portion).

2.2 Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for individual colleges/schools can be found on the Fordham website at: Academic Calenders.  Note that you can select future terms using functions at the top of the calendar, and you can also select different formats such as list or grid.

Or you may go the main page of the Fordham website,, and select Faculty and Staff from the menu. From there, you can find links to a wide variety of useful resources.  

Instructors who need to reschedule classes due to religious holidays or academic commitments should note such dates on the syllabus and alert the students as to how the work for the missed class will be made up, including any makeup dates in the course syllabus.

2.3 Student Attendance

Please see the attendance guidelines below.

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 student's grade for the course.

In addition to faculty members keeping record of attendance, 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.

Absences for reasons of religious holidays, 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 other graded assignments. At FCRH, FCLC, and GABELLI, students can complete an Excused Absence Request if required by the instructor (this is not a requirement by the respective dean's offices) on their My.Fordham portal but this should only be encouraged for instances when approval is needed for a make-up or to extend a deadline. In any other instances, faculty are asked to use their own discretion in granting excused absences consistent with the University's policies above.  For University sponsored events, documentation will be provided by the appropriate University office either directly to the faculty member or via the student.

At PCS, students are asked to email their advising dean with their request, which should include the reason for the anticipated absence and supporting documentation.

The maximum number of total 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, unless otherwise noted in the syllabus.

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 makeup 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 at the 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/advising dean to ascertain if it is feasible to complete the work of the course.

For all students, the following guidelines apply.

Religious Holidays: A number of religious faiths are represented in the Fordham student body. Students who are absent due to religious holidays should notify their instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Participation in University-Sanctioned Activity: Students serve as representatives of the Fordham community in a variety of activities. 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 absences at the beginning of the semester. The faculty will acknowledge the scheduled absences 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.

Student Health Services will not provide notes excusing students from class. Students can give permission for their class/advising deans to contact Student Health Services. At FCRH, this is part of the review of Excused Absence Forms as described above. At FCLC, GSB, and PCS, students are expected to provide their class/advising dean with appropriate documentation.

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

Faculty members are encouraged to notify the appropriate assistant dean or advisor in the student's home college/school about prolonged absences.

2.4 Activity Period

Activity periods (at Rose Hill these are Monday/Thursday from 1 - 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 2:30 - 3:20 p.m.; at Lincoln Center this block is on Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.) are set aside each week (except during reading days and the week of final examinations) for departmental or administrative meetings, student activities, etc. No classes or laboratories may be scheduled during these hours without consultation with an associate dean. No student activities may be held during reading days or the final examination period.

2.5 Midterm Exams and Assistance to At-Risk Students

The period for midterm exams is listed in the University's academic calendar. Examinations given at this time should be administered within the scheduled class meeting. Faculty members are also required to submit mid-semester evaluations (section 1.2).

Since the deans' offices closely monitor student performance, please respond expeditiously to requests for information on any student experiencing academic difficulty. If reached soon enough, our students can be warned about their unsatisfactory performance while there is still time for them to attempt to rectify their deficiencies. Many may be helped to succeed through tutoring and academic advising. Others may be encouraged to withdraw from the course before the deadline.

2.6 Reading Days

Reading days are listed in the academic calendars for FCRH, FCLC, and GSB (day). They are usually the two days following the last day of classes. Mandatory classes are not allowed during this time, but optional review sessions may be scheduled. However, the first reading day may be used to make up classes missed due to campus-wide cancellations such as snow days. Please note, though, that GSB may hold common exams at this time, and therefore their students may not be available.

The purpose of these days is to give students 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 15-week semester. It is understood that the readings done during this period are part of the student's regular coursework, and under no circumstances are additional assignments to be given for these days. It is expected that faculty involved in teaching will increase their presence on the campus during this period and be more accessible to their students by offering additional office hours. Please note that some classes may follow a different schedule and may hold class on reading days to satisfy the state-mandated 15-week semester.

2.7 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 days, times, and rooms for final examinations are scheduled by the Office of Academic Records. The standard length of a final exam is two hours. The current version of the final exam schedule will be posted by Academic Records during the semester.

Note that for evening courses in any college/school, 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 an 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 a copy of the final exam given for each course 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.

Faculty are not allowed to move their final exams to the last days of class or to the reading period. 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. Faculty are required to meet with their students during the time scheduled for the final examination, whether the final is actually given during that time or is a take-home exam.

If a student has a conflict of examinations, he or she should notify and arrange with the instructor to take one exam at another time within two weeks of the final exam date. For example, it is recommended that students have a maximum of two exams per day (excluding evening courses). If a student anticipates the need to miss a final exam, this should be worked out in advance with the instructor and in consultation with the appropriate class dean/associate dean.

2.8 Absence from Final Examinations

If a student experiences an illness, personal emergency, or some special contingency on the day of the final exam or when a final assignment is due, the instructor can give a grade of ABS. See section 3.2.2 for more details. These are the only circumstances where an ABS applies. For missing work beyond the final exam/assignment, instructors should discuss with the relevant dean.

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. See Change of Grade, section 3.3 for more details. Students should make arrangements with the instructor for making up the final with assistance from the home department if needed.

2.9 Postponement of Examinations

Rules for postponing final exams due to inclement weather follow the rules for the cancellation of classes due to weather (see section 10.7). If the vice president closes the University during the scheduled examination period, the dean of the appropriate college/school, in consultation with the Office of Academic Records, will establish the new time for the examination.

2.10 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.

2.11 Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality

The Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality survey, known as SEEQ, is administered online each semester near the end of the term. All instructors are required to allocate time to introducing and administering SEEQs during the designated period.