Common Hour Exam Policies

The following rules shall govern the conduct of the Common Hour Examinations and shall be enforced by the academic deans for undergraduate education in the schools offering the courses in which Common Hour Examinations are given.

  1. The overall examination time will not exceed eighty (80) minutes.  
  2. For each Common Hour Examination, students will be excused from an equivalent period of instruction.
  3. Certain scheduled Rutgers activities will take precedence over common hour examinations for students who are formally registered to participate in those activities. Activities that take precedence over common hour examinations will include regularly scheduled Rutgers classes, and participation in scheduled Rutgers athletic events. Students must also be offered alternative examinations if the common hour examinations conflict with religious observances. Students who have conflicts between such scheduled Rutgers activities or religious observances and common hour examinations must be offered an alternate examination (see #8, below). 
  4. Students must also be offered alternative examinations if they are ill at the time of the common hour examination.
  5. Students may be enrolled for two or more courses that schedule common hour examinations at the same time. Students who have such conflicts must be offered the minimum number of alternate examinations (see #7, below) needed to resolve the conflict.
  6. The times and locations of common hour examinations and the official rules concerning conflicts with common hour examinations will be announced and provided in writing to students by the class instructor clearly and at the beginning of the term. Students with potential conflicts will be advised to contact their instructor immediately.  
  7. If a student has a conflict between a common hour examination and a Rutgers activity that takes precedence (see #3), a religious observance (see #3) or illness (see #4), then the department must offer the student an alternate examination within one week of the primary examination. If the student is not able to take the alternate examination within the week due to extended illness, an alternate examination must be offered as soon as the student has recovered.
  8. If a student has a conflict between two or more common hour examinations, then that student must take one common hour examination at the scheduled time and be offered as many additional alternate examinations as needed to take the other conflicting common hour examination(s).
  9. Alternate examinations must be offered at times that do not conflict with activities that take precedence.
  10. Alternate examinations will be graded according to the same standards as the common hour examinations for which they substitute.
  11. In the event that a student’s request to have an alternative examination is initially denied by the department offering the exam, the student may appeal to the academic dean responsible for undergraduate education in the school offering the course*. The dean's decision will be binding on both the student and the department offering the common hour examinations. Student appeals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of the conflict.

Please see the current Common Hour Exam Schedule.

* For Common Hour Exams offered by Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics, the academic dean responsible for undergraduate education is the SAS Vice Dean for Undergraduate Education, who can be reached at

Rev. 1/2024