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Academic Honor System

In 1944 the students of Smith College voted to establish the Academic Honor System in the belief that each member of the Smith community has an obligation to uphold the academic standards of the college. The basic premise on which the code is based is that the learning process is a product of individual effort and commitment accompanied by moral and intellectual integrity. The Academic Honor Code is the institutional expression of these beliefs. The code requires that each individual be honest and respect and respond to the demands of living responsibly in an academic community.

Read more about the Academic Honor Code as it applies to examinations and class work in the Smith College Handbook.

Policies & Guidelines

Special Arrangements

Scheduled and self-scheduled examinations may not be taken outside the regular examination period. Students are not permitted to complete examinations early and are not permitted to make special arrangements with faculty to complete exams outside the examination period without prior permission of the Administrative Board. Written requests must be made to the Administrative Board through the class dean (not to individual faculty members).

Students making their end-of-semester travel arrangements should be sure that their plans do not conflict with the examination schedule; requests to take final examinations early will not be considered.


Only the class dean may authorize an extension beyond the end of the final exam period. Such extensions, granted for reasons of illness, emergency or extenuating personal circumstances, will always be confirmed in writing with the student, the instructor, and the registrar's office. An individual instructor, without authorization by the class dean, may grant extensions on work due during the semester through the last day of exams.

For students granted an official extension by the class dean, make-up examinations will be administered by the Office of the Registrar and must be completed by the deadline set by the class dean.

Extensions for Five College Students

Five College students enrolled in Smith courses are held to the guidelines published here concerning final exams and papers. Five College students requiring extensions for reasons of health or emergency should contact the Class Dean's Office at Smith.


If a student is too ill to write an examination, they should report to Health Services before the examination is scheduled to begin. In case of illness which occurs after an examination has begun, the student should go directly from the examination center to Health Services, not to their house. In the case of a scheduled examination, they should leave the examination materials with the instructor if he/she is present, or on the desk in the examination room. Students taking self-scheduled examinations should leave their examination materials with the supervisor of the center where the exam was received. In both instances, Health Services will notify the registrar and class dean that the student is ill and unable to complete the exam during that period.

Tardiness & Late Exams

A student who arrives late for a self-scheduled exam may write for the remaining time, but must turn in all papers by the closing time for that session (11:20am, 4:20pm, or 9:20pm). A student who arrives on time but who must wait in line to pick up their exam will not be penalized. Completed exams and all used and unused blue books must be returned to the centers in resealed envelopes, and must be handed to one of the workers, who will record the time received.

Extra time taken to write an exam is considered a violation of the Academic Honor Code and will be reported to the Academic Honor Board.

Missed Exams

Students who do not take an exam during the exam period and do not have an extension will be reported to the Administrative Board. The board has ruled that a grade of E shall be given for examinations missed because of carelessness, oversleeping, misreading the schedule, poor planning, etc.


Students with documented disabilities who need disability-related accommodations must contact Disability Services to specifically request accommodations for self-scheduled finals.

Deadlines for Final Exam Accommodations
Fall semester November 15
Spring semester April 1

Disability Services will evaluate your request and inform the registrar about the specific accommodations needed. Accommodations are not guaranteed to students whose requests are received after the deadline. Disability-related accommodations will not be provided without current medical documentation or psycho-educational testing on file with disability services.

Students with disabilities taking exams with accommodations must pick up their exams from the registrar's office. The registrar's office will be open at 8:00am each day during the examination period and exams with additional time can be picked up until Noon (double time), or 1:00pm (time and a half). You will be given instructions when you pick up the exam regarding where to take the exam, the accommodations that are allowed, and when to return the exam. Students taking exams with accommodations are bound to the Smith honor code.

Five College Students with Disabilities

Five College students with documented disabilities needing disability related accommodations for self-scheduled finals must first contact the disability services coordinator at your own school. That individual will assess your need for accommodations and should provide you with a letter or form specifying the accommodations needed, which youmust submit to the Office of Disability Services at Smith College. The Office of Disability Services will evaluate your request and inform the registrar about the specific accommodations needed. Accommodations are not guaranteed to Five College students whose requests are received after the deadline.

Deadlines for Final Exam Accommodations
Fall semester November 15
Spring semester April 1