Information for Faculty

To The Faculty

Information for Faculty Offering Instruction in Arts and Sciences is intended to serve as a convenient reference for the educational policies of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). In addition to a discussion of instructors’ responsibilities, matters related to course administration, and problems often encountered by students, this publication includes a summary of teaching resources available to instructors and a detailed academic calendar.

All members of the FAS are urged to consult this publication as issues arise in the administration of their courses and in their work with students. New members of the FAS will, it is hoped, take time to acquaint themselves with all aspects of this publication and especially with the various policies and regulations that are particular to Harvard. Avoiding misunderstandings before the fact can save valuable time and spare unnecessary embarrassment.

For example:

  • It is important to understand that while graduate students may receive a grade of Incomplete, undergraduates cannot.
  • In the matter of an extension of time, instructors may offer undergraduates an extension of time to complete course work until the end of the Examination Period; however, only with the express permission of the Administrative Board of Harvard College may instructors accept undergraduate work after the end of the Examination Period.
  • Final and approved makeup examinations are scheduled by the staff of the Office of the Registrar.
  • Instructors may not excuse a student from the final examination or make special arrangements to administer the exam at a time other than that scheduled by the Registrar.
  • Any student absent from a regularly scheduled exam is given the grade of ABS, a failing grade.
  • Instructors should be in residence throughout the academic year, including the Reading and Examination Periods. Short absences require approval of the Department Chair; absences of more than one week must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty.
  • Exclusion from a course, grade changes, and the retention of blue examination booklets constitute further areas to which new faculty members are urged to give special attention.