Classes, Examinations and Grades
The Kyoto University curriculum uses a semester system, dividing the academic year into "first semester" and "second semester." The Liberal Arts and Sciences Program also uses semesters, and offers a wide variety of courses over the academic year.
This system is effective in achieving better results by concentrated semester learning and it also provides students with a wider variety of course selections.
Class periods are shown below (for all students).
|Period||1st period||2nd period||3rd period||4th period||5th period|
Regular exams are performed during the "exam period" which is one week in each semester. For more details, refer to the
. Exams are in principle administered during the same day of the week and period as the applicable class, except for some specific courses such as Primary French.
Exam timetables and venues during the regular exam period will be announced via KULASIS approximately two weeks prior to the exam period. If there are any changes in the exam information after its announcement, updated information is also provided via KULASIS and don't miss it.
There are other ways of assessment, such as term paper, or in-class coursework, quizzes, essay, attendance and participation.
General notes on regular exams
- Students are only allowed to take exams for registered courses. Credits are not awarded by taking non-designated exams even which are under the same course title classes.
- Students are not allowed to take exams if they have a leave of absence while the applicable classes are in session.
- Students must display their student ID card on the desk during the exam.
- If students have lost their student ID card or do not have it with them, inform the Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses Student Desk prior to the start of the exam and receive a temporary examination voucher to take the exam. The temporary examination voucher is valid only for the day of issue. If an exam is administered in faculty classrooms outside of the Yoshida-South Campus and they do not have time to obtain a temporary examination voucher, they may use a temporary examination voucher issued by their faculty or graduate school office.
- Students more than 20 minutes late for the exam will not be permitted to enter the room.
- Students are not allowed to leave the room until at least 30 minutes have passed from the start of the exam.
- Students will not be allowed to leave the room from 5 minutes prior to the conclusion of the exam until all answer sheets have been collected.
- In classrooms with long tables, maintain one empty seat between each student unless instructed otherwise. Students at the end of the table are responsible for collecting answer sheets.
- All personal belongings other than writing implements, clocks and watches (with clock functions only), and other objects specifically permitted to be brought to the exam should be placed at the students' feet for the duration of the exam. Do not put personal belongings on shelves under desks.
- Turn off all mobile phones and similar devices and place them in their bags. Mobile telephones cannot be used in place of clocks and watches.
- Be sure to fill in the name column on the answer sheet and the examinee name slip (for regular tests) using a pen or a ball point pen.
- Writing something unrelated on an answer sheet may be regarded as a misconduct.
- Submit all answer sheets. Even if students quit the exam before it ends, taking the answer sheet with them may be considered academic misconduct.
- Follow all instructions given by the proctor during the exam.
- Any honor code violation during the exam is subject to strict penalties (nullification of grades for all courses taken that year, etc.) according to the standards of their faculty.
- Re-testing exams for students who took an exam and failed are in principle not offered for the Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses, except for some specific courses.
- In the courses whose re-testing exams are scheduled in advance, the details are to be announced via KULASIS .
As for the courses with final exams, the applicable reasons and the coverage periods for the make-up exams for which a registered student was not able to take the original final exams are indicated below.
Other than the above reasons such as job hunting, club activity and clash of exams between liberal arts and sciences course and student's major course are not regarded as appropriate reasons for make-up exams.
- Injury or illness; it has to be proved by a doctor’s medical documentation. A period of time when it is judged that the student had difficulty in taking his/her exam according to the documentation.
- Bereavement leave (death of a spouse or relative within the second-degree); the date of death must be confirmed by an official document. A period of no more than 7 consecutive days (including holidays) for the spouse or first-degree relative, and no more than 5 consecutive days (including holidays) for the second-degree relative, following the date of death.
- Other cases of force majeure (traffic conditions, disaster, etc. that can be confirmed by a certificate) that are approved by the ILAS director. A period of time when it is judged that the student had difficulty in taking his/her exam according to the certificate.
- Students who request a supplementary exam apply for it at the Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses Student Desk (applications via email are also acceptable) within three days, except for Saturday, Sunday and national holyday, after the original exams. The Student Desk will never accept any requests after the deadline and students are not allowed to apply for the supplementary exam to the instructor directly.
- The official supplementary exam period is the three days period, except for Saturday, Sunday and national holyday, from the following day of the end of the official feedback period. But in a case that an applicant has to be in the hospital so long that he/she cannot take the supplementary exam during the official period, it may be conducted out of the period. Students have to take the supplementary exams on the designated date and time. Re-conducting or re-scheduled supplementary exams will not be provided.
(1) Term paper guidelines
Quoting other people’s work without citations in term papers and other assignments is not only a violation of copyright law, it is also plagiarism, whether intended or not, and will be treated as such. The actions taken in case of misconduct in term papers are just as severe as that of misconduct in final exams. Follow the guidelines below when writing term papers. If anything is unclear, follow your instructors’ directions.
- Clearly differentiate between your opinions and those of others.
- When quoting, your own work should compose the majority of your paper. Quotations should be a minor part of your paper in both quality and quantity.
- When quoting, clearly differentiate the quoted material in an explicit way, such as the use of quotation marks.
- Quote other’s work exactly the way it was published, including any typographical errors.
- Cite the source of any quoted material.
- Quoted material must be publicly available. (Because personal messages obtained over email are not officially published, you must obtain the permission of the author [copyright holder].)
- Internet quotations must include the URL, the title of the webpage, and the date accessed.
- Do not write something unrelated to the subject.
Papers should be written based on a thorough understanding of the class content as well as your own personal analysis and understanding based on research into additional sources as necessary. Papers that simply reproduce the information provided in class may not meet the required standards.
(2)Submission of papers
- Instructors assign papers
- by posting subjects on KULASIS or PandA
- in class
- General notices
- Use A4 size paper, unless your instructor indicated otherwise.
- Write down your name and student ID number on not only a cover but also headers of pages.
- Keep a copy of the paper.
- How to submit
- To Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses Report Box
- The Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses Report Box room is located across from the Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses Student Desk.
- The Report Box room opens every weekday from 8:30 to 18:45 during class, exam, and feedback class periods, and from 8:30 to 17:15 out of those periods. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.
- Make the deadlines. Any late submission will not be accepted.
- Papers submitted in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Report Box after the deadline will be returned to the student without being passed on to the instructor. Be careful when submitting your papers, as papers mistakenly placed into the wrong box will be treated as being late. When submitting a paper, make sure the course title, instructor, and day and period at the box.
- Use a cover sheet (downloadable from KULASIS), staple two points, and submit it into the designated box.
- In “Assignment” or “Drop Box” on PandA
- Upload a file in the format designated by the instructor.
- Confirm that the proper file was uploaded after the submission.
- For any reason, such as remaining as a draft, incorrect operation, and uploaded a wrong file, papers over the deadline will not be graded.
- The web server can become busy just before the deadline, which causes it to take more time than usual. Encouraged to submit papers earlier to meet the deadline.
- Confirm the “Submitted” status in the “Assignment” section after the submission. Resubmission of papers may need the instructor’s permission.
- Confirm the uploaded file in the “Drop Box” section after the submission.
- Other ways
It may be directed to submit to the instructor, the office of your department, etc., follow the instruction.
- To Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses Report Box
Misconduct in the final exams and the term papers, is absolutely unacceptable. When taking exams, students must avoid any behavior that might amount to misconduct. The University has strict rules regarding such misconduct. In the unlikely event that misconduct occurs, each faculty will take its own strict measures in response, including invalidating* the student’s grades in all subjects taken that year.
*Changing given grade to zero.
In-class quizzes and essays are also not supposed to cheat and plagiarize such as indicated below. In any case of misconduct in in-class quizzes and essays, instructors will take severe measures against it.
What is considered misconduct
Misconduct during final exams includes:
- Cheating (bringing in materials other than those allowed, looking at other examinees’ answers, soliciting others’ help for answers, etc.)
- Assisting others with the exam, such as by sharing answers during the exam.
A person other than the registered examinee taking the exam.
In addition, the following conduct in an examination room may also be considered cheating:
- Bringing material other than what is allowed into the examination room.
- Taking an answer sheet outside the examination room.
- Interfering with other examinees in the examination room.
- Failing to follow the proctors’ instructions in the examination room.
- Other behavior that impedes the fairness of the exam or interferes with the proper administration of the exam.
- Writing something unrelated on an answer sheet.
Misconduct in term papers and other written material includes the following:
- Using the statements or ideas of others as if they were your own. This is called plagiarism, and is a serious violation of social ethics.
- Improper quotations of other’s work, including not marking which sections are quotations of other’s work, or not referencing the source of quotations in your papers. In some places, this overlaps with plagiarism (1). However, improper quotation itself is a violation of copyright law.
- Sharing the papers you have written with another person knowing that he/she will plagiarize it. (Both the person who shared the paper and the person who plagiarized will be held responsible.)
- Writing a paper in another person’s name. (Both the person who wrote the paper and the person who requested it will be held responsible.)
- Writing papers with other students when group work has not been specifically assigned, with the submitted work showing extreme similarities. (While it is good for students to discuss what they have learned in class and exchange opinions, in the absence of clear instructions from your instructor to do otherwise, students must prepare all work on their own.)
- Intentionally disobeying the instructor.
- Writing something unrelated to the subject.
Responding to misconduct
When the Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences receives a paper of suspicious activities within the Liberal Arts and General Education Courses from an instructor or anyone else, an investigation of the allegations will be conducted. If necessary, the student may be required to give an explanation for the circumstances. If it is determined that misconduct has occurred, the student’s faculty or graduate school will be informed, and appropriate action will be taken.
Specific actions will vary school by school, but misconduct related to exams and papers will be considered severely, including invalidating the student’s grades, not just for the specific subject in which misconduct occurred, but for all subjects taken by the student that year.
On research integrity
Kyoto University strives to promote fair research and prevent fraud in order to achieve its mission of advancing academic research.
Our students are expected to display research integrity when they participate in research activities at the university, such as writing graduation theses or conducting graduation research in their fields of study. The banning of plagiarism and the requirement to make sources explicit in papers for Liberal Arts and General Education Courses is a basic requirement for academic training and necessary for research integrity. We expect our students to internalize these basic principles.
Research integrity, as well as what is considered to be research misconduct, are defined below. In order to perform work as honest researchers, we require our researchers to give sufficient consideration to maintaining research integrity.
What is research integrity?
In Reference 1, research integrity is defined as follows.In any area of research, there are “values” that should be shared in order to promote fair and responsible research activities. The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (2010) distils these values into the following four principles:
1. Honesty in all aspects of research.
2. Accountability in the conduct of research.
3. Professional courtesy and fairness in working with others.
4. Good stewardship of research on behalf of others.
What is research misconduct?
Reference 1 defines the following three types of research misconduct.1) Fabrication
To create data or research results that do not actually exist.
To manufacture false data or research results by modifying research data, instruments, or processes.
To use another researcher’s ideas, analysis methods, data, research results, articles, or writing without the approval of the original researcher or appropriate citations.Conduct that falls outside these definitions is not necessarily legitimate. Reference 1 states that activities such as the following are inappropriate research activities. Students must be careful not to engage in such activities.1) Failing to store important research data for a specified period of time
2) Improper management of research records
3) Improper authorship attribution
4) Refusing to share research materials or data
5) Providing insufficient research guidance or exploiting students
6) Dishonestly reporting research results (particularly to news media)
1) Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), “For the sound development of science”, Editorial Board’s “For the sound development of science: Guidelines for honest scientists” (February, 2015)
How to calculate credits
In accordance with the standards provided for by the Standards for Establishment of Universities, a credit generally equates 45 hours of work including out-of-class work, and the contact hours in the work hours varies according to the class style. 15 to 30 hours are required in lectures and 30 to 45 hours in experiments and practical trainings.
In Kyoto University, a period of class corresponds to two contact hours. A semester consists of 15 weeks and an academic year 30 weeks of class. The number of credit of each course is shown on the course list in the Handbook of Liberal arts and Sciences Courses.
Acquisition of credits
Credit is given when a student attain a pass grade in a course. In the liberal arts and sciences courses, a score is given as a grade and 60 or more out of 100 is considered pass. (Refer to the below table)
Students cannot acquire credits for non-registered courses. Students also cannot get them if they have a leave of absence while the applicable courses are in session.
In case students acquire the credits for two or more of the same title courses, except for some courses, the credits for only one course acquired first are added in the required credits for graduation.
Applied to students enrolled in and after 2020
96 – 100
Reached the required pass mark
Outstanding performance with a high level of learning achievement / Outstanding
85 - 95
Reached the required pass mark
Excellent performance with a high level of learning achievement / Excellent
75 – 84
Reached the required pass mark
Good performance with a high level of learning achievement / Good
65 - 74
Reached the required pass mark
An average level of learning achievement / Fair
60 - 64
Reached the required pass mark
A below-average level of learning achievement / Pass
59 or below
Not reached the required pass mark
|Raw scores||Letter grades||Standards|
|96 – 100||A+||Reached the required pass mark||Outstanding performance with a high level of learning achievement / Outstanding|
|85 - 95||A||Excellent performance with a high level of learning achievement / Excellent|
|75 – 84||B||Good performance with a high level of learning achievement / Good|
|65 - 74||C||An average level of learning achievement / Fair|
|60 - 64||D||A below-average level of learning achievement / Pass|
|59 or below||F||Not reached the required pass mark||Fail|
* Please refer the table applied to students enrolled before 2020 to the Handbook of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Confirm grade evaluations
Students can confirm grade evaluation results for the first semester courses in late August and for the second semester and year-round courses in late February.
Intensive courses conducted after the middle of August in the first semester and the middle of February in the second semester are disclosed in other periods.
Appeals for exam score results
Students are allowed to make appeals for exam score results for the semester just ended in the following circumstances.
- Inputting errors or other cases in which the teacher has clearly made a mistake
- Clear questions about the method of grading announced in the syllabus or other materials
File appeals during the grade confirmation period on the KULASIS grade confirmation web page.
Appeals cannot be made directly to the teacher.
Students may file appeals for up to three courses on KULASIS. However, if they need to file more appeals, contact the Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Desk directly during the grade confirmation period.
The Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences will check appeals, and any appeals that do not meet the standards in  or  above will be disqualified.
※Note that violations of these rules may result in the revocation of grades.
Academic report card
For the first semester courses after late August and for the second semester and year-round courses after middle of February, an academic report card will be distributed by students' department. For more details, refer to the information from their department.
Grade evaluations of intensive courses conducted after the middle of August in the first semester and the middle of February in the second semester are shown in the next semester's card.
GPA（Grade Point Average）
The GPA system was installed for the students enrolled in and after 2016. The system aims to promote students’ autonomous study and to use it as an indicator in guidance.
- Table of letter grades and GPs
Letter grades are converted to GPs as follows.
Letter grades A+ A B C D F GP 4.3 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0
- Credits into GPA
Each faculty rules the GPA formula, and it can differ by department which courses are included in the GPA and how the credits earned in the same courses which were registered for a couple of times are dealt with. Please ask about the details of the GPA system to the student affairs office in your department.
- Types of GPAs
There are two types of GPAs in the university. One is “Accumulative GPA” as the indicator of learning achievement at all times in the university. Another is “Semester GPA” as the indicator of learning achievement in a semester. The GPA is rounded in the third decimal point and displayed to the second decimal point.Accumulative GPA=Summation of grade point multiplied by its number of credits in each of the passed coursesTotal credits of the attempted courses since admissionSemester GPA=Summation of grade points multiplied by its number of credits in each of the passed courses in the semesterTotal credits of the attempted courses in the semester
As mentioned above, the number of credits of attempted courses affects GPA, and the class withdrawal system was also installed.
- Display of GPA
Academic report cards show all grades, the semester GPA, and the accumulated GPA, however, credentials do not necessarily show GPAs. If you need credentials with GPAs, please contact the student affairs office of your department.