The StAAR Center is committed to working with our campus partners to implement approved accommodations for students.

This page is designed to serve as a helpful resource for students with approved accommodations. If you are looking to request new accommodations, please visit our Get Started with Accommodations page. 

Semester Letters for Academic Accommodations

Students who are approved for academic accommodations must communicate their accommodations to their professors by providing a semester-based Letter of Academic Accommodation, also called a Semester Letter.

View an Example Semester Letter

To obtain your Semester Letter, please follow the process below:

  1. Request Your Letter: Log into Accommodate with your Tufts UTLN. Click the “Accommodation” drop down menu in the left-side toolbar, then select “Request your Semester Letter". Select “Add New”, the current semester, then and “Submit For All Accommodations”. Anything connected to non-academic areas will not be included on your letters for your professors.
  2. Download Your Letter: StAAR will process the letter for you within 2-3 business days. You will receive an email notification when your letter is ready to be downloaded. To download your letter, log back into Accommodate and go to the “View your Letters” section on the left.
  3. Deliver Your Letter: Finally, deliver your downloaded letter to your professors via email or in person. We recommend doing this within the first couple weeks of class for a given semester. If you have exam accommodations, you should deliver your letters at least 1 week in advance of any exams for which you’d like to use your accommodations.

You will need to request a new letter at the beginning of each semester. This is true even if your accommodations are the same from semester to semester. 

The process should take no more than 5 minutes on your part. There is no need to submit additional documentation or schedule a meeting to receive your new letter, unless your accommodations were temporary, your disability has changed, or you are requesting something new. 

Semester Letter FAQs

  • You can submit your Semester Letter request starting the week before the semester begins, up until the last day of classes. That said, you will not be able to use your accommodations in your classes until you’ve delivered your letters to you professors. For this reason, StAAR recommends requesting your letter early in the semester. 

  • You will need to request a new Semester Letter for each semester during your time at Tufts. 

    If you are taking any Tufts courses during the summer, you must request a new Semester Letter for the summer as well. Summer Sessions 1 and 2 are considered part of the same summer semester – you do not need to request separate letters for Sessions 1 and 2.

  • The Accommodate Portal receives your course data from SIS; however, it is not updated as often as SIS. It may take time for changes in your course schedule to be reflected in Accommodate. 

    That said, the courses listed in Accommodate will not change the content your Semester Letter or your ability to use it. You must deliver your letter to the correct professors. Please go ahead and submit your Semester Letter request, even if the courses on Accommodate do not match your exact schedule. 

  • The StAAR Center generates new Semester Letters within a few business days, after receiving your request. That said, it may take longer during busy times (such as the beginning of the semester). Please be patient, as we will get to your request as soon as possible. 

  • The StAAR Center does not deliver Semester Letters on behalf of students. It is the student’s responsibility to inform their professors about their academic accommodations. How you do this is up to you, and in some cases, the preference of the professor.

    You may email the PDF of their letter to their professors, or meet with them privately to hand them a printed version. Either way, you may offer to find time to discuss with your professor how accommodations will work in their class. 

    If you would like support or guidance on how to share your accommodations with your professors, please don’t hesitate to contact us

  • Semester Letters can only be generated for students with approved academic accommodations. If you would like to request new academic accommodations, please view our Get Started with Accommodations page. 

  • Only students with approved academic accommodations can request a semester letter. The purpose of this request is to receive a letter for the current semester detailing your approved academic accommodations. 

    Any student can request new or additional accommodations. The purpose of this request is to receive new accommodations that you have not had at Tufts before. If you would like to request new or additional accommodations, please view our Get Started with Accommodations page. 

Exam Accommodations

The StAAR Center supports students with disabilities on accommodations for exams, including all in-class exams, tests, and quizzes. This may include time-based exam accommodations, a distraction-reduced testing environment, and/or assistive technology for exams. StAAR works with students and their professors to ensure that approved exam accommodations are implemented appropriately.

Booking Exams with StAAR

Students who are approved for exam accommodations are eligible to book space at the StAAR Center to take their exams. 

Please note that students may only book exams if their Semester Letter has been generated AND if they are booking at least 10 days before the start time of the exam (up to the hour).

Please see the instructions below on how to book an exam at the StAAR Center:

  1. Log into Accommodate with your Tufts UTLN. 
  2. Select the “Testing Room” option from the left-side menu.
  3. Click “New Booking Request”, then select the applicable course from the drop-down menu. Be sure to select the lecture section, NOT the recitation or lab section, when applicable.
  4. Enter the date & time that your class is taking the exam under “Date Range” and “Time Range”. 
  5. Indicate under “Final Exam” if the exam is a final exam or not. (Please note that final exam booking follows a different schedule. For more info, see Final Exams below.)
  6. Accommodate will assume the length of the exam is the same duration as the length of the class period. If this is not the case, select “yes” under “Override Course Length” and indicate the correct length of the exam. This should match the exact length that the class has to complete the exam – do NOT include your extended time, as this will be calculated later. 
  7. Skip the remaining sections below (building, room, days of the week) and click “Check Availability”. 
  8. A list of available spaces will come up on the right-hand side. Select an available space with a start time that most closely matches when the class will start the exam. Please note that Accommodate will only show dates/times that are at least 10 days out (up to the hour).
  9. After selecting a timeslot, you will see a pop-up window with a few questions about the exam. Answer these questions to the best of your ability. Be sure to indicate which exam accommodations you would like to use for this exam (extended time, assistive technology, etc) and list any materials permitted by your professor that you know of (calculator, notecard, etc). 
  10. Click “Submit Request”. Your request will be sent to the StAAR Center to be reviewed. 

The StAAR Center has limited space for students to take exams, and the space can fill up quickly, especially during busy times (such as midterms). We recommend students use their syllabi to book all their exams at once at the beginning of the semester. The exception to this is Final Exam booking, which operates on a slightly different timeline.

If you have any questions about exam booking, or run into any trouble with the process, please contact our exam coordination team at StAARExams@tufts.edu

Taking Exams at StAAR

Once your exam booking has been confirmed, you will be all set to take your exam at the StAAR Center. 

Please check-in at the StAAR Center in Dowling Hall, Suite 720 at least 5-10 minutes before your exam. Be sure to bring any materials needed for your exam, including writing utensils, calculator, notecards, etc.

You may receive an email from StAARExams@tufts.edu indicating that your exam will take place in room 745 in Dowling Hall. If so, you can head there directly to check-in for your exam. If you are having trouble finding room 745, please come to the StAAR Center, and we will direct you to the room. 

When you check-in for your exam, you will be shown a secure place where you can leave your belongings. Any electronic devices, including phones and smartwatches, must be silenced and placed with your belongings, as they are not permitted to be with you during the exam.

During your exam, you will be proctored by a StAAR employee or student worker. If you have any questions during your exam, please inform the proctor and they will reach out to your professor. The proctor will also give you a 10-minute warning before your exam time is set to end. 

Additional rules and guidelines for exams may apply, as applicable, and will be communicated to you before you begin your exam. 

All students taking exams at the StAAR Center are expected to abide by the Tufts Academic Integrity Policies. Failure to abide by these policies may result in your ability to take exams at StAAR being revoked and/or an academic integrity violation. 

Final Exams

Final exam booking at the StAAR Center follows a slightly different process. Students will not be able to book final exams at the StAAR Center until 3-4 weeks before the end of the semester. Information about this process and the timeline for booking finals will be communicated to students by email part-way through the semester. 

Exam FAQs

  • First, connect with your professor to see if they have an available space for you to take your exam with your accommodations. If they don’t, please contact us ASAP and we will try to find space for you to take your exam at the StAAR Center. 

    If we are unable to find a space at the StAAR Center, you will need to take your exam with your class. 

  • Please contact us ASAP and we will try to find space for you to take your exam at the StAAR Center. 

  • Please contact us ASAP about the exam, and cc your professor. 

  • Please ask the professor for your exam if you can start earlier or later to accommodate your other class. Or, ask the professor of your other class if you can leave early or come later to finish/start your exam.

    Please contact us if you’d like assistance coordinating with your professors. We are happy to connect with them on your behalf. 

  • Please book your exam at least 10 days in advance, as usual, and indicate that your exam will be on canvas or online. We will work with your professor to ensure you have access to your exam accommodations.  

  • We recommend students use their syllabi to book all their exams at once at the beginning of the semester. The exception to this is Final Exam booking which operates on a slightly different timeline.

  • Absolutely! Please contact us to schedule a time to tour our exam spaces.

  • Yes, you still have the option to take your exam at the StAAR Center, provided you book 10 days before your exam.

  • Students can only book exams for within the StAAR Center’s operating hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. If your exam goes outside of this timeframe, please contact us to find another time to take your exam.

  • Writing utensils, erasers, water bottles, snacks, and fidget items are always permitted in our exam spaces. Please be sure you also have any additional allowed supplies such as a calculator (charged, if applicable) or a notecard/note-sheet. 

    Electronic devices such as phones and smartwatches are NOT permitted. 

    Please note that all exam spaces have a clock and a white-noise machine that students may make use of. We also have extra disposable earplugs, if you need them. 

  • If you are still more than 10 days before the exam, you can reschedule on Accommodate. Otherwise, please contact us ASAP.

Equipment

Students approved for certain assistive technology accommodations may be eligible to loan equipment from the StAAR Center. To learn more about assistive technology at StAAR, please visit our Assistive Technology webpage. 

StAAR equipment is loaned on either a yearly or semesterly basis, depending on the nature and expected use of the items. Students must first sign an Equipment Contract before they can pick up the equipment, and all equipment must be returned by the date indicated on the contract. Failure to return equipment by the indicated due date may delay a student’s ability to register for classes or pick up their graduation packet.

Housing Accommodations

The StAAR Center supports students with disabilities in on-campus housing settings. We work with students and our colleagues in Residential Life and Facilities to ensure that approved housing accommodations are implemented appropriately. 

Students interested in requesting new housing accommodations should visit our Get Started with Accommodations webpage. Please note the housing accommodation deadlines as set by the StAAR Center and Residential Life. Approved accommodations may be limited and/or subject to the waitlist after the indicated dates.

For more information about housing at Tufts, including information about the housing application and lottery process, specific on-campus buildings, or living off campus, please visit the Residential Life website.

Rising Sophomores

All rising sophomores, including students with approved housing accommodations, must follow the housing application and lottery process through Residential Life

Students with approved housing accommodations will be contacted by a Residential Life team member in late-February or early-March to discuss spaces that meet their accommodations. Based on this conversation, students have two options:

  1. Choose one of the options that meet your accommodations, as discussed with Residential Life. After your choice has been communicated to Residential Life, you can inform your friends where you’ve been placed, and encourage them to select space nearby during the lottery.
  2. Choose to forgo using your accommodations, and instead participate in the lottery with a group (i.e. to select a suite), or by yourself. 

If you have questions about your current housing accommodations, please contact us

Students interested in requesting new housing accommodations should visit our Get Started with Accommodations webpage. Please note the housing accommodation deadlines as set by the StAAR Center and Residential Life. Approved accommodations may be limited and/or subject to the waitlist after the indicated dates.

Rising Juniors & Seniors

Tufts policies state that juniors and seniors are not guaranteed on-campus housing. 

All rising juniors and seniors who would like to live on campus during the next academic year, including students with approved housing accommodations, must follow the  housing application and lottery process through Residential Life. Students who receive a lottery number through this process will be given the option to live on campus for the next academic year. 

If a student does live on campus for the next academic year, their current approved housing accommodations will carry over, unless they have heard otherwise from a StAAR team member. 

If you have questions about your current housing accommodations, please contact us

Students interested in requesting new housing accommodations should visit our Get Started with Accommodations webpage. Please note the housing accommodation deadlines as set by the StAAR Center and Residential Life. Approved accommodations may be limited and/or subject to the waitlist after the indicated dates.

Temporary Accommodations

Temporary accommodations may be approved in situations where a student’s disability is temporary (e.g. an injury) or where a student is working with StAAR to determine which accommodations best address their access barriers. 

Students with temporary accommodations can request the timeline of these accommodations to be reviewed or extended by directly emailing the StAAR team member they have been working with on accommodations. The student may be asked to submit updated documentation, such as our Health Disability Provider Form or our Temporary Disability Provider Form, to support this request. 

If you need assistance contacting the StAAR team member you have been working with, please email StAARCenter@tufts.edu and we will put you in touch with them directly.