UMass Amherst Dean of Students Office

Dean of Students Office

Information on Class Absences

If a student needs to be excused from classes there are two basic rules that apply, whether excused because of a University policy or at the instructor’s discretion:

• Students must still meet all class requirements.
• Instructors must offer reasonable assistance in making up missed work (e.g., making arrangements for attendance at labs or discussion sessions which meet at other times; providing makeup exams or labs where feasible).

Only the instructor can excuse a student from a course requirement or responsibility. When conflicts or absences can be anticipated, such as for many University sponsored activities and religious observances, the student should inform the instructor of the situation as far in advance as possible. For unanticipated or emergency absences where advance notification to an instructor is not possible, the student should contact the instructor as soon as possible by e-mail, phone, or by contacting the main office of the department that offers the course.

Faculty Notification

Students should email and talk to thier faculty as soon as they become aware of a potential absence and/or as soon as they are able to.


When the student is unable to contact the instructor because of an emergency circumstances beyond the student’s control (i.e hospitalization), and in cases of bereavement, the student or the student’s representative should contact the Dean of Students Office at 413-545-2684 if the reported absence is expected to be for an extended period of time (normally a week or more). A member of the Dean of Students Office staff will notify the student’s instructor(s) of the absence.

The Dean of Students Office faculty notification does not change in any way the outcome of the instructor’s decision regarding the students’ academic work and performance in any given course. For more information about the University Policy on Class Absence see:
http://www.umass.edu/registrar/students/policies-and-practices/class-absence-policy

Assistance working with Faculty

If you encounter difficulty with a faculty you can seek the assistance of the Ombuds Office.

Ombuds Office
823 Campus Center
Tel: (413) 545-0867
ombuds@ombuds.umass.edu
http://www.umass.edu/ombuds/