UMass Amherst Jewish Affairs

Jewish Affairs

Class Absence for Religious Observance

UMass Amherst has a clear policy regarding class absences due to religious observance...


"ABSENCES DUE TO RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE. State Law (Chapter 375, Acts of 1985), requires that the University excuse any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement because of religious observance. Students have the right to make up examinations, study, or work requirements that they miss because of religious observance without any adverse or prejudicial effects. No fees may be charged to the student for the makeup exercise. The law also provides that such makeup work may not create an unreasonable burden upon the University.

"Therefore, students have an obligation to inform their course instructors, in advance, of the days on which they may be absent for religious reasons. Students should inform their course instructors in writing of the days they will be absent as early in the semester as possible and always prior to the day(s) on which they will be absent for religious reasons. Instructors, if they feel that it is important for course planning, have the right to require students to provide a written list of such days within one full calendar week after students' enrollment in the course, provided that the instructors list this requirement and deadline on the course outline or other handouts. In the event of a dispute between an instructor and a student in any course, either party should contact the Department Head or the Ombuds Office (413-545-0867)."


Do you need help?

If you would like help figuring out how to talk to your professor about a class absence due to a religious holiday, or if you've tried unsuccessfully to talk with your professor about a conflict and need help, you can call Larry Goldbaum in the Office of Religious Affairs for assistance...

Phone: 413-545-9642
Email: goldbaum@admin.umass.edu