Class Excuse Policy and Forms

Class Excuse Policy

Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes at the University for which they are registered. In cases of illness, students are to explain their absences directly to their instructors. The grades of students who have met the requirements of the instructor in making up their work shall not be reduced for absence because of illness. Students are not to be penalized for official off-campus trips.

Students absent due to extenuating circumstances-including jury duty, military obligations, scheduled activities for other classes, the death of a family member, or verifiable health-related incapacity-remain responsible for meeting all class requirements and contacting the faculty member in a timely fashion about making up missed work. Faculty shall offer such students reasonable assistance in making up missed classes (i.e., making arrangements for attendance at labs or discussion sections which meet at other times; providing makeup exams or labs where feasible or offer mutually agreeable alternatives to make up work).  When scheduled events, such as athletic events, conflict with more than 20 percent of the scheduled meeting times of a course, the student is required to drop one or the other. When the overlap is less than 20 percent, the student may engage in both activities, but remains responsible for meeting all requirements of the course.

In considering whether to grant an excuse for an absence caused by illness or other extenuating non-academic reasons, faculty have the right to require formal, written documentation, within the limits of the health care provider's policy (see Administrative Policies and Procedures, Section II. Excuses for Health Reasons). 

More information can be found at http://www.umass.edu/registrar/media/academicregs.pdf

 

Forms

Athletic Department Policy:  Our office provides standardized documentation for class excuse forms due to team travel. Class excuses for reasons other than team travel (ex. participation in NCAA sanctioned individual events) should be referred to the Associate AD and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.  In general, we will only notify instructors of class absences if there is a direct relation to athletics or if it is a non-athletic emergency that renders the student-athlete unable to use email for a period of days. 

  • At least three weeks prior to each season, coaches should provide their team’s academic counselor with a list of competition dates and times, dismissal dates and times, and return dates and times if the return date falls on a weekday.  A travel roster must also be included.  Counselors will enter this information in a standardized letter and provide a copy to the head coach for distribution.  Student-athletes should provide the letter to each of their professors and T.A.s  at least two weeks before the first competition. If the first competition is prior to the first day of class, student-athletes must provide this letter to their teachers and T.A.s no later than the first day of class.
  • If a student-athlete will miss the first day of class, he/she should email the teacher at least one week prior to the first day of class to notify them of the absence, and follow up by providing the class excuse form the first day he/she is present in class.   
  • Our office will provide an updated letter to coaches/student-athletes via paper, or via email directly to instructors, if any changes to the original schedule or roster occur during the season. 
  • A separate letter and/or direct email from GradesFirst will be provided, as far in advance as is reasonable, to faculty/student-athletes if any post-season or potential post-season travel will occur.  Please be aware that because of the timing nature of such events, notification will be expedited as soon as plans are finalized.
  • Student-athletes are responsible for ensuring that their instructors and T.A.s receive their excuse letters and are responsible for reminding them of any upcoming absences so that appropriate arrangements for make-up work can be determined.