Faculty Notification

A faculty notification from the Dean of Students Office is not required to allow for an excused absence for personal or medical circumstances. We encourage students to work directly with their faculty whenever possible to discuss flexibility for extenuating circumstances.

Information on Class Absences

Students are advised to review the University Policy on Class Absence before contacting the Dean of Students Office regarding a faculty notification for a class absence. Further, students are advised to review the course syllabus for the class regarding class absences.

Students are also advised that any decision to adjust the course requirements or excuse a student from class is at the faculty member's discretion.

Faculty Notification

If a student knows they will be absent from class or unable to complete coursework, the student should email and/or speak with their faculty as soon as possible.

When the student is unable to contact the faculty member because of emergency circumstances (i.e hospitalization) or sensitive matters, the student or someone who is supporting the student should contact the Dean of Students Office at 413-545-2684. The Dean of Students Office staff will determine if a faculty notification is appropriate and follow up with the student accordingly. 


Students are encouraged to obtain medical* and/or personal documentation when a class absence or exception to the stated deadlines for the course are going to be requested. Students may share this documentation with their faculty member as needed.

*Medical Excuse Notes from UHS: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, verification of illness notes are not provided by University Health Services or by the Dean of Students Office, and should not be requested of students for acute illness. It is imperative that students with any symptoms of acute illness refrain from attending classes, for the health and safety of the campus.

Assistance working with Faculty

If a student encounters difficulty working with a faculty member regarding class absences, contact the Dean of Students Office. 

Faculty Consultation

Two basic rules apply to all excused absences, whether excused because of a University policy or at the instructor's discretion.

  1. Students must still meet all class requirements.

  2. 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).

To view the full Class Absence Policy, please see the Academic Regulations.​