Class Absence Policy

University Policy on Class Absence

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.​

University Policy on Class Absence for Religious Observances

For complete information on the class absence for religious observance, consult the Campus Policy on Class Absence for Religious Observances web page.

Athletics Events

Required participation in athletic events which conflict with scheduled classes is verified by the Athletic Department (545-4379). Students should inform instructors as soon as possible of an event for which they will be absent from class.

Field Trips

Field trips and performances can be verified by the department requiring a student to participate. Other scheduled activities for students are usually verified by the office or department scheduling the activity. Students should inform instructors of pending absences as soon as they are aware of the schedule conflict.

Health Reasons

For students treated by medical providers, instructors may require written verification, within the limits of the health care provider’s policy, from the health provider. Where possible, students should notify faculty in advance if they will miss a class because of illness, injury or medical treatment.

Students should be made aware that they can leave a message at a department office or on an instructor’s voice mail to explain an absence the day it occurs,if possible.

Other Extenuating Non-Academic Reasons

This category includes other valid excuses for missing class, including family illness or death, personal problems or unforeseen circumstances (e.g., automobile accident). While the policy states that instructors have the right to require written verification of students' absences for such reasons, this is difficult to achieve in many circumstances. We offer several suggestions to cover a number of potential excuses. For court appearances, jury duty, or other legal activity, a copy of the appropriate legal document should be provided. If an absence is attributed to the death of a person close to the student, an instructor can request a copy of the obituary or death notice, and some evidence of the student's relationship to the deceased. (Instructors should be aware, however, that in a situation of genuine grief and loss, this request is usually perceived as quite callous, or even outrageous, though this is not the instructor's intent.) Many extenuating non-academic reasons for absence are not documentable, and instructors have to use their best judgment in evaluating student excuses. When students are unable to contact their faculty and instructors directly, students or family members notify the Dean of Students Office of extended absences and the Dean of Students Office will notify instructors. If instructors have concerns about a particular case and need advice on how to handle it, they may telephone the Dean of Students Office (545-2684), the Provost's Office (545-2554), or the Ombuds Office (545-0867) for advice.

For more information on the Attendance Policy, go to  Academic Regulations handbook.