Chapter 8 – Absences from Class

(Amended 9/93; 8/9/19; 3/3/20; 7/27/23)

Effective July 27, 2023, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version of IV-8.1.

8.1 General

(Amended 8/9/19; 3/3/20; 7/27/23)

Each college within the University is free to establish its own rules and regulations concerning absences from class. However, University regulations require that students be allowed to make up examinations which have been missed due to illness, religious holy days, military service obligations, including service-related medical appointments, jury duty, or other unavoidable circumstances or other University-sponsored activities. Students should work with faculty regarding making up other missed work, such as assignments, quizzes, and classroom attendance.

Policies regarding conflicts between examinations scheduled outside of class, regularly scheduled exams, and regularly scheduled courses are described in the current Schedule of Courses.

8.2 Absences for Religious Holy Days

(3/99; amended 11/00; 8/9/19)

The University is prepared to make reasonable accommodations for students whose religious holy days coincide with their classroom assignments, test schedules, and classroom attendance expectations. Accommodations will be made in a manner which is consistent with the University Policy on Human Rights (see II-3) and does not unfairly burden instructors and students.

  1. Excused absences. Students who notify their instructor of a religious holy day conflict shall be excused from class or other scheduled academic activity to observe a religious holy day of their faith. Students must notify their instructors during the first few days of the semester or session, and no later than the third week of the semester. If the absence will occur within the first three weeks of the semester, the student should notify the instructor as soon as possible.

    Students who notify their instructors of a religious holy day conflict within the timeframe above shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up the material or activities covered in their absence, including tests. Students who receive an exemption on religious grounds cannot be penalized for failing to attend class on the days exempted. The instructor may, however, appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete any alternative assignment or examination.

    Students with attendance conflicts may be required to notify an instructor in writing. An instructor who requires written notice must inform the class of this expectation in the class syllabus. An instructor may deny a student's request for an excused absence on the ground that the request was not made within a reasonable time period, that is, no later than the third week of class or as soon as possible if the absence will occur within the first three weeks of the semester.
  2. Denial of requests. In those cases where a request for an excused absence based upon a religious holy day conflict is denied by the instructor, a student may pursue a grievance under "Student Complaints Concerning Faculty Actions" (see General Regulations Applying to Students and Policies and Regulations Affecting Students). Where a timely request is made but denied by the instructor, the grievance process shall be expedited as much as reasonably possible to ensure that a student pursuing a religious holy day accommodation is not unduly disadvantaged by the passage of time.

8.3 Absences for Military Service Obligations


Students absent from class or class-related requirements due to U.S. veteran or U.S. military service obligations (including military service–related medical appointments, military orders, and National Guard Service obligations) shall be excused without any grading adjustment or other penalty. Instructors shall make reasonable accommodations to allow students to make up, without penalty, tests and assignments they missed because of veteran or military service obligations. Reasonable accommodations may include making up missed work following the service obligation; completing work in advance; completing an equivalent assignment; or waiver of the assignment without penalty. In all instances, students bear the responsibility to communicate with their instructors about such veteran or military service obligations, to meet course expectations and requirements.