Class participation is essential to success no matter the course format or its delivery. Individual instructors may have course-specific attendance policies. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain what each instructor requires. Failure to meet attendance requirements may force a student to drop the applicable courses. Students should not make conflicting commitments until the class schedules for each semester are final. Permission to make up work may be granted by instructors for reasonable cause. Requests must be made immediately upon a student’s return to class. Laboratory work can be made up only during the hours of regularly scheduled instruction.

Absence Because of University-Sponsored Activities

Participation in university-sponsored activities, where the students are representing their university, college, or department, may cause absences from class that qualify as excused absences. Excused absences, with appropriate prior arrangement, are not subject to penalty, and missed work may be satisfied through agreement between the student and the instructor. University-sponsored activities that may justify excused absences include athletic competition, performing arts events, and research or other presentations.

Students must discuss absence(s) with instructors at least two weeks in advance of the university-sponsored activity, or as soon as possible if the activity is at the beginning of the term or is the result of an unforeseen circumstance. Instructors may require a written statement from the administrator in charge of the activity. Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for these class absences, including administration of makeup assignments and exams whenever possible. It is expected that students seeking an excused absence will develop a plan and timetable to make up the missed coursework with their instructor(s). Note, however, that the requirements of some courses or programs may preclude such accommodations.

Absence Because of Religious Beliefs

Any student who is unable, because of their religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement should be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement that they may have missed because of such absence on any particular day, provided that such makeup examination or work does not create an unreasonable burden upon the university. Students should make appropriate arrangements with the instructor in advance of the absence, preferably at least two weeks before the religious observance. 

Absence Because of Jury Duty

Members of the university community are expected to fulfill their obligations to serve on a jury if called upon. A student selected for jury duty should inform their instructors. They will provide a reasonable substitute or compensatory opportunities for any required work missed. A student with such an absence will not be penalized in any way.

Absence Because of Military Deployment

See “Leave of Absence Due to Military Deployment.”

Other Absences

Unforeseen events or circumstances, including illness, may cause a student to be absent from class. Students must notify their instructors and academic advisor, as appropriate, as soon as possible to apprise them of the circumstances leading to their absence, as well as how much time will be missed. Students must work with their instructors to develop a plan, with a timetable, to make up missed coursework. Students cannot be required to provide medical documentation. (Faculty and students should note that the University Health and Counseling Services does not provide sick notes or medical excuses except for long-term illness.) Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for warranted class absences, including administration of makeup assignments and exams, whenever possible.

Extended Absences

A student who is absent from school for an extended period of time must inform their academic advisor by letter, email, or telephone. The expected length of the absence may determine whether the student should apply for a medical or emergency leave of absence. It is strongly recommended that the student contact their academic advisor to discuss potential next steps, which could include incomplete grades; withdrawal from classes; or, in the event of an extended absence due to a chronic medical condition or disability, consultation with the Disability Resource Center to explore potential accommodation.


Nonattendance does not constitute official course dropping or withdrawal, which means the student is fully responsible for the academic and financial consequences. Like all grades for courses attempted and/or completed, a grade earned due to nonattendance impacts a student’s academic progression, an international student’s visa eligibility, and a federal financial aid recipient’s aid eligibility and award.