The University Approved Absence Office (UAAO) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) was created to implement and provide clarity on the Class Attendance Policy and assist students, faculty, and staff with communication about University Approved Absences. The UAAO is a functional unit within the Dean of Students (DOS) and works closely with the Educational Policy Committee, Accessibility Resource and Service (ARS), Campus Health, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Gender Violence Services Coordinators (GVSCs), and the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).
The intent of the policy is to comply with the law and to provide a fair learning experience for students with a University Approved Absence. The Class Attendance Policy for enrolled students at UNC-Chapel Hill was updated in February 2018 when Faculty Council passed Resolution 2018-1 (On Amending the Policy on University Approved Absences). The policy explains what constitutes a University Approved Absence and requires instructors to provide reasonable accommodations to allow students a fair and equitable experience in the course.
The University Approved Absence Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. Requests for University Approved Absences must be submitted using the link on the University Approved Absence Request tab. Emails sent to the UAAO asking for UAAs are not considered official requests and will not be approved/reviewed. Please note the UAAO is not open on weekends.
Class Attendance Policy
(Maintained by the Education Policy Committee. Resolution 2018-1, passed on February 9, 2018)
This policy applies to University approved class absences (listed below). For final examination absences see the Policy on Final Examinations.
Regular class attendance is a student obligation. Students are responsible for all of their work, including assessments, tests, and written work, and for all class meetings. If a course instructor chooses to take attendance and sees that a student misses three or more consecutive class meetings or misses more classes than the course instructor thinks advisable, the instructor may report the facts to the student’s advisor and/or academic dean.
No right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from any class meetings, except for these University Approved Absences:
- Authorized University activities
- Disability/religious observance/pregnancy, as required by law and approved by Accessibility Resources and Service and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC)
- Significant health condition and/or personal/family emergency as approved by the Dean of Students, Gender Violence Service Coordinators, and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).
Instructors may work with students to meet attendance needs that do not fall within University approved absences. For situations when an absence is not University approved (e.g., a job interview or club activity), instructors determine their own approach to missed classes and make-up assessments and assignments.
The University’s policy regarding University approved absences, as well as the instructor’s course-level policies, are communicated to students via the instructor’s course syllabus on the first day of class.
Students are encouraged to communicate with their instructors early about potential absences and are reminded that they are bound by the Honor Code when making a request for a University approved absence.
Make-up Coursework and Assessment
All students with University approved absences will be treated fairly and equitably, regardless of the reason for the absence.
Instructors will provide reasonable alternatives that permit course objectives and learning outcomes to be met. Alternatives may include a make-up exam, alternative assessment, an additional paper or project of equivalent intellectual effort, an electronically-mediated participation opportunity, a due date extension, or other options that allow students to demonstrate what they have learned without being penalized for the University Approved Absence. It is a University expectation that instructors be prudent, fair, and equitable when a student misses an assessment due to a University approved absence. Course policies should avoid inequities, including discrepancies in preparation time for in-class versus make-up exams, missed opportunities to take and learn from an assessment, and policies that penalize students who must use their dropped grade option for a University Approved Absence.
The Undergraduate Testing Center provides a secure, proctored environment for the administration of makeup assessments, tests, and exams for undergraduate and graduate courses throughout each term. There are regularly scheduled session times each week in addition to the Center’s traditional use during final exam time. Please see the center’s website for more information and instructions as well as teaching and learning resources provided by the Center for Faculty Excellence.
Absences During Final Exams
The University Approved Absence Office DOES NOT issue University Approved Absences for final exams. DO NOT SUBMIT AN ONLINE REQUEST FOR UNIVERSITY APPROVED ABSENCES FOR FINAL EXAMS.
If you will miss a final exam due to a medical or mental health concern, family or personal emergency, religious observance, or exam schedule conflict, please follow the instructions below and communicate directly with your instructor to schedule a make-up.
Visit a CHS or CAPS provider to be considered for the “Excused Examination List” OR visit a non-CHS or CAPS provider and fax documentation of your visit to CHS Health Information (919-966-0616). Follow next steps given by CHS or CAPS. ***For more detailed information, see https://caps.unc.edu/services/academic-interventions/final-exam-excuse-request.
- Mental Health: Counseling and Psychological Services
- Hours: Monday – Friday 8AM–5PM
- Phone: (919) 966-3658
- Illness or Injury: Campus Health
- Hours: Monday – Friday 8AM – 5PM
- Phone: (919) 966-2281
Visit Academic Advising during drop-in hours as soon as possible.
- Academic Related/Other Non-Medical Issues: Academic Advising
- Phone: (919) 966-5116
- Drop-in hours are available for quick meetings and are intended for brief guidance on matters such as withdrawing, dropping/adding, course approval forms, and other topics that can be handled in five-to-ten-minute sessions. See Drop-In Hours Schedule
Submit a request for a final exam excuse ONLINE.
Contact and meet with an Academic Dean in your department as soon as possible.