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The University Approved Absence Office (UAAO) 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 CommitteeAccessibility Resource and Service (ARS), Campus HealthCounseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Gender Violence Services Coordinators (GVSCs), and the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).

The University Approved Absence Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm (please note that the UAAO is not open on weekends). Requests for University Approved Absences must be submitted within 5 days of returning to class using the link on this site and must have supporting documentation attached. If supporting documentation is not immediately available, it must be attached within 10 days of the request submission. Requests sent later than 5 days of returning to class or that do not have supporting documentation attached within 10 days will be denied. Emails sent to the UAAO are not considered official requests and will not be approved/reviewed.

The UAAO does not issue absences during final exams (see Student FAQs for details about absence requests during final exams). 

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:

  1. Authorized University activities
  2. Disability/religious observance/pregnancy, as required by law and approved by Accessibility Resources and Service and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC)
  3. Significant health condition and/or personal/family emergency as approved by the Dean of StudentsGender 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.