Skip to main content

Requesting a University Approved Absence

The University Approved Absence Office (UAAO) has the authority to issue University Approved Absences in limited circumstances.  However, students must work directly with instructors to navigate the details of making up missed work, rescheduling mid-terms or other tests/exams, or requesting extensions to deadlines.

Step 1: Communicate directly with faculty about your absences

Instructors often build policies about absences into their syllabi, allowing for flexibility with a certain number of absences to account for commonly occurring illnesses or other obligations that do not meet the criteria for a University approved absence.  Connect with your instructor about your absences before determining if your absence warrants University approval and submitting a request.  It is not required of instructors that an absence be University approved by the UAAO, but if an instructor would prefer that the circumstances of the absence be verified, they may refer you to our office.

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 (commonly occurring illnesses/minor injuries, job interviews, planned travel etc.), instructors determine their own approach to missed classes and make-up assessments and assignments.

Step 2: If determined necessary, submit a request for University Approved Absences

Under the Class Attendance Policy a student can request an absence be University approved if it falls within the criteria outlined below:

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 Students, Gender Violence Service Coordinators, and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).

Examples of a significant health condition may include (but are not limited to):

  • emergency surgery, hospitalization, medically ordered isolation due to a dangerous communicable disease (i.e. tuberculosis, measles, mumps, varicella), a severe injury/condition that immediately affects mobility and/or cognition, or acute exacerbation of a chronic mental health issue necessitating immediate stabilization.

Examples of a personal emergency/family emergency may include (but are not limited to):

  • the death or acute onset of a life-threatening illness of an immediate family member, direct exposure to or involvement in a current or recently occurring personal traumatic event, or a dramatic and sudden change to life circumstances.

Step 3: Submit a University Approved Absence Request

Students are bound by the Honor Code when making a request for a University Approved Absence.

  • Submit an online Request for University Approved Absences

  • The UAAO asks that documentation be emailed (if not attached directly to your request) to uaao@unc.edu instead of being faxed.  We cannot guarantee that faxes will be received due to remote working conditions in place for COVID-19.
  • Additionally, requests should be submitted as early as possible to allow for appropriate review and processing time. The UAAO does not operate in a retroactive capacity. So long as students get their absence request submitted to the UAAO in a timely fashion (within 5 business days after the last date of absence and have documentation delivered within 10 days if not attached to request), if a request is approved, faculty will be required to work with the student as noted under the Class Attendance Policy.

The UAAO does not approve of final exam absences.  Please refer to the Final Examination Policy for details on how to ask for a final exam absence.

For more information about the University’s class attendance policy, please review the Undergraduate Bulletin.