Class Attendance

The College of Arts and Sciences expects all students to engage fully in the educational process and to contribute actively to the intellectual environment. Accordingly, the College considers class attendance an essential component of student engagement: students are expected to attend every scheduled meeting of a class, including laboratories and other required meetings. Any student who fails to attend a class has the obligation of communicating with the instructor prior to the missed class (or, in unusual cases, within 24 hours of having missed the class).

Instructors have the prerogative to set attendance policies for their individual classes and to determine what absences are “excused” or “unexcused,” and they can determine at what point tardiness or other inappropriate behavior is better defined as “absence.” Instructors will outline their policies in their syllabi. Still, as a whole, the faculty follow these principles:

  1. A student may be excused for University business (authorized extracurricular activities) as long as he or she has contacted their instructors in advance; if not, the instructor will ordinarily consider the absence “unexcused.” For example, athletes should communicate with faculty before traveling to away games, and volunteer firefighters should inform faculty at the beginning of the term that they may be called to duty at unexpected times.
  2. According to a policy approved by the Director of Athletics, the University Advisory Committee on Athletics, and the College Faculty: normally, varsity athletes should not miss more than three 50-minute class meetings (or the equivalent) per course per semester to attend varsity sporting events. Absences for up to three 50-minute class meetings (or the equivalent) for varsity athletic competition will be considered excused. Athletes should not miss any classes or labs because of practice.
  3. A student may be excused at the discretion of the instructor for illness and/or a family emergency. Any student who misses multiple days for such reasons should also contact the Dean of Students to explain the circumstance (and the instructor should also inform the Dean of Students of the need to intervene). Examples of unexcused absences include oversleeping, forgetting a class, missing a ride, having travel arrangements that preclude attending class, and attending a social event.
  4. Students are responsible for all work discussed, including announcements, even when the absence is excused.
  5. Should a student be absent from a class during which an examination is to be given or a paper is due, or at the time of a final examination, the student may receive a zero.
  6. Students will not be excused from classes in order to prepare for comprehensive examinations.
  7. No student shall be required to miss class in order to take a comprehensive examination. A student whose comprehensive examination (in whole or in part) is scheduled in conflict with a scheduled class meeting should approach their department chair about rescheduling the comprehensive examination.

Final Examination Rescheduling

With the approval of the instructor or instructors involved and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, students may arrange their final examination schedules so that they are not compelled to take three final examinations on one calendar day or more than three examinations on any two consecutive calendar days in the final examination period. Every such arrangement must be completed by the last day of the semester. Whenever possible, the morning examination will not be changed. Permission will not be granted to schedule an examination outside the regular final examination period, except in case of illness. If a student has a course under an instructor who teaches more than one section of the course, the student may take the final examination with another section if the instructor gives permission.