Excused Absence Policy

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Purpose

University policy recognizes that there are a variety of legitimate circumstances under which students will miss course and clinic time, and that accommodations for makeup work will be made.

Scope

This policy applies to all student course/clinic requirements.  Students requesting excused absences longer than two days are required to complete a short term leave of absence request. Short Term Leave Request Form

Policy

Students are responsible for planning their schedules to avoid excessive conflict with course/clinic requirements. A student may request an excused absence from a course/clinic for the following reasons: 

  • Instructors may not penalize students for absence during the academic term due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances.  Such circumstances include but are not limited to:
    • illness, physical or mental, of the student or a student's dependent;
    • medical conditions related to pregnancy (also see Pregnancy and Childbirth Leave Policy);
    • subpoenas;
    • jury duty;
    • military service (see Military Leave Policy);
    • bereavement, including travel related to bereavement;
    • religious observances, including travel related to religious observance;
    • graduate/medical school admissions:  interviews (in-person only) and associated testing (MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.); 
    • officially excused events sponsored by the University and or designated by University leadership.

Please note:  Voting in a regional, state, or national election is not an unavoidable or legitimate absence.

  • For circumstances not listed in (1), the instructor/clinic supervisor has the primary responsibility to decide on a case-by-case basis if an absence is due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances. Instructors/clinic supervisors have the discretion to grant a request for makeup work/hours in such circumstances.

Procedure

  • The University will publish a list of known excused events at the beginning of each trimester.
  • Students must notify their instructors/clinic supervisors of circumstances identified in (2) or other circumstances leading to a request for makeup work/hours as soon as possible and provide information to explain the absence. Some situations will be sufficiently urgent that arrangements for makeup work/hours cannot be made prior to the date of an absence.  In such cases, arrangements should be made as soon as possible following the student’s return.
  • The instructor/clinic supervisor has the right to request verification for absences.
  • Students must provide verification of the absence if requested by the instructor/clinic supervisor.
  • The instructor/clinic supervisor may not penalize the student and must provide reasonable and timely accommodation or opportunity to make up missed work/hours, including exams or other course requirements that have an impact on the course/clinic grade if the student:
    • Was absent due to circumstances identified in (2);
    • Has complied with the notification requirements; and
    • Has provided verification if the instructor/clinic supervisor has requested further information.
  • Academic and Clinic Departments may establish more specific criteria for notifying instructors/clinic supervisors and completing the associated make-up work and/or clinic hours.  (See Clinic Handbook for each program)
  • Instructors/clinic supervisors are not obligated to accommodate a student who has missed or may miss so much of the critical components of a course or clinic shift, even for legitimate reasons, that arrangements for makeup work would not be reasonable. The student may be encouraged to withdraw in these situations.

Instructors should take all factors into consideration when determining whether to grant an excused absence and how to make arrangements for makeup work that has an impact on the course grade. If a student has missed a component of the course that cannot be made up in exactly the same manner, the instructor may substitute another activity or assignment in order to assess the missed components. If no substitution can be devised, the missing component(s) cannot be factored into determining that student's final grade for the course.

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Academic Calendar

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