3.1.13 Student Class Attendance and Excused Absences

By action of the University faculty, the responsibility for defining attendance expectations is left to the individual faculty member, subject to the guidelines given below. Thus, it is of great importance that early in each course the instructor makes clear to the students what attendance expectations are, and how absences due to "relatively minor" illnesses, as described below, should be communicated. To be compliant with Federal financial aid regulations, the University requests that the instructor of record for each course identify, to the registrar's office, individual students who have never attended class or participated in any class activities by the last day to register or add courses each term or who fail to attend class after registering on the last day of the drop/add period. (Rev 11/18, 12/2020)

Inclement Weather: In inclement weather, when classes are not cancelled, students who are unable to attend class should notify their instructors promptly, as described in the policies on Holding Classes and Inclement Weather. (Rev. 12/2020)

Religious Holidays: It is the policy of the University of Delaware not to cancel classes on religious holidays. However, students and faculty are encouraged to exercise their own judgment pertaining to their attendance on religious holidays. (Rev. 12/2020)

In addition, faculty are encouraged not to schedule examinations or require the submission of special assignments on the following days: the evening before as well as the first two days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, Good Friday, the first two days of Passover, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and the evenings prior to these holidays. To facilitate planning for the potentially large number of absences on these days the University shall include the dates of these holidays in the academic calendar. Adjacent to each of these dates the academic calendar will include a reminder to consult the University policy on excused absences. The academic calendar will also include a link to a website that maintains interfaith calendars of primary sacred times for world religions. As retrieved on March 21, 2011, the address for this site is: http://www.interfaith-calendar.org.

Absences on religious holidays listed in University calendars are recognized as excused absences. Nevertheless, students are urged to remind the instructor of their intention to be absent on a particular upcoming holiday. (Rev. 12/2020)

Athletic Participation: Absences due to athletic participation or other extracurricular activities in which students are official representatives of the University, shall be recognized as excused absences when the student informs the instructor in writing during the first two weeks of the semester of these planned absences for the semester. Absences due to similar events which could not have been anticipated earlier in the semester will be recognized as excused absences upon advance notification of the instructor by an appropriate faculty adviser or athletic coach. (Rev. 12/2020)

Serious Ilness/Death in the Family: Absences due to serious illness or death within a student's family, or other serious family emergency, are recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence to the Dean's Office of their college. The Dean's Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student's instructors for the term. (Rev. 12/2020)

Absences due to serious personal illness (e.g., hospitalization, surgery, mental illness, or protracted medical illness or convalescence) shall also be recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence of the illness to the Dean's Office of their college. Supportive evidence will be provided on the student's request by the Student Health Services, Center for Counseling and Student Development, or other health care provider directly to the respective Dean. Students who experience long-term absences of a week or more should consult with their Assistant Dean; in such cases, it may be possible to negotiate with faculty for the opportunity to take an incomplete grade, or a withdrawal may be more prudent. The student's Assistant Dean will give guidance in these matters. (Rev. 12/2020)

Minor Illness: For relatively minor, short-term impacts on the health and wellness of students (e.g., colds and flu, where attendance in class is undesirable, or where a mental health challenge impedes attendance to class) or their immediate family, the University system depends upon reasonable communication between students and faculty. If possible, students should 1) report anticipated absences before the affected class or 2) provide supportive evidence from Student Health Services (SHS) or the Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) or other health care provider if treatment is received, following the directions of the instructor provided at the start of the term (Rev. 5/96). SHS and CCSD staff members actively work with students on health concerns and provide excuses when appropriate.  Students should not be referred for excuses if they were not treated by SHS or CCSD for the illness. Faculty are encouraged to be understanding of these one day/minor illnesses. (Rev May 2019) (Rev. 12/2020)

Military Duty: Absence due to short-term military duty in the National Guard or active reserve is recognized as an excused absence. To validate such an absence, the student should present evidence to the Dean's Office of their college. The Dean's Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student's instructors for the term. (Rev. 12/2020)

Students are not to be penalized if absent from an examination, lecture, laboratory, or other activity because of an excused absence. However, students are fully responsible for all material presented during their absence, and faculty members are encouraged to provide opportunities, when feasible, for students to make up examinations and other work missed because of an excused absence.

Authority for excusing all class absences rests with the instructor, subject to the abovementioned guidelines. (Rev. 4/87; 3/95; 5/99; 4/10, 5/11)