Class Attendance

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 absolute 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 his or her 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. This was 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. 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). The faculty do agree that 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. Certain days are classified as “no cut” days: non-gownsmen who are absent for any reason on the last day before or the first day after a vacation are placed on attendance warning for the remainder of the semester.

5. Students are responsible for all work discussed, including announcements, even when the absence is excused.

6. 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 exam, the instructor ordinarily gives a zero.

At any point when an instructor in any course (including Physical Education) has decided that the attendance or general performance of any student (including Gownsmen) is unsatisfactory, the instructor may request the Dean of Students to issue a warning. This warning specifies that not more than one unexcused absence may be taken after the warning is issued. Any additional unexcused absence results in automatic exclusion from the course. A student who has been dropped under these circumstances is marked WF and the grade counts in the grade point average as an F. A student on attendance warning may not withdraw from a class voluntarily after taking a second unexcused absence.