Class Attendance

Policy on Class Attendance

It is critical that students attend classes from the beginning of the term. Even though students may be registered officially for a course, departments may give away a student’s place in a course if the student does not attend:

  • the first meeting of biology, chemistry, and physics laboratories
  • the first meeting of Sweetland Center for Writing courses
  • either of the first two meetings of English courses
  • the first two meetings of HISTORY 396 and 397
  • any of the first two meetings of language courses in the Romance Languages department
  • the first two meetings of seminars and lecture courses and the first two lectures and the first discussion/lab section of courses with discussion/lab sections in Communication Studies
  • first two meetings of courses in other departments

At the same time, departments are not obligated to withdraw students officially from the course, even though the student has been informed that his/her place in a course has been taken away. Students always are responsible for the accuracy of their own schedules. 

Students registered for a course that they do not intend to keep should drop it so that the space is available for other students, and faculty will have an accurate course roster. In most instances, students are not automatically dropped from a class roster for non-attendance. Classes dropped after the drop deadline will result in a “W” on a student’s transcript whether or not the student has attended. 

Absence from Class Due to Illness or Unanticipated Circumstances

Students are expected to attend class regularly and meet all requirements set by the instructor. When a student misses class because of an illness or unanticipated event, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor and provide an explanation. In the case of documented short-term absence due to illness or other unanticipated circumstance, instructors should provide reasonable effort to accommodate the student in a way that maintains the integrity of the class. 

Requiring Documentation for missing assignments

If the student’s absence due to illness causes the student to miss an assignment, an exam or any other required work for the class affecting the course grade, the professor has the right to require additional documentation verifying the cause of absence. If the instructor excuses the absence, the options available to make up that missed work may be limited and will be determined by the instructor within the limits of the course. 

Students are held to the expectations outlined in the LSA Community Standards of Academic Integrity when seeking any accommodation due to absence.

Students Representing the University in an Official Capacity Off-Campus

There may be instances when students must miss class due to their commitment to officially represent the University.  These students may be involved in the performing arts, scientific or artistic endeavors, or intercollegiate athletics.  Absence from classes while representing the University does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course missed during the period of absence.

Within reason, an instructor should provide appropriate arrangements to the student for missed work, providing such accommodations does not place unreasonable burden on the instructor or fundamentally alter the integrity of the course.  When the absence coincides with an exam or other assignment due date, the options to make up that missed work may be limited and will be determined by the instructor within the boundaries of the course.

For further information, see :Provost Martha E. Pollack's letter to the university community or consult with your department's chair.

Religious-Academic Conflicts

It is the policy of the University of Michigan to make every reasonable effort to allow members of the University community to observe their religious holidays without academic penalty. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who expect to miss classes as a consequence of their religious observance shall be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to make-up missed academic work. It is the obligation of students to provide faculty with reasonable notice of the dates on which they will be absent. When the absence coincides with an exam or other assignment due date, the options to make up that missed work may be limited and will be determined by the instructor within the boundaries of the respective class.

Letter from Provost Martha Pollack regarding Students Representing the University in an Official Capacity Off-Campus

This letter helps clarify the expectations that we have of both our students and our faculty in meeting the demands of academic life and extracurricular activities in which many students participate.

Report an Illness Website

If a student will be away from class because of illness, your instructors should be informed as soon as possible.  To help facilitate initial communication between students and instructors in the event of an illness, the College provides an Illness Reporting website.

When a student submits a report of illness, the College will notify their instructors and advisors regarding the date they began to miss classes. This notification does not constitute an excused absence.  It is the College’s expectation that students, as soon as they are able, will contact each of their instructors regarding options for making up missed work and possibly providing documentation of their absence, if required by individual instructors.