University Policies and Guidance that Reference Absences and Attendance

  1. Religious Accommodations

The university’s Discrimination policy ( in Section GG states “Any student who, because of religious beliefs, is unable to attend classes on a particular day shall be excused from attendance requirements and from any examination or other assignment on that day. The student shall make up the examination or other assignment missed because of the absence.”

This policy is operationalized through the “Student Religious Accommodation Request” process found on the University Registrar website ( The Office of the Provost website provides a syllabus statement on this subject here:

  1. “Mandatory” Attendance

The only university-level policy on mandatory attendance is the “Mandatory First Class Attendance Policy” which states:

“Academic departments may designate courses (not individual sections) as “Mandatory First Class Attendance”, which requires enrolled students to attend the first official meeting, as indicated in the UO Class Schedule, of designated courses. Attendance will be taken at the first official meeting of all courses with this designation. These courses are identified in the Class Schedule.

Enrolled students who do not attend the first official meeting of these courses will be dropped from the course.” (See the following for more:

  1. Absences Related to University-Sponsored Athletic Events

Despite a common misconception, instructors are not required to “excuse” all student-athlete absences and/or provide special accommodations for them.

The governing rule here pertains to “Academic Extra Benefits” which, under NCAA rules, is “substantial assistance or the granting of an exception that is not generally available to an institution’s students, which results in the certification of a student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics or receive financial aid.” In lay terms, the Office of the Provost has communicated the following “bright line”, “Student-athletes may not be given special treatment simply because they are student-athletes. Student-athletes can only receive accommodations that are the same or similar as accommodations offered to other students.

In addition, under “Student-athlete travel and class attendance/participation” it states that “faculty are strongly encouraged to make pedagogically sound and justifiable accommodations that will enable student-athletes to be successful in the classroom” and that “In classes with substantial class participation, project or lab work, appropriate accommodations may not be possible. In those instances, the student- athlete should be informed that the course is not a good fit in a term with significant travel. Under no circumstances should the instructor offer an accommodation that is pedagogically unsound or that would be unavailable to other students.” (See

Finally, in terms of post-season contests, the communication from the Office of the Provost states that these are “university-sponsored events” and as such, provide a legitimate excuse for student participants to be absent from regularly scheduled final exams.” It also provides some options that “faculty are authorized to use” to accommodate make-up exams. The use of the term “legitimate excuse” here pertains only to final exams. (See

In addition, students who are not student-athletes also participate in these events. They should provide the same documentation for expected absences at university-sponsored events and be afforded similar consideration from faculty.

  1. Dean of Students “Emergency Academic Notification”

Students who have extended absences due to crisis, serious injury or illness can follow a process with the Dean of Students to have an “Emergency Academic Notification” email sent to instructors. Instructors can help students that are unable to attend classes for an extended time due to a crisis, serious illness or injury, or hospitalization by including a link to the Dean of Students “Emergency Academic Notification” process: and by proactively reaching out to students if the Instructor is concerned and wishes to offer help. Information on signs of student crisis and ways faculty can help are located here For students who follow this process, the Office of the Dean of Students will notify the student’s faculty members by email that the student is experiencing an emergency and steps the faculty member can take.

  1. Accessible Education Center (AEC) Accommodations

In some cases, students can be approved through AEC for flexibility in attendance and/or assignment deadlines. The AEC website states:

“Students with disabilities are approved for flexibility in attendance and/or assignment deadlines when strong medical documentation warrants the accommodation(s). These accommodations provide students opportunities to demonstrate mastery of course knowledge, even when disability limits their ability to attend class and/or meet deadlines. Accommodations are not intended to sacrifice essential course goals or to place an undue burden on instructors. Rather, these accommodations ask instructors to:

    • understand when grade penalties for class absences and/or missed assignment deadlines may be inappropriate for students with disabilities
    • consider alternative assignment formats to allow all students to demonstrate course knowledge”

See for more information.

  1. Students on Active Military Service

The Office of the Provost offers guidance for accommodating students on active duty military service (see

This is in alignment with the Military Duty Refund Policy which states:

“Any student service member or National Guard member with orders to report for active military duty may withdraw at any time during the term and receive a full refund. If sufficient course work has been accomplished and the instructor feels justified, the instructor may either grant credit for the course work completed and assign a grade or arrange for the student to take an incomplete. In either of these cases, no refund will be given. The student may use a combination of these options.” See more here: