Class Attendance Policy for Students at UW-Madison

The following section explains the class attendance policy for UW-Madison and L&S undergraduate students.

It is expected that every student will be present at all classes.   In accordance with UW-Madison policy, faculty are asked not to schedule mandatory course requirements on dates when a religious observation may cause substantial numbers of students to be absent.  Faculty/instructors are encouraged to extend reasonable consideration to accommodate students should their university-endorsed extracurricular activities (not including practice activities for performances or athletic events) conflict with class attendance requirements.  It is expected that students provide adequate and reasonable advance notice to faculty and instructors in order that they can ensure that an accommodation, if granted, not jeopardize or compromise the pedagogical goals and requirements of the course and students' learning.   See class attendance policy for more information.

  • Faculty policy allows instructors to indicate what criteria need to be met for an absence to be considered "excused".  
  • Instructors should make sure they publish their criteria for excused absences in a clear and consistent manner on their syllabi.
Students are required to be present at the beginning of the semester/term and to remain until the work of the semester/term is completed (which includes final examinations).  Note that any excused or unexcused absences may have a negative impact on a student's final grade in a course.  Students should be mindful of class attendance policies for each of their classes and make sure they completely understand the ramifications of missing classes (either excused or unexcused).

Please note that it is against university policy to attend classes without being enrolled.  Faculty and instructors may require enrolled students to attend scheduled meetings of a class and/or to participate in other course-related activities, including online learning.  Students are responsible for materials presented in such meetings or activities.  Because courses are designed and conducted in diverse ways, faculty and instructors should inform students in writing at the beginning of each course if there are specific expectations for attendance and/or participation, including whether any component of the grade will be based on such attendance or participation.

Religious Observances

It is faculty policy that mandatory academic requirements should not be scheduled on days when a religious observance may cause substantial numbers of students to be absent from university functions.

A student's claim of religious conflict should be accepted at face value.  A great variety of valid claims exist for religious groups and there is no practical, dignified, or legal means to assess the validity of individual claims.  State law mandates that any student with a conflict between an academic requirement and any religious observances must be given an alternative means of meeting the academic requirement.   The law also stipulates that students be given a means by which they can conveniently and confidently notify an instructor of the conflict.

For more information about the UW-Madison's policy on religious observances, please see the Academic Calendar on the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty website.

Keywords:attendance, class attendance, excused absence, missing class, absence, ill health, sickness, religious observances, vacation   Doc ID:24628
Owner:Tori R.Group:L&S Administrative Gateway
Created:2012-06-11 12:38 CDTUpdated:2020-08-14 11:15 CDT
Sites:L&S Administrative Gateway
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