Attendance & Absences


Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratories, and clinical clerkships. It is the faculty member’s prerogative to determine individual course attendance requirements. The attendance requirements are stated in the course syllabus. Attendance at laboratories and clinical clerkships is mandatory. Students must notify their faculty and the Dean of Students Office of a qualified incident utilizing the Absence Policy Criteria Review Request Form in order to obtain an excused absence for course attendance, test, or assignment rescheduling purposes unless there are extenuating circumstances (see Missed Assessments or Attendance).

Attendance for online distance education courses is determined by active participation within the course such as submitting an assignment or exam, attending an online chat, or posting to a discussion forum. Simply logging into the course is not considered participation. While some online courses may allow course access prior to the start of the quarter, including course information and course syllabi, courses do not officially begin until the term/quarter start date.  Prior to the term start date, faculty are not in the course, do not perform assessments, or grade assignments. Submission of assessments and/or assignments prior to the start of the quarter, will not be counted towards attendance. Class participation by the end of the fourth day of the course is required to verify attendance and to release financial aid, if applicable. Students who do not maintain active participation in a distance course, as outlined in the syllabus, are encouraged to withdraw from the course to avoid failure of the course (see Adding and Dropping Courses).

Students receiving Title IV federal aid, including assistance from the Veterans Administration (VA), are responsible for meeting VA and/or applicable federal aid attendance requirements.


Absences must be reported (see the steps below) prior to the absence, scheduled exam, or assessment deadline except for in the case of a a sudden emergency or the student being incapacitated, in which case notifications are required upon resolution of the emergency or upon returning to class, whichever is sooner. Failure to submit documentation within this time frame will result in an unexcused absence. Qualified absences meeting policy criteria include a documented illness, accident, family emergency, unavoidable medical appointment, death of a loved one, court appearance, religious holiday (with a religious exemption on file with the Dean of Students Office), or other unique extenuating circumstances as reviewed by the Dean of Students in advance of the request. Unexcused and non-qualifying absences will not be covered under this category.

The Dean of Students determines whether the absence meets policy criteria and informs the course faculty of the outcome. Faculty, as per the course syllabus, make a determination as to the student’s eligibility to receive a makeup exam or an extension on other classroom exercises, assignments, and assessments.

To request an Absence Policy Criteria Review, students must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the Absence Policy Criteria Review Request Form and, when applicable, provide medical, religious, or other supporting documentation to the Dean of Students Office. For a non-acute illness, medical documentation from a neutral qualified licensed healthcare professional (non-supervisory or university employee) must accompany their request form.
  2. Immediately notify the course faculty by email. Clinical clerkship faculty must be notified by phone as soon as an absence is known.

Absences for presenting at a conference on behalf of the University must be pre-approved by the program Dean prior to notifying faculty or completing the Absence Policy Criteria Review Request Form.

Once the Dean of Students issues a final decision via email, it is the student's responsibility to contact course faculty within 24 hours to determine eligibility to re-take and missed graded assessment activities, and to reschedule accordingly. Note that faculty make the final determination of when the rescheduled exam or comparable learning activity or assignment will occur or the new assignment deadline. Meeting policy criteria does not guarantee that a missed assessment item is possible. Parameters per the published course syllabus determine eligibility.

The format of any rescheduled exam will be determined by the faculty member, subject to any ADA testing accommodations required by law. Special Examination Fee(s) may apply for milestone and practical-type exams (see Tuition and Fees).

Requests to reschedule tests or receive an assignment deadline extension, or comparable learning activity or assignment for unexcused absences are solely at the discretion of the faculty member and will be refused if deemed not within the parameters of the assignment, activity, and/or course syllabus.

Students who are not permitted to make up a missed examination or assignment and/or believe they were not provided fair treatment may utilize the university's grievance procedure.