Policies > Academic Policies and Procedures > Excused Absence Policy
Regular class attendance, participation, and engagement in coursework are important contributors to student success. Absences may be excused as provided in the present University of Houston Excused Absence Policy, which applies to all graduate courses in all delivery modes (in person and online). Graduate and professional students are expected to comply with their program’s attendance and excused absence policies and those requirements supersede this policy.
- EXCUSED ABSENCES
Absences from class, including exams and submission of assignments or other course requirements, may be excused for the following reasons:
- Injury or illness that is too severe or contagious for a student to attend class or participate in course requirements. Students should not come to class, campus, or participate in campus activities if they are sick and possibly contagious and should contact the Student Health Center or their health care provider as necessary.
- Illness of a dependent family member.
- Serious illness of a close family member (parent, sibling, grandparents spouse, cohabitating partner, child, cohabitating partner/spouse’s child, cohabitating partner/spouse’s parent, cohabitating partner/spouse’s grandparent, step-parent, step-siblings step-grandparent, grandchild, step-grandchild, legal guardian, and others as approved by course instructor, college dean, or dean’s designee).
- Death in the Family - Death of a close family member (parent, sibling, grandparents house, child, cohabitating partner, cohabitating partner/spouse’s child, cohabitating partner/spouse’s parent, cohabitating partner/spouse’s grandparent, step-parent, step-siblings step-grandparent, grandchild, step-grandchild, legal guardian, and others as approved by course instructor, college dean, or dean’s designee).
- Legal or Government Proceeding - Participation in legal or government proceeding that can not be rescheduled.
- Professional and Educational Activities
- Mandatory interviews for graduate or professional school that cannot be rescheduled (maximum of 1 per class each term).
- Mandatory interviews for full-time employment or internships that are related to the student’s academic program and cannot be rescheduled (maximum of 1 per class each term).
- Presentation of research or scholarship at a professional conference that is related to the student’s academic program (maximum of 1 per class each term)
- University Sponsored Activity - Absences caused by participation in a campus-sponsored activity are considered official if the sponsor of the activity has received approval from the appropriate University administrator.
- Athletic Competition - Mandatory participation as a student athlete in an NCAA-sanctioned competition.
- Other - Additional compelling reasons as approved by instructor or college dean, ordean’s designee.
- EXCUSED ABSENCE APPROVAL
- Students are required to submit an excused absence request in writing (email is acceptable) to the instructor(s) of the course(s) in which absences occur. Students should contact their instructor(s) by phone if written or email communication is not possible.
- When possible, requests for planned absences should be submitted to instructors as soon as possible but no later than 5 business days before the anticipated absence.
- Unexpected absences should be communicated to the instructor before the next class meeting or as soon as possible afterwards with an explanation as to why the notice could not be sent before the next class meeting.
- Documentation to support requests for excused absences may include but is not limited to the following:
- Written confirmation from the student’s medical provider if medical professionals are involved in the care of the student. Confirmation should include the date and time of the medical assessment and the date at which the student may return to classes. Students cannot be required to provide detailed medical information.
- Written confirmation from the medical provider involved in the care of the student’s close family member or dependent if medical professionals are involved in the care of the family member or dependent. Students cannot be required to provide detailed medical information.
- Death notice, obituary, or death certificate for a student’s immediate family member.
- Copy of appropriate legal documentation related to legal activities that may be redacted for privacy
- Confirmation of mandatory athletic participation from an appropriate UHAthletics administrator.
- Confirmation of mandatory interviews from employers or appropriate officials at institutions of higher education.
- Conference program including documentation confirming that the student will be a presenter of scholarly work.
- Confirmation of participation in a University-sponsored activity from an appropriate administrator.
- A number of reasons for absence are not documentable, and instructors are encouraged to use their best judgment in evaluating student requests.
- Providing false information or documentation is unacceptable and may be considered as prohibited conduct under the Student Code of Conduct or an act of academic dishonesty under the Academic Honesty Policy .
- Verification and Decision
- An instructor may verify a student’s absence documentation or defer verification and decision, including cases when documentation is not available, to the college dean or dean’s designee.
- The instructor, dean, or dean’s designee must provide the student with a decision regarding whether the excused absence is approved within three business days of receiving the student’s request. Decisions must be made irrespective of the grade the student is currently earning in the class.
- A student may appeal an instructor’s decision regarding an excused absence request within 3 business days of receiving the decision. The appeal should be submitted in writing (email is acceptable) to the college dean or dean’s designee who must provide a decision to the student within 3 business days of receiving the appeal. Unexcused absences cannot be appealed. Instructors are encouraged to use their best judgment in evaluating unexcused and no-fault student requests.
- A student may appeal the decision of a dean or dean’s designee within 3 business days of receiving the decision. The appeal should be submitted in writing (email is acceptable) to the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School(firstname.lastname@example.org) who must provide a decision to the student within 3 business days of receiving the appeal.
- The decision of the Office of the Provost is final and further appeal is not permitted.
- MAKE UP WORK
If a student’s absence is excused, the instructor must either provide the student an opportunity to make up any quiz, exam, or other work that contributes to the course grade, or provide a satisfactory alternative by a date agreed upon by the student and instructor.
- EXTENDED ABSENCES
Extended Absence Alternatives - Students with excessive or extended absences are encouraged to consult their instructor to seek potential alternative options provided in other policies including Dropping Courses , Withdrawals , and temporary grades of Incomplete . Through the last day to drop a course with a grade of W, an instructor may also drop students for excessive absences .
- OTHER EXCUSED ABSENCES
Additional policies address excused absences for reasons that are not covered in this policy including the following:
- Military Service: Excused Absence for Military Service Policy
- Religious Holy Days: Religious Holy Days
- Pregnancy and Related Conditions: University of Houston System Anti-DiscriminationPolicy
- Disability: University of Houston System Student Academic Adjustments/Auxiliary