Class Attendance

Current policy reflected below. Changes to Faculty Senate Policy 42-27 (Class Attendance) pending implementation.

Students are responsible for attending classes for which they are registered and are responsible for work covered. At the discretion of the instructor, the student's grade may be lowered because of class absence. Expectations for attendance should be established in course syllabi.

Absence for Illness or Emergency

Whenever possible, students should inform instructors prior to missing classes for reasons beyond their control (e.g., illness, injury, family emergency). If an evaluative event (e.g., a quiz or exam) will be missed due to an unavoidable illness or emergency, it is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor as soon as the unavoidable absence is known to discuss ways to make up the work.

If circumstances (e.g., hospitalization, emergency, or death of an immediate family member) prevent a student from contacting instructors, Student and Family Services, 814-863-2020, should be notified in order that they may notify the instructors. Students or their parents/guardians may be requested to provide documentation verifying the legitimacy of the absence. Students are responsible for contacting faculty to request accommodations or arrangements to make up missed work or evaluative events.

University Health Services offers guidelines for verification of a student's illness. UHS may provide verification of illness forms only for significant, prolonged illnesses or injuries resulting in absence from classes.

Absence for University-Approved Religious Holidays, Curricular and Extracurricular Activities

Instructors should provide make-up work for students who miss classes for regularly scheduled activities such as choir, debate, and field trips as well as athletic events. However, if this absence is considered by the instructor to be detrimental to the student's performance, evidence of this should be presented to the head of the department in which the course is offered and to the student's appropriate college dean. Within reason, instructors should provide make-up work for students who miss class for other legitimate reasons (e.g., religious observance). See Examinations for information on missed examinations.

Student Action

  1. Complete a class absence form (or obtain a comparable letter).
  2. Present the form letter to the course instructor at least one week prior to the first absence. (The instructor should be notified of unanticipated absence(s) as soon as you are aware that a conflict exists.)
  3. Make arrangements with the course instructor to make up missed work (including examinations).

Making up Missed Work

At the discretion of an instructor, a student's grade may be lowered because of class absence. However, instructors should provide, within reason, opportunities to make up missed work as well as quizzes or exams.

If there is a disagreement about opportunities for making up missed work, a student should try to resolve the problem with the course instructor. If the disagreement is not resolved in this manner, the student may seek resolution by contacting the head of the department offering the course. If the situation is still unresolved, the student may follow the additional steps described in Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, E-11.

False claims by a student may be considered a violation of the Academic Integrity policy.

A student whose class performance is unsatisfactory due to missing classes or being too far behind in course work might consider late course drop, deferred grade, or withdrawal.

The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. Please consult a Penn State academic adviser for more detailed information.


Last Update: May 2016

Reference(s): Senate Policy 42-27, Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, E-11

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