At times, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students may find themselves needing to miss courses for an extended time away (5 or more days). In such instances, a student (friend or family member when the student is physically unable to submit a request) may request an official absence notice be sent to their faculty members. Student Care & Assistance works with the Office of the Registrar to provide support during absences.

Absence situations may include: hospitalization, medical emergencies or long-term illness (including physical or mental health concerns), chronic conditions, death of a family member, natural disasters, or military/legal obligations. Students who need to miss 5 or more days of classes due to testing positive for COVID-19 should follow the above procedures.

What is an Absence Notice?

  • An email notification from the Office of the Registrar with information about an absence to a student's faculty members and academic advisor. A copy of this message is sent to the student as well.
  • A notice that an emergency situation prevents the student from contacting instructors directly at the moment and may also prevent the student from fulfilling their academic responsibilities in the interim.
  • A source of information so faculty members are aware of the absence and, if known, can anticipate when to expect the student to return to class.
  • A written reminder that students should work directly with instructors to determine how to obtain materials and/or complete missed course work during the absence, if approved by the faculty member or instructor.

Each faculty member and instructor has the authority to make decisions about the student’s absence and how it will affect the student’s participation, standing, and grades in the class. Student Care & Assistance will often work directly with faculty members to provide support and discuss options or alternatives regarding class.

After an Absence Notice has been Sent

  • Students should contact their faculty members following the absence notice to begin communicating about their plan for addressing their time away and making up any course-related items.
  • In instances when an absence notice has been sent prior to contact with Student Care & Assistance, a staff member from the office will outreach to the student to offer support, provide access to additional resources to assist during their time of need, and provide options for assisting with the return to classes.
  • Instructors may also contact the student directly to discuss the student's responsibility for completing missed course work as well as providing any additional information that may assist the faculty member in making determinations about the absence.

Additional Absence Notice Considerations

  • An absence notice is not appropriate for non-emergency situations, such as car issues, planned absences (such as a student organization fieldtrip), or minor illnesses that result in an absence less than 5 days.
  • Notices are not sent for absences that occurred in the past. If you are seeking to provide documentation for a retroactive absence, please visit to fill out an absence form.
  • An absence notification does not excuse students from course material, assignments, or exams. It is the sole discretion of each faculty member or instructor to decide what, if any, arrangement or flexibility can be provided in regard to the absence.
  • An absence notice is not required by the University. Some students are able to successfully communicate on their own behalf during personal difficulties and do not need the assistance of the notice.

Absence from Class for Less than 5 Days

If a student misses or will be missing class for less than 5 days, they should contact their instructor as soon as possible regarding make-up work. A Student Absence Form may be used to report an absence to an instructor. If the absence is in the future the student should submit the forms to their instructors as soon as they know of the upcoming absence.

Submit a Non-COVID Related Absence Notice Request

As a reminder…

  • Final approval of all absences and arrangements for missed work are determined by the faculty member or instructor.
  • Students need to contact their instructors directly regarding make up work, whether or not an absence notice was sent.
  • Student Care & Assistance reserves the right to grant or reject notification requests based upon information provided at the time of request. Students or family members may be referred to another resource for additional support if Student Care & Assistance is not able to grant the notification.

If you have any questions, please contact Student Care & Assistance at or 319-335-1162.