Students are expected to attend all their scheduled classes and laboratories and not to be absent without adequate reason. Deficiency in any required work resulting from absence from class must be made up to the satisfaction of the instructor.
A student who is absent from a course without adequate reason may be assigned a failing grade. Students who are registered as Auditors are subject to the same attendance regulations as those registered for credit. Those Auditors who are reported for their excessive absence from class will receive a grade of LW in the course.
By action of the University faculty, the responsibility for defining attendance expectations is left to the individual faculty member, subject to the guidelines given below. Thus, it is of great importance that early in each course the instructor makes clear to the students what attendance expectations are, and how absences due to “relatively minor” illnesses, as described below, should be communicated. To be compliant with Federal financial aid regulations, the University requests that the instructor of record for each course identify, to the registrar’s office, individual students who have never attended class or participated in any class activities by the last day to register or add courses each term or who fail to attend class after registering on the last day of the drop/add period.
NOTE: Students are not to be penalized if absent from an examination, lecture, laboratory, or other activity because of an excused absence. However, students are fully responsible for all material presented during their absence, and faculty are encouraged to provide opportunities, when feasible, for students to make up examinations and other work missed because of an excused absence.
Authority for excusing all class absences rests with the instructor, subject to the aforementioned guidelines.
- In inclement weather, when classes are not cancelled, students who are unable to attend class should notify their instructors promptly, as described in the policies on Holding Classes and Inclement Weather.
- It is the policy of the University of Delaware not to cancel classes on religious holidays. However, students and faculty are encouraged to exercise their own judgment pertaining to their attendance on religious holidays.
- In addition, faculty are encouraged not to schedule examinations or require the submission of special assignments on the following days: the evening before as well as the first two days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, Good Friday, the first two days of Passover, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and the evenings prior to these holidays.
- Absence on religious holidays listed in University calendars is recognized as an excused absence. Nevertheless, students are urged to remind the instructor of their intention to be absent on a particular upcoming holiday.
- Absences on religious holidays not listed in University calendars, shall be recognized as excused absences when the student informs the instructor in writing during the first two weeks of the semester of these planned absences for the semester
Athletic participation or other extracurricular activities:
- Absences due to athletic participation or other extracurricular activities in which students are official representatives of the University shall be recognized as excused absences when the student informs the instructor in writing during the first two weeks of the semester of these planned absences for the semester.
- Absences due to similar events that could not have been anticipated earlier in the semester will be recognized as excused absences upon advance notification of the instructor by an appropriate faculty advisor or athletic coach.
Family Emergencies or Death within a Student’s Family:
- Absences due to death within a student’s family or serious family emergency are recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence to the Assistant Dean’s Office of their college. The Assistant Dean’s Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student’s instructors for the term.
- For relatively minor, short-term impacts on the health and wellness of students (e.g., colds and flu, where attendance in class is undesirable, or where a mental health challenge impedes attendance to class) or their immediate family, the University system depends upon reasonable communication between students and faculty. If possible, students should 1) report anticipated absences before the affected class or 2) provide supportive evidence from Student Health Services (SHS) or the Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) or other health care provider if treatment is received, following the directions of the instructor provided at the start of the term. SHS and CCSD staff members actively work with students on health concerns and provide excuses when appropriate. Students should not be referred for excuses if they were not treated by SHS or CCSD for the illness. Faculty are encouraged to be understanding of these one day/minor illnesses.
- Absences due to serious illness of the student (e.g., hospitalization, surgery, mental illness, or protracted medical illness or convalescence) shall be recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence of the illness to the Assistant Dean’s Office of their college. Supportive evidence will be provided on the student’s request by Student Health Services, Center for Counseling and Student Development, or other health care provider directly to the respective Assistant Dean.
- Students who experience long-term absences of a week or more should consult with their Assistant Dean; in such cases, it may be possible to negotiate with faculty for the opportunity to take an incomplete grade, or a withdrawal may be more prudent. The student’s Assistant Dean will give guidance in these matters.
- Absence due to short-term military duty in the National Guard or active reserve is recognized as an excused absence. To validate such an absence, the student should present evidence to the Assistant Dean’s Office of their college. The Assistant Dean’s Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student’s instructors for the term.
A student ordered to active duty due to national crisis, under circumstances that preclude completion of a semester or session, will be allowed to take a leave of absence from the University for two consecutive semesters. The student should send a copy of their military orders to Veteran Services Coordinator or come to University Visitors Center, to complete a withdrawal/leave notification form.
Special provisions of the University of Delaware Readmission Policy apply to students seeking readmission after performing military service. Enrolled military spouses who must move due to redeployment or relocation should consult with their Assistant Dean before leaving the University.
Seat Claim Policy
It is not always possible to accommodate all requests for assigned seats. To address this problem, the University has established a seat claim policy. Seat assignment in classes is based on such factors as earned credit hours, major, course status, and intended audience. Students are expected to occupy their confirmed, assigned seats within a reasonable period of time. By action of the Faculty Senate, the following policy applies to all classes:
Unless excused by the faculty member, students holding a confirmed assigned seat in a class will have relinquished their seat if they have not personally appeared in class to claim the seat by the second meeting for a class scheduled to meet once a week, by the second meeting for a class scheduled twice a week, by the third meeting for a class scheduled three times a week, by the third meeting for a class scheduled to meet five times a week. If the student does not claim the seat within the time limit specified above, and does not drop the course, the instructor has the option of assigning the student a grade of “Z” at the end of the term. It is the responsibility of the student to drop each course that they do not plan to attend, even when the student’s registration is canceled for non-payment of fees. Failure to drop a course will result in a grade of “Z.”
Academic Leave of Absence
Undergraduates who have not completed degree requirements and may wish to interrupt their studies for a fall or spring semester to engage in activities related to their educational objectives or for personal reasons need to request a Leave of Absence through their assistant dean. Students may take two consecutive leave of absences but must apply for each leave separately. Taking a Leave of Absence may impact your ability to graduate in four years. To the extent possible, students are encouraged to limit their time away from UD in order to complete degree requirements in a timely manner. Failure to do so will result in a discontinuation of the student’s degree programs and an application for readmission will be required in order to re-enroll as a degree-seeking student. Students accepted for readmission will be held to the degree requirements in place at the time of readmission.
Medical Emergencies and Leaves of Absence
Sometimes a student may need to take a semester off from the University for a variety of reasons. Leaves of absence can be related to mental health, physical health, active military status, educational opportunities, or personal reasons. Students who take a leave of absence are planning to return to the University of Delaware. Most leaves of absences can only be taken for up to two consecutive semesters and require students to meet with a specific office. The Office of the Dean of Students works to ensure each student makes an informed decision and understands the implications of taking a leave, or officially withdrawing from the University if they do not plan to return. More details about leaves of absence and withdrawal can be found on the ODS website.
If a student has a physical or mental health condition that is impacting their success at the University, they may seek a Medical Leave of Absence. For undergraduate students, this process is facilitated by the Office of the Dean of Students. ODS works with each student to explain the process and discuss academic implications. This office also connects students to offices to discuss financial implications of a leave. The Office of the Dean of Students is the only office on campus that can process medical leaves of absence.
A student may be eligible for a partial tuition rebate in relation to a medical leave of absence. Tuition rebates are calculated by looking at the day a student last participated in academic work. If you are eligible for a partial tuition rebate, the Office of the Dean of Students will communicate directly with the Office of Student Financial Services. Final decisions in regards to rebate amount and distribution are made by the Office of Student Financial Services.
Academic Withdrawal from the University
Undergraduates who wish to interrupt their studies for a fall or spring semester and still remain in their degree programs must request a Leave of Absence. Failure to do so will result in a discontinuation of the student’s degree programs and an application for readmission will be required in order to re-enroll as a degree-seeking student. Students accepted for readmission will be held to the degree requirements in place at the time of readmission.
Students who withdraw from the University before the fall or spring semester begins or before the eleventh week of class should submit the Student Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Notification Form through the Assistant Dean of the student’s college or the Office of the Dean of Students. The Student Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Notification should be completed by any student who is transferring to another institution or does not intend to return to the University.
After the eleventh week of class, withdrawals and leaves require permission from the Assistant Dean of the student’s college. To initiate this process, students should contact their college’s assistant dean. The Assistant Dean’s approval is granted only when non-academic extenuating circumstances exist, such as a serious illness or severe emotional crisis. Documentation by a physician or a counseling professional must be presented when requesting approval from the Assistant Dean. Approval will not be given because of failing grades, circumstances resulting from a change in major or a student error in registration.
To learn more about withdrawal procedures, students should contact their college Assistant Dean or the Office of the Dean of Students, (302) 831-8939.