Date Revised:June 28, 2023
Date Effective: August 28, 2023

Policy Statement

Regular attendance in class is expected of all students at all levels at the university. While classes are conducted on the premise that regular attendance is expected, the university recognizes certain activities, events and circumstances as legitimate reasons for absence from class. This policy provides for accommodations in accordance with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination, including, but not limited to, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.§794, and its implementing regulation, 34 C.F.R. Part 104; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §12131 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 35; as well as university policy 5-16.

This policy describes the procedures for requesting and responding to legitimate absences with the exception of absences for religious and spiritual beliefs. Refer to the policy for absences for religious and spiritual beliefs.

The individual instructor has both the responsibility and the prerogative for managing student attendance. The instructor’s policy regarding attendance for each course should be written in the course syllabus and communicated to students during the first week of the term. The policy may take alternate forms within the bounds of appropriate instructional techniques.

Legitimate reasons for an “excused” absence include, but are not limited to, illness and injury, disability-related concerns, military service, death in the immediate family, academic field trips, participation in an approved concert or athletic event and direct participation in university disciplinary hearings.

Even though any absence can potentially interfere with the planned development of a course, and the student bears the responsibility for fulfilling all course requirements in a timely and responsible manner, instructors will, without prejudice, provide students returning to class after a legitimate absence with appropriate assistance and counsel about completing missed assignments and class material. Neither academic departments nor individual faculty members are required to waive essential or fundamental academic requirements of a course to accommodate student absences. However, each circumstance will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Informal resolution should first be attempted between individual instructors and students in the event of any attendance-related concerns. If informal resolution is unsuccessful, the following offices, with respect to that office's purview, can provide assistance and guidance on attendance concerns and instruction on filing a grievance: student ombuds; student accessibility services; or compliance, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

In addition to this policy, students are responsible for following the procedures and policies of the respective offices from which they are seeking assistance, e.g., student accessibility services, the student ombuds, etc. In all instances of absences, students shall be responsible for all material covered in class during their absence. Students are responsible for completing any makeup work resulting from their absence. In no case is an excuse from class to be interpreted as a release from class responsibility.

The general procedures and responsibilities for requesting and determining legitimate class absence can be found in policy 3-01.2 of the University Policy Register.

Reason for Policy

Kent State University aims to foster an atmosphere of honesty and trust between instructors and their students.  It is in both the university's and the student's interest to outline academic protections for students when they miss class for legitimate reasons. This policy places parameters around what is a legitimate absence, and reinforces the responsibilities of the instructor and the student.


The general procedures and responsibilities for requesting and determining legitimate class absence can be found in policy 3-01.2 of the University Policy Register.


Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I receive a letter from the DeWeese Health Center to be excused from class or exam?
    The DeWeese Health Center does not provide written absence excuses for students who miss a class, presentation, quiz, exam or other academic responsibility. Refer to the DeWeese Health Center website for more information.
  2. Can I request class absences when I have flare-ups of a chronic illness?
    Please contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services to discuss eligibility of using the attendance modification policy.
  3. I missed the first day of class and received an email that I now have an NF (Never Attended - Fail) grade for the course. What can I do?
    Contact the course's instructor as soon as possible to discuss the circumstances and to start attending the course.
  4. What should I consider if I am going to miss a significant amount of class time and/or academically related activities due to illness or other reasons?
    You should contact your instructor to discuss your academic standing in the course so you can determine your next steps. For example, this could include dropping the course, withdrawing from the course, requesting an Incomplete mark (if eligible) or leave of absence (graduate students only). You can also consult with your academic advisor or the student ombuds if you need assistance discussing academic options.


Course syllabus: An outline or a summary of the main points of what will be expected of students in a course, provided by the course's instructor.

University disciplinary hearings: A formal meeting through the Office of Residence Services or the Office of Student Conduct for a violation of university rules.

Related Information

Revision History

Information to come