Students are expected to attend all classes including discussion sections and laboratory sessions for each course.

In general, absenteeism from a course will lead to a lower grade and may even result in failure. Students are held accountable for absences owing to late enrollment. Students who must miss class due to religious holidays should inform their instructors in advance and make appropriate arrangements to make up missed work. (See below for the University's policy on religious holidays.)

When an instructor judges a student's absences to be excessive, the instructor may report this to the Office of the Dean of Students for appropriate action.

Absences or Falling Behind in Class

Students who find themselves unable to attend classes or complete academic work at any time during the semester should contact their GS academic advisors immediately. In consultation with the advisor and the instructor, a student may be able to make arrangements for extensions on work within the timeframe of the semester or, under more serious circumstances, may be advised to withdraw from a course or from the semester. Students who miss more than two weeks of classes are urged to give serious consideration to withdrawing from the semester in progress.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to respect its members’ religious beliefs. In compliance with New York State law, no student may be penalized for absences due to religious beliefs.

Students are required to inform their instructors of their plans to observe a religious holiday at the beginning of the semester, so that instructor and student have plenty of time to plan for any necessary alternative arrangements. It is important for students to understand that, no matter what absences might be accommodated, they will still be responsible for all course requirements, which may include in-class participation or other assignments that will need to be made up in some alternative way.

If a suitable arrangement cannot be made between the student and the instructor, students should consult the appropriate department chair, dean or director. If an additional appeal is needed, it may be taken to the Provost whose determination is final.

Dates and definitions of religious holidays can be found on the Interfaith Calendar.

Any instructor who would like guidance on a particular religious holiday or form of observance may seek guidance from University Chaplain Jewelnel Davis or Dean of Religious Life Ian Rottenberg.

Any instructor who has concerns regarding the academic implications of a student’s religious observance should contact the GS Office of Academic Affairs at