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Attendance Expectations & Office Absence Policy

Students frequently ask, “What do I do when I miss a class?” The University’s policy on class attendance is clear and straightforward. Regular and punctual class attendance is essential, and no assigned work is excused because of absence, no matter what the cause. Records of class attendance are the responsibility of the faculty, and every course’s syllabus should clearly state the instructor’s policy on class attendance and how attendance affects a student’s final evaluation in the course.

Students who miss an instructional experience are expected to meet with faculty as soon as possible to discuss their absence as soon as possible. If the cause of the absence is an illness, accident, or family emergency, each instructor should assist the student to make up any missed work. Time lost through such absences should not prejudice class standing. Faculty members should specify the appropriate timeframe for making up missed work.  The Dean of Students Office can assist students by collecting appropriate documentation and notifying faculty about the documentation.   Students can upload their documentation by clicking here:  Document Submission Form.  If the cause of the absence is less compelling (e.g. choosing to miss class, oversleeping), instructors may or may not permit the student to make up missed work, and may or may not assess a penalty for class absence.

Official University Absences
When a student is absent due to representing the University in an official capacity (as in athletics, chorus, band, national or state meetings of organizations represented at TCU), then an Official University Absence may be granted by the Dean of Students Office. Faculty/staff who wish to have an activity sanctioned for Official University Absence status must submit the names of all students, including date and hours absent from campus, to Dean of Students Office no later than one week prior to the date of the activity. Faculty are required to permit students to make up work missed because of Official University Absences.

If any of the following conditions are true, the faculty member should contact the Dean of Students Office:

  • The faculty member is concerned for the student’s health or well-being, or thinks the student needs additional help.
  • The student has had excessive absences in the class. (An instructor should not assume that continued absence from class indicates an official withdrawal unless so notified by the Registrar).
  • The faculty member believes the student has been untruthful about the cause of his/her absence.

If the Dean of Students Office is working with a student regarding an emergency or ongoing personal concern(s) affecting the student’s academic performance, the student’s faculty will be notified by e-mail or telephone. Students are encouraged to use the resources of Dean of Students if an emergency situation occurs, or if assistance is needed to resolve individual concerns.