Student Absences

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eXcused Absences: Policy Information


The Mines Absenteeism Policy was updated January 2024. To read the policy, please review the Graduate or Undergraduate Catalog. 

Mines students are expected to fulfill their academic requirements through attendance and/or participation. Class attendance is required of all students unless the student has an excused absence granted by the school or the student’s professor.

It is recognized that excused absences will occasionally occur, and faculty are expected to establish and clearly communicate the Excused Absence Policy and course-specific guidance or expectations in their course Syllabus. Faculty may grant an excused absence for their own course upon request by a student.

Student requests for an excused absence does not guarantee approval. Students may be asked to provide documentation and the excused absence request is subject to approval by Student Life. Approval may consider all aspects of the request, including the duration of the request and nature of the request.

Opportunistic or habitual abuse of the excused absence policy violates the Mines Code of Conduct. Any patterns of absences that specifically result in missing exams/tests/quizzes may be investigated.

The student is expected to consult the course Syllabus to follow any appropriate instructions in a timely fashion. Individual course policies may state expected notification periods or protocol. Unless otherwise specified in the course Syllabus, a request for excused absence should be made within three days of returning to class. If an excused absence notification is not sent within the stated notification timeframe, then the absence may be counted as an unexcused absence.

Once an Excused Absence is Issued/Approved

If the student missed an in-class graded activity because of their excused absence, the faculty have the following options:

  1. Require that the activity be made up within a reasonable time frame based on the situation as determined by the faculty member.
  2. Require that an alternative activity be completed within a reasonable time frame based on the situation as determined by the faculty member.
    • If it is deemed necessary by the faculty to use an alternative activity, it should be comparable in terms of rigor and time of completion to the original activity in such a way that having missed the original activity will not penalize the student.
    • The alternative activity should also align with the same learning objectives as the original graded activity.
  3. Remove the graded activity from the student’s overall grade calculation: If the faculty determines certain graded activities have pedagogical value which cannot be reasonably replicated, they will instead remove those graded activities from the student’s overall grade calculation.
    • This will be separate from any grading adjustment(s) – including but not limited to dropping the lowest grade(s) – available to the rest of the class.

Any out-of-class graded activities that are due on the day of an excused absence may be accommodated. The details can be established by faculty based on the student situation or more generally in their course syllabus.

Request An Excused Absence (4 options) 

1. Unexpected illness lasting 3 days or less

Individual faculty will authorize excused absences for short-term illnesses (three days or less of school; non-school days excluded). The below form captures exam and lab conflicts, notifies faculty in all affected courses, and keeps a record with the institution. Student submitted short-term illnesses may be forwarded to Dean of Student’s Office for review and approval, which may include a request for corroborating documentation.

The button below will take students to a form which students can use to inform their faculty member of their absence on the specific date(s). You will be asked to sign in with OKTA and only the student may use this form for themselves. 

For any planned absence or illness lasting longer than three days, students should read below (#3).

2. Authorized Activity Absences

Download Form (PDF) or Word version

The Assistant Vice President of Student Life (AVP) or designee may authorize excused absences upon receipt of proper documentation of the school related activity. All requests for excused absences for school-sponsored activities must be signed by the advising faculty/staff member of the sponsoring organization/club/department and submitted to three weeks prior to the absence. Once documentation has been verified, an excused absence will be sent. The student is responsible for contacting his/her faculty member(s) prior to the planned absence to initiate arrangements.

Any requests for excused absence(s) related to an authorized activity that are not received in accordance with the timelines listed above may be denied.

3. Personal Reason Absences

Student Life may grant excused absences for instances of jury duty, planned medical appointments or procedures, grief, religious observance, military absences, parental leave and support, emergency medical situations, and personal, familial, or professional circumstances that were unexpected, unavoidable, and/or anomalous (upon review, exclusions apply).

We recognize that absences may contribute to or be a result of difficult circumstances. If you need help navigating personal or academic challenges, please connect with our Student Outreach and Support office for assistance.

Students should use the Personal Reason Excused Absence Request for an unexpected illness lasting more than three school days.

All requests are subject to review. Documentation and/or additional information may be requested. Once verified, Student Life will approve an excused absence and notify faculty.

4. Varsity Athletics Absences

The Athletics Department will authorize excused absences for all approved varsity athletics-related absences. The Athletics Department will send notice of excused absences to faculty members on or before Census Day each semester. The student is responsible for contacting his/her faculty member(s) prior to the absence occurring to initiate arrangements for making up any missed work.

The Faculty Oversight Committee on Sports and Athletics oversees the number of excused absences permitted per semester by varsity and club sports athletes.

Should the previously distributed absence schedule unexpectedly change – e.g., weather related rescheduling, post-season play, etc. – an additional communication will be issued by the Athletics Department and the student is responsible for working with the faculty in a collaborative manner.

Last Bit of Policy Information

Excessive Absences

A student can jeopardize their opportunity to gain and demonstrate course mastery with excessive absences.

Further, a student can jeopardize their academic status with an unreasonable number of removed graded activities. If the number of removed graded activities (defined as #3 from “Once an Excused Absence is Granted”) surpasses a reasonable threshold set by the faculty in the course Syllabus, then additional missed graded activities may not be removed, and the student may be advised to withdraw from the course or receive the subsequent and appropriate grade, which may include failure of the course.

Students should review the Incomplete and Complete Hardship or Medical Withdrawal Policies if they believe that these procedures may apply in their situation given excessive absences. Additional information on Withdrawals can be found here and information on incompletes can be found here.

Any student with chronic absences may be required to meet with Student Life to discuss resources available to them to reduce future absences.

Unexcused Absences

All absences that are not documented as excused absences are considered unexcused absences. Faculty members may deny a student the opportunity to make up some or all work missed due to an unexcused absence(s). However, faculty members have discretion to grant a student permission to make up any missed academic work for an unexcused absence. The faculty member may consider the student’s class performance and attendance in the decision.

Important Note: Faculty will seek to honor all documented excused absences according to this policy and the course Syllabus. However, class attendance is essential to understand the material and for learning to take place. Excessive or opportunistic absences regardless of the reason may result in a reduced or failing grade in the course based on course content and delivery. As content and delivery differ among faculty and classes, it is important for a student missing class to discuss the absences, excused or unexcused, with his/her/their faculty member(s) to determine what will be considered excessive.