Attendance Expectations and Official 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 summar­ily 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 to discuss their absence as soon as possible.

When a student is absent to represent the Uni­versity (as in athletics, chorus, band, national or state meetings of organizations represented at TCU), then an Official University Absence may be granted by Campus Life – Dean’s 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 Campus Life – Dean’s Of­fice no later than one week prior to the date of the activity. The Dean of Campus Life (or his/her designee) reviews and approves the request as appropriate and distributes the names to all faculty through a weekly e-mail to department heads and administrative personnel. Faculty are required to permit students to make up work missed because of Official University Absences.

When a student misses class for any reason other than an Official University Absence, the student is expected to follow the instructor’s policy as stated in the course syllabus. The student should contact his/her instructor as soon as possible after he/she knows the absence will occur or has occurred. 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 time frame for making up missed work. 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.

If any of the following conditions are true, the fac­ulty member should contact Campus Life – Dean’s 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 Campus Life – Dean’s 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 Campus Life – Dean’s Office if an emergency situation occurs, or if assistance is needed to resolve individual concerns.