UAF is committed to student success and academic integrity. Students are expected to adhere to the class attendance policies set by their instructors in the course syllabi. When possible, students should make every effort to communicate with their instructor in writing prior to being absent.

Types of Absences

General Absences

If a class is missed, the student is responsible for conferring with their instructor as soon as possible concerning their absence and discussing the possibilities for arranging alternative learning opportunities. Note that some departments drop students who miss the first day of class and who fail to obtain their instructor’s prior approval for the absence.

UAF-Sanctioned Absences

If scheduled to miss class for an academic requirement or to represent UAF in an official capacity (e.g., NCAA athletic competition, music performance, research opportunities), a student must notify their instructor in writing within the first five days classes are in session in the semester in which the absences will occur. The notification should list all scheduled absences and bear the signature of a UAF school official.

Instructors are encouraged to make reasonable accommodations for students who miss class to participate in these official, UAF-recognized activities. However, it is the student's responsibility to follow up on the notification of absence by discussing alternative learning opportunities with their instructors before the end of the drop/add period (typically the second Friday of the semester). Doing so will allow the student to drop the class and add another if, after a good-faith effort, the student and instructor cannot arrange for comparable learning opportunities that would enable success in the class.

Extended Absences

The University of Alaska Fairbanks recognizes that students may need to miss more classes than allowed by a particular instructor as specified in course policies.

Extended absences are defined as missed classes or coursework by students beyond what is permissible by the instructor's written course policies. Students may need to miss class and/or coursework for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Bereavement

  • Personal illness or injury

  • Serious illness of a friend, family member or loved one

  • Military obligations

  • Jury service

  • Other emergency or obligatory situations

When possible, students should first contact their instructor to ask about the possibility of taking an extended absence. If assistance from the instructor is not immediately available, students may wish to request formal assistance from the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities.

To request an extended absence, students must submit a form as soon as practicable after realizing their need to miss class and/or coursework. The request may be made by filling out the electronic form that is processed by the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities, stopping by the office or calling 907-474-7317.

The Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities shall verify the request utilizing supporting documentation, e.g., a note from a health care provider, obituary, jury summons, etc. This is followed by a letter being sent to the requesting student's instructors with a request to work with the student. The letter shall be signed by a university official. A copy of the letter shall be sent to the student's assigned advisor. In the event the student does not have an assigned advisor, a copy of the letter shall be sent to the Vice Provost.

The instructor and student will each make a good-faith effort to strategize how the student may be successful in the course in spite of an extended absence. Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Alternative learning opportunities

  • Makeup exams

  • Submitting assignments late

  • Other reasonable accommodations

In the event that the instructor and student are unable to reach a mutual agreement in spite of their good faith efforts, the student may withdraw from the class before the withdrawal deadline, submit an appeal for late withdrawal after the deadline, may be eligible to request an incomplete (I) grade or receive a no basis (NB) grade. Students should consult with their assigned academic advisor and/or contact the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities for assistance. Students must realize that their extended absence may have other, nonacademic impacts, including but not limited to:

  • Financial aid

  • Scholarships

  • Health insurance

  • University housing