UNC Charlotte Academic Policy: Classroom Attendance

I. Introduction

Class attendance is one of the most important factors in a student's academic success.  Therefore, attendance may be used by instructors to determine part of a student's grade for a particular class.

II. Policy Statement

Instructors determine the classroom policies (including attendance regulations) for their courses as long as such policies do not conflict with the University’s Classroom Attendance policy.  In general, students are expected to punctually attend all scheduled sessions in the courses for which they are registered, to demonstrate civil behavior while in class, and to complete all of the course requirements.  Instructors may outline additional and more specific standards in the course syllabus, especially when attendance is part of the grading criteria for the class.  Additionally, there may be University-sanctioned events or activities, which are considered as excused absences.  A University-sanctioned event or activity shall be one in which a student represents the University to external constituencies in academic or extra-curricular activities.  This policy does not supersede individual program attendance policies that are aligned with accreditation or licensure requirements.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Notification.
    1. A student must inform the instructor concerning any excused absence no later than the last day of the add/drop period, except when newly added or unforeseen circumstances occur (e.g., a playoff event, an invited professional opportunity).
    2. Student experiences that cannot be made up should be discussed with the instructor at the onset of the course to ensure that continued enrollment is feasible while the opportunity to drop the class exists.
    3. Notification/Documentation of planned excused absences must be made in writing and delivered by the student electronically or in a face-to-face meeting with the instructor of each class that the student is requesting an excused absence.
    4. Notification must take place before the absence.
  2. Students who receive an excused absence shall be afforded the opportunity to earn full credit for the missed exam or assignment within a reasonable timeframe as determined by the instructor.
  3. Students are responsible for fulfilling any course requirements and coursework that occur during the time they are absent from class.
  4. Students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress in the course.

Instructor Responsibilities

  1. If student responsibilities are met, the instructor will honor valid University-excused absences (not to be included in other individual instructor excused absences policies) and permit the student to make up missed work in whatever manner the instructor deems appropriate.
  2. The instructor may impose appropriate academic penalties if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination within a reasonable timeframe.
  3. Required activities outside of class hours that are used for graded participation must be stated in the syllabus.  If the required activity falls on a specific date/time, the instructor must provide an alternative assignment, unless the activity is foundational to the course (e.g., a theater performance produced by the class).  Such foundational class activities should be included in the course “Notes” in the Banner Schedule.  If the activity is one that can be completed over the course of the term and is not limited to a specific date/time, no alternative assignment is required. 

Additional absences from class may be excused by the instructor for such reasons as personal illness or family/medical emergencies.  Whenever possible, students are expected to seek the permission of the instructor prior to absences.  Absences for religious holidays fall under University Policy 409: Religious Accommodation for Students.

III. Definitions

  • Syllabus – A course outline typically provided on the first day of class by the instructor that describes course requirements, topics to be covered, required reading, grading criteria, faculty expectations, deadlines, exam dates, class attendance requirements, and other relevant course information.

IV. Policy Contact(s)

V. History

  • Approved:  January 27, 1983
  • Revised:  January 21, 1993
  • Revised:  November 10, 2010
  • Revised:  March 28, 2016 [language changed to include attendance as part of grading process]
  • Revised:  Februrary 14, 2019 [added language about activities outside of class hours]
  • Revised:  April 23, 2020 [added student and instructor responsibilities]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which students are covered under this policy? 
    This policy applies to all students at UNC Charlotte.