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Absences from Class for Health Reasons

University Health Service (UHS) does not provide students with excuses for absences or tardiness from classes due to illness or injury.

Class attendance is an administrative matter between faculty and students. We believe this policy reinforces the students' responsibility to communicate directly and proactively with faculty about conditions that interfere with their class attendance.

Part of our mission at UHS is to teach appropriate healthcare consumerism. The practice of providing medical excuses sends mixed messages to students about the appropriate use of healthcare resources.  

We recognize the faculty/professors seek equitable means of determining when to excuse student absences, however, in most cases we are unable to determine if the student is too sick to attend class, since this is very subjective.

Consistent with other benchmark universities, we have established a three-tier system for students to communicate with professors regarding class absences:

  • Tier 1 - The Explanatory Statement for Absence from Class form (link below) can be completed by students who are experiencing a minor illness or an exacerbation of a chronic illness which prohibits class attendance but does not warrant a visit to the medical clinic. The student should submit the completed form to applicable professors. Examples of Tier 1 illnesses which can often be managed by the student without a visit to the clinic include, but are not limited to, the common cold, GI infections (stomach flu), migraines, sprains, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Tier 2 - Electronic Verification of Visit (Via E-mail): There are many illnesses and injuries which may render the student unable to attend class, but are not considered communicable diseases. These students are sent an electronic verification of visit to confirm they have sought care/treatment at our clinic. Examples of Tier 2 illnesses include but are not limited to respiratory infections (strep, sinusitis, bronchitis), GI
    infections (stomach flu), migraines, rashes, depression/anxiety, sprains and fractures.  
  • Tier 3 - Restriction of Activities (hard copy form and/or email) - Students who have communicable diseases and/or illness/injury which would further harm the student and/or the community are given written and/or email restrictions. Examples of communicable diseases include respiratory influenza and mumps. An example of an illness which could cause further harm to the student includes infectious mono. An example of injury which could cause further harm includes concussion.   

We appreciate the many ways in which faculty and other members of the campus community support and assist students during such absences.