Excused Absence Policy

Reference Number: S21-293
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, March 02, 2021
Presidential Approval Date: 
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Policy #:                       S21-293


Senate Approval:          03/02/2021 Presidential Approval:                                    03/09/2021 Effective:     Fall 2021

Last Review:                 N/A

Next Review:                Spring 2025


Excused Absence Policy

Source Committee: Athletic Advisory Board Unit(s) Responsible for Implementation:


•       Executive Committee of the Senate and Student Affairs Committee

•       Associated Students Executive Board

•       Dean of Undergraduate Education

•       Dean of Graduate Education

•       Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

•       President of San Francisco State















San Francisco State University students are expected to attend and engage in classes. Class attendance facilitates learning in a variety of ways, impacts all students in a class, and is an important factor in students’ academic success. Students are responsible for adhering to the attendance policy set by the instructor. Faculty may have an attendance policy but are not required to have one. It is the students' responsibility to make themselves aware of each faculty member's attendance policy by carefully reading the syllabus.


Excused Absences

Students may have a valid reason to miss a class. When any of the following reasons directly conflict with class meeting times, faculty shall consider an excused absence and no penalty shall be accrued. Students are responsible for informing faculty members of the reason for the absence and for arranging to make up missed assignments, tests, quizzes, and class work insofar as this is possible. Faculty are responsible for making accommodations such that students are not penalized for their excused absence. Examples can include but are not limited to students being given sufficient time to make up quizzes, exams, or papers, or provided alternative assignments. Excused absences include, but are not limited to:


•           Jury duty or government obligation

•           Intercollegiate athletic competitions





•           University sanctioned or approved activities (examples include: artistic performances, forensics presentations, participation in research conferences, student government)

•           Other extenuating non-academic reasons (e.g., bereavement, illness, unforeseen circumstances such as an automobile accident)



Faculty members may consider other grounds for excused absences. Faculty members may require students to provide documentation for excused absences.


Multiple Absences

There are numerous classes offered on campus where attendance is crucial since student participation is essential. Absence from these courses may impact the work and participation of other students. Students who realize after enrollment that they will have planned extended or multiple absences are responsible for consulting with the faculty member within the first two weeks of the semester to see whether it will be possible to complete the course requirements. Students who realize after enrollment that they will have extended or multiple absences are responsible for consulting with the faculty member to see whether it will be possible to complete the course requirements.


The earliest possible notification is preferred. In some circumstances, it may be possible for the student to notify the faculty member of anticipated absences (e.g., for scheduled intercollegiate athletic competitions) during the first week of enrollment. Advance notification (minimally one week in advance) is required for the following absences:


•           Jury duty and other government obligation

•           University sanctioned or approved activities


A student who expects to be absent from the University for any valid reason, and who has found it difficult to inform the instructor, should notify the academic department office. The department office shall notify the student's instructors of the nature and duration of the absence. This notice is for the instructor's information only and does not relieve the student of contacting instructors as soon as possible. It also remains the responsibility of the student to arrange with instructors to make up any academic work missed.


This policy shall be included in the University Bulletin, appropriate websites, the Faculty Manual, and undergraduate and graduate student handbooks. Faculty are encouraged to include the policy statement in their course syllabi. Prior to the start of each academic year, Academic Affairs shall notify all deans, chairs and directors regarding this policy.

Signed Memo: