General Policy

It is up to the instructor to formulate his or her policy on attendance. Some faculty members automatically reduce students’ grades for unexcused absences, while some do not; some count lateness as a half-absence, some do not. Given the participatory nature of Gallatin courses, however, we believe it is fair to have some rigorous expectations about attendance, since students who are not in class cannot take an active part in learning.

In any case, a policy should be clearly stated in the syllabus, including the extent to which attendance and punctuality will be a factor in the final grade.

University Policy on Religious Holidays

New York University is a nonsectarian institution and its academic calendar adheres to the general policy of including only certain legal holidays.  However, in recognition of the various religious faiths represented on campus, as well as the long-standing University policy permitting members of any religious group to absent themselves, without penalty, from classes for observance of religious obligations, the University affirms the following policy:

  • Students who anticipate being absent because of any religious observance should, whenever possible, notify faculty in advance of such anticipated absence.
  • Whenever feasible, examinations and assignment deadlines should not be scheduled on religious holidays. Any student absent from class because of his/her religious beliefs shall not be penalized for any class, examination, or assignment deadline missed on that day or days.
  • If examinations or assignment deadlines are scheduled, any student who is unable to attend class because of religious beliefs shall be permitted the opportunity to make up any examination or to extend any assignment deadline missed on that day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the University for making available to the student an opportunity to make up examinations or to extend assignment deadlines.
  • No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student who avails him/ herself of the provisions of the resolution.

A violation of these policies and principles shall permit any aggrieved student to bring a grievance, provided under the University Grievance Procedure.

For more information about the university policy concerning religious holidays, please refer to the University Calendar Policy on Religious Holidays.

Medical and Other Absences

If you have students who are having attendance problems for medical reasons, you may ask to see a doctor’s note.  If a student’s absences are excessive, you should consult with either Rahul Hamid, the Director of Student Affairs, or Richard Jung, Assistant Director of Student Affairs, to discuss withdrawals, medical leaves and other options.

If you are concerned about a student for any reason (academic performance, behavior issues, attendance issues, etc.), please see the information on students with wellness and/or academic issues here: