Class Attendance / Absence Policy

Students are expected to attend all classes. Consistent attendance offers the most effective opportunity for students to understand concepts, materials and expectations of those courses in which they are enrolled. Although some courses do not use attendance as a criterion for grading, there are others where in-class participation is an integral part of the course. Examples include, but are not limited to, seminars and courses that require public speaking, laboratories, language learning, group discussions or internships. Frequent absences from these types of courses, whether excused or unexcused, may affect the final grade. Faculty who use absences as a factor in grading must explain in the course syllabus what effect even an excused absence might have on the evaluation of a student’s work.

Students may not attend a class until they are registered for the class, and they must satisfy all financial obligations to the institution before they register. 

Family members, including children, of students are not permitted to attend classes. On rare occasions, this might be permitted if related to a course activity such as a presentation.

It is the policy of the university to excuse the absences of students for the following reasons:

  • illness or injury when the student is unable to attend class

  • death of a family member (see the Student Bereavement Procedure on the website)

  • religious observance where the nature of the observance prevents the student from attending class

  • participation in university activities at the request of university authorities (e.g., Intercollegiate Athletics, Forensics Team, Dance Company, etc.). Students who will be representing TU at events, conferences, or other official activities should obtain a Notification of Absence from Class Form from the Office of Campus Life, University Union 232, to be given to their instructors to verify the excused absence. Students are encouraged to notify faculty of anticipated class absences as soon as they learn they will be missing class.

  • compelling verifiable circumstances beyond the control of the student

Students requesting an excused absence must provide documentation to the instructor two weeks prior to the scheduled absence when known in advance or as soon as possible when not known in advance. Absences that do not fall into any of the above categories are unexcused. Faculty may set a limit on the number of unexcused absences.

Students who are absent from class are responsible for any missed work, assignments or assessments (e.g., quizzes, tests, papers, etc.). Faculty members are required to allow students with documented excused absences to make up missed work or assignments when this is feasible. When the nature of the assignment makes this impossible, faculty members should attempt to make a reasonable adjustment of the assignment.

Failure to Attend During Drop/Add

Students who fail to appear for the first two class sessions, or the first session of evening classes, may forfeit their space in class. Instructors have the right to release these spaces to other students wishing to add the class to their schedules. Students who lose their spaces must officially drop the course through their Towson University Online Services Student Dashboard to avoid earning an FX grade for non-attendance. See the sections on Changing a Schedule and Grades/Grading for further information.