Attendance - Undergraduate

Undergraduate Attendance Policy

The undergraduate attendance policy specifies the role of students, instructors and university administrators in cases when students are absent from one or more classes.

Students are expected to attend all class meetings for courses in which they are registered and to be on time. The university allows students to add classes until the deadline to Add/Drop, as published in the Academic Calendar. The obligation to attend class begins once students are registered for a class; therefore, students are not considered absent until registered and must be allowed to make up any work that was required before this time, if requested by the student.

The university does not require faculty to take attendance; however, if faculty use an attendance policy for a class, they must include this policy on the course syllabus which must clearly define the consequences for non-attendance and include their policy on issuing WA grades (withdrawn for excessive absences). If attendance is identified as a portion of the students’ final grade, faculty must maintain a record of students’ attendance throughout the term. If not included in the course syllabus, faculty must provide students with access to the policy, in writing, no later than the first day of classes.

Excused Absences

The university recognizes there are times when students must miss class due to exigent circumstances. Regardless of the attendance policy of the faculty, the following are considered excused obligations and are not to be counted as absences in the class.

  1. Jury duty, with appropriate documentation, or short-term military call-up, as outlined in the Military Call to Active Duty or Training policy in this bulletin.
  2. The day(s) of religious observances, as listed on the Campus Ministry website.
  3. Participation in Division-1 athletics or other university-sanctioned events:
    1. This activity must be documented and provided to the faculty in advance of the activity.
    2. The documentation must be verified by an official of the University, who is directly related to the activity (e.g. Division-1 athletics representative; musical group director; student development representative, etc.).
  4. Absences resulting from legally mandated accommodation requirements (e.g., Title IX, ADA, etc.).

NOTE: Illness is not recognized as an excused absence under this policy.

Making Up Work from a Missed Class

The excused absences outlined above require the faculty to facilitate alternative means for students to make up classwork and/or get notes from a lecture. Labs, clinicals and other field-based classes are the exceptions to this because it may be impossible to make up classwork in these types of classes.

Unexcused Absences

Absences not listed above are unexcused. The ability to make up class work as a result of an unexcused absence is at the discretion of the faculty, as outlined in the faculty’s attendance policy.1

Cumulative Absences and WA Grades

Students may be withdrawn from a class due to excessive absences.  Faculty should clearly state in their syllabus the point at which a student may be withdrawn for excessive absences, although withdrawal may only occur if one of the following minimum absence thresholds are met:

  • A total of six class meetings in the case of a three-day per week regular session class.
  • A total of four class meetings in a two-day per week regular session class.
  • An equivalent number of class meetings (approximately 12-15 percent) for classes with non-standard session lengths or meeting patterns.

Excused absences do not apply to the minimum total absences required for withdrawal unless the student is failing the class.  The determination of whether the student is failing the class is at the discretion of the faculty member, although the student’s effort to make up missed classwork and the ability to earn a passing grade based on remaining classwork should be taken into consideration.

Students who are withdrawn for excessive absence are assigned a WA grade if the final allowed absence is on or before the last day to withdraw.  After the last day to withdraw, the WA grade is used if students are passing the class or the WF is used if students are failing the class. Additional grading information is found in the Grading System section of this bulletin.

Online Course Attendance

Online classes at Marquette University are designed to be highly interactive and collaborative. To ensure an effective learning experience, students in these classes are expected to participate on a regular basis. Participation is defined as “submitting required work as assigned and being active and timely contributors and responders in the class, as outlined in the syllabus.” If technical circumstances prevent students from entering the class online site, it is the students’ responsibility to notify the instructor in a timely manner of this and to work out a plan to make up the missed classwork. Failure to participate in online classes may be counted toward the number of absences allowed in the attendance policy defined on the syllabus. The excused absences described above also apply to online classes.

Extended Absences

Should students find the need to be absent for an extended period due to illness or other catastrophic events, students, or a family member, should communicate with the college office and instructors as soon as possible.

Last Date of Activity/Attendance

When students are withdrawn from a class due to lack of attendance, a Last Date of Activity/Attendance (LDA) is required for purposes of federal documentation and financial aid. Because Marquette does not require faculty to take attendance, the students’ LDA is determined by the last date of participation in an academically-related activity for the course: these include, but are not limited to, attending class, taking an exam or quiz, submitting an assignment, participating in a discussion or lab activity, or participating in an online learning platform.

Student and Faculty Responsibilities Regarding Attendance and Makeup Work

Students and faculty share responsibility for the learning experience of the course.

Students are Responsible For

  1. Attending all class meetings for classes in which they are registered.
  2. Making every effort to schedule classes that minimize conflicts caused by foreseeable activities and related travel.
  3. Consulting the instructor if any portion of the attendance policy is not understood.
  4. Providing written notification of all scheduled events that cause absences, including a schedule of all activities and related travel, to their instructors within the first two weeks of each term.
  5. Providing written notification of all other absences as soon as possible, for events not foreseen at the beginning of the term.
  6. Conferring with the instructor on the best method to make up any missed work/lectures when absent. 
  7. Obtaining any class notes or other course material missed due to these absences.
  8. Monitoring their absences during the term.

Faculty are Responsible For

  1. Meeting every class period during the term and making every effort to seek coverage from another faculty member if class cannot be held because of professional travel or short-term illness.
  2. Notifying students, via the course syllabus, of any component of the grade that is based on attendance and/or participation and whether the opportunity to make up missed work/lectures is provided for those absences which do not fall under the Excused Absence section above.
  3. Specifying any other conditions students must meet before given the opportunity to make up missed work/lectures.
  4. Communicating with students when they are approaching the maximum number of absences allowed in the attendance policy.
  5. Within one week after the deadline to Add or Drop a class, notifying the college office of any students who are not attending.

Additional Attendance Policies

The above sections represent university attendance standards. Each undergraduate college may enforce additional attendance policies for certain classes; however, these policies must follow the university policy described here. Consult the college handbook, college section of the current bulletin, or the individual class syllabus/attendance policy for more information.