Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances

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Illinois law requires the University to reasonably accommodate its students' religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work requirements. We recommend that students examine each syllabus at the beginning of the semester for potential conflicts, notify the instructor/professor, and follow their directions as to how to request accommodations.

Some faculty may request that student's procure an absence letter from the Office of the Dean of Students related to any class sessions missed due to the religious observance. This policy outlines the procedure that students should follow to obtain an absence letter. The policy attempts to strike a reasonable balance between accommodating religious observances of students and meeting the academic needs and standards of the University.

Students should complete the Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances form and submit copies to the Student Assistance Center (helpdean@illinois.edu) and the instructor/professor for each course the student will miss. In order to best facilitate planning and communication between students and faculty, we request that students make requests for absence letters by the end of the second week of the course in the semester in which the request applies. In the case of exams or assignments scheduled after the first two weeks of the semester, students should submit the form as soon as possible. Per our protocol, upon receipt of the request form, the Student Assistance Center will provide an absence letter which students may also forward to the requesting professor.

Whether you are a student or a professor, planning your semester is important. To assist in planning for any future conflicts, an interfaith calendar of primary sacred times for world religions is available here. Another version of an interfaith calendar in excel format (xls) is also available, and if you would like to import these dates into your Outlook or Google calendar, you can find instructions at Google calendar and Outlook calendar. Given the diversity of students who attend the University of Illinois, these calendars are not all-inclusive and are not intended to exclude any religion, sacred time, or days of religious observance.

Please Note: Absence letters approved for religious observances are intended for the date or dates of the observance only; they do not include dates for potential travel.

Please complete the Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances form (pdf) and send by email to helpdean@illinois.edu.

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