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Resources for Students

About Absence Letters

  1. We ask that students request an absence letter from the Student Assistance Center in the Office of the Dean of Students only if one or more of their professors has requested it AND they meet criteria outlined in the Class Attendance Policy in the Student Code of Conduct.
  2. The Emergency Dean should not be contacted regarding student absences. Questions about letters should only be directed to the Student Assistance Center in the Office of the Dean of Students during business hours (8:30am-5pm; Monday through Friday, excluding university holidays).
  3. Students who do not meet criteria should inform their professors that they are not eligible for an absence letter, share the policy with them, and discuss with them how the absence will be managed in the course.
  4. With the exception of absences related to religious holidays (which must be made by the end of the second week of the course by completing a Request for Accommodation for Religious Observance form (doc)), absence letter requests should be made once the student has resumed classes; requests must be within 10 business days of the end of the absence period. Absence letter requests are neither reviewed nor generated during, or in advance of, absences.
  5. Absence letters do not excuse students from classes or permit make-up work. They are intended to provide information which professors may use to aid them in their decision making about managing absences. Except for absences related to religious holidays, the decision to excuse is at the discretion of each professor, with or without a letter from the Office of the Dean of Students.
  6. If you meet criteria, you may submit a request for an absence letter to helpdean@illinois.edu. The request should include the following information:
    • Name
    • UIN
    • Dates of absence
    • Documentation which addresses the cause of the absence and the specific dates missed. We require 3rd party documentation (e.g., a letter from a health care provider or hospital; a link to an obituary or copy of a funeral program); letters from family members are not permitted
    • Your relationship to the deceased if absence is bereavement related; please also see Student Bereavement guidelines
    • Students who have been treated by McKinley Health Center (MHC) for a prolonged illness of 3 or more days should simply note this in their request. The Office of the Dean of Students verifies illness with McKinley via an electronic process; visit slips are not accepted as documentation
    • If MHC verifies that a studentís illness was prolonged and would have reasonably caused them to be absent for 3 or more consecutive days, a letter will be approved; we will not approve a letter for one or two days of illness even if MHC verifies it.