Religious Observance Absence Letter Requests

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 students 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 Religious Observance Absence Letter Request form should any instructors require an absence letter in order to manage the absence. In order to best facilitate planning and communication between students and faculty, we request that students make requests for absence letters as early as possible in the semester in which the request applies.

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 at Religious Observances that Affect the Academic Calendar. Another Religious Observances webtools calendar is also available.

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 Religious Observance Absence Letter Request form.