Dean’s Excuses

Class Attendance Policy

Class attendance is expected of all students because the formal basis of a college learning experience is the lecture, the laboratory, and the discussion group. Faculty members establish and maintain attendance requirements in their courses and must inform students and the Office of the

Dean of the College of those policies. Students are responsible for meeting class and examination schedules. Unwillingness to meet attendance obligations may result in a penalty, often failure in the course.

Any student with an excessive number of absences or attendance patterns of concern should be brought to the attention of the class dean (Erica D’Agostino) for first and second year, Karen Clemence for third and fourth year).

Dean’s Excuse Policy

Under certain circumstances, a student may be officially excused from a class or classes with a Dean’s Excuse, and make-up privileges are appropriate for the excused class or classes. The Office of the Dean of the College(DOC) issues Dean’s Excuses; if a Dean’s Excuse will be issued, the student receives confirmation by being copied on the email sent to the student’s faculty. A student may initiate a request for a Dean’s Excuse from the following offices, depending on the circumstance:

  • Class Dean in the Dean of the College Office


o    Participation in the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

o    Varsity athletics (competitions away from campus). Varsity athletes seeking dean’s excuses for planned absences are expected to provide professors with the dates and total number of proposed class absences as soon as possible and no later than the first day of classes. This allows faculty to determine whether or not  the frequency of expected absences violates the pedagogical integrity of the class. In such cases, faculty may advise the student to drop the class or be prepared to accept the academic penalty for such absences.

o    Bereavements

o    Family emergencies

o    Extraordinary circumstances (as determined by the Class Dean in the Dean of the College Office)

  • Bailey Health Center

o    Admission to area hospitals

o    Major medical or psychological problem requiring absence from class.

NOTE: For minor medical problems, students cannot expect to receive a Dean’s Excuse because they are sick, even if they receive prescription medication. Students who make their own decision that they are too sick to attend class should inform their instructors of their absence, but will not receive a Dean’s Excuse. Visits to Bailey Health Center for routine medical conditions should not conflict with a student’s class schedule. In the case where a student has been seen by a health care professional other than the College physician, the College physician will review documentation provided by the student to determine the seriousness of the medical condition.

  • Counseling Center

o    Hospitalization or emergency off-campus treatment for psychological reasons

o    Acute and serious psychological distress that would prevent most students from being able to attend class.

NOTE: The Counseling Center does not normally support retroactive requests for missed classes or coursework.

Upon their return, students should consult with the relevant professor(s) to discuss the professor’s plan to accommodate the dean’s excuse.  Because a dean’s excuse is not available for class absences related to activities such as field trips, trips related to research with faculty, or other special opportunities, students are directed to communicate with relevant faculty members to request possible accommodations. Faculty members have the right to refuse to grant accommodations for absences not covered by a dean’s excuse.



Lafayette College reserves the right in its sole judgment to amend any policy or program described herein without prior notice to persons who might thereby be affected. At its sole option, the College may suspend or eliminate courses, academic departments, or degree programs; change curricular offerings, graduation requirements, and regulations on standing of students; alter its class schedule and academic calendar; or make changes of any nature whenever in its judgment such changes are desirable for any reason. The provisions of this publication are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the College and the student. Payment of tuition or attendance at any classes shall constitute acceptance by the student of the College's rights as set forth in this paragraph.