Graduate Policies

Student Religious Observance Policy


This policy explains the University policy on student observance of a religious holiday that occurs during a scheduled class and provides a means for students and faculty to resolve a missed assignment or test that may due on a student’s observance of that holiday.


Religious Holiday - Thomas Jefferson University recognizes the depth of religious diversity among its student body and offers a multicultural calendar by year and month, as well as a brief synopsis of a wide range of occasions.

Note: there may be additional religious holidays not identified and warrant consideration as a recognized religious holiday.


Students have a right to observe their recognized religious holiday without being academically penalized for absence, test or assignment due on the same day as the holiday. Students are responsible to communicate about their need for accommodation and together, student and faculty share responsibility to satisfactorily resolve a missed class, assignment or test which occurs on the day of a religious observance. 


This policy is applicable to all recognized religious observations that occur during a scheduled class or field trip involving an on-campus or online synchronous credit-bearing course.

This policy does not apply to:

  1. Asynchronous online courses. By design these courses have flexibility in attendance and completing course requirements.
  2. Experiential Education. Students who are engaged in experiential education (clerkships, rotations, internships, etc.) must follow the policies of their organization or facility regarding absence for religious observance.
  3. Preparation or Travel prior or after the recognized day of the religious holiday.


Student Responsibility
  • Will notify their instructor, in writing, of any days they will miss class because of the observance of religious observation. Students must provide this notice within three days of the course start date.
  • As a means of fostering professional communication, the student is encouraged, but not obligated to provide the name of the religious observance.
  • Will be responsible to obtain notes or new assignments shared during absence which may come from the instructor or a classma 
Instructor Responsibility
  • Will excuse the student from the class without penalty.
  • Will work with the student to make up missed assignment or exam that takes place on the day of the student’s holiday.
  • May, at their discretion, communicate missed information or new assignments that was shared during the class
  • If applicable, shall provide alternative test or assignment equal in rigor and scope to the original tests or assignment.
Instructors & Students Joint Responsibility
  • Will collaboratively develop a plan to reschedule any exams, assignment due dates
  • If multiple students provide notice for the same holiday, the faculty member has the right to provide a uniform, reasonable arrangement that applies to all the students involved.
  • If student and instructor cannot reach an agreement about alternative arrangements, either party has the right to seek recourse with their appropriate program director or chairperson who will consult with the Dean or designee.