Undergraduate Student Handbook

Class Attendance

Promptness and regular class attendance are expected of all students. The student should inform his or her instructor of reasons for absence from class -- before the class if she or he plans to be away, or after the class if she or he has a sudden illness.

Failure to attend a class for which one is registered does not result in being automatically dropped from the class. Students should check Penn InTouch before the end of the Course Selection period and before the end of the Drop period each semester to verify their roster.

Athletes are responsible for making up any work missed because of athletic obligations.

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Policies Governing Holidays

The University observes the following holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, and New Year's Day.

The University also recognizes that there are several religious holidays that affect large numbers of University community members, including Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover and Good Friday. In consideration of their significance for many students, no examinations may be given and no assigned work may be required on these days. Students who observe these holidays will be given an opportunity to make up missed work in both laboratories and lecture courses. If an examination is given on the first class day after one of these holidays, it must not cover material introduced in class on that holiday.

The University further recognizes that there are other holidays, both religious and secular, which are of importance to some individuals and groups on campus. Students who wish to observe such holidays must inform their instructors within the first two weeks of each semester of their intent to observe the holiday even when the exact date of the holiday will not be known until later so that alternative arrangements convenient to both students and faculty can be made at the earliest opportunity.

See the University’s complete policy on holidays.

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What to Do in Case of Absence From Class
If a student will miss more than one day of classes due to illness, family emergency or other issues, he or she should email or call the Office of Academic Programs as soon as possible (215-898-7246). If the student provides proper documentation, the student's professors will be notified by a representative of the Office. Notifications will be sent to all instructors. Note that during peak advising periods, requests may take more than one day to process. This notification does not constitute an excused absence; students are still responsible for following up with faculty to discuss the completion of missed work. Students should refer to the course syllabus for policies regarding absences.

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Course Absence Report

In the fall 2012 semester, a select group of courses at Penn will be participating in a pilot of a new tool, the Course Absence Report (CAR) system. Only students enrolled in these courses (BIOL 101, FREN 110, and FREN 121) are subject to the following procedures. However, the CAR system will be expanded to all Penn courses by the spring 2013 semester.

Course Absence Reports are designed to provide a way for students to communicate with their instructors when medical issues, family emergencies, or other concerns necessitate missing class. Students log in to the CAR system (from Penn InTouch) and send a report to one or more instructors, indicating the number of days missed (up to a maximum of five days) and the general reason for the absence. Instructors may opt to receive these notices by email or to view a digest of all submitted reports.

Each instructor will have a policy on class attendance that will be communicated to students in the course. Students who submit Course Absence Reports are still responsible for following up with the instructor about any missed work. Course Absence Reports do not constitute “excuses.”

Please note: the CAR system replaces earlier instructor notifications provided by the Office of Academic Programs (APO). That is, for students in the pilot courses, APO will no longer collect documentation or provide instructor notification for absences of five days or less. Students who will miss more than five days of class should still contact APO (215-898-7246 | apo@seas.upenn.edu) to discuss the impact of this longer absence on their schoolwork.

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