REG 02.20.03 – Attendance Regulations

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First Issued: 1966. Last Revised: November 30, 2010.

Related Policies:
NCSU REG02.20.02 – Adding and Dropping Courses

Additional References:
Diversity Calendar

Contact Info: Department of Registration and Records (919-515-2572)


Full participation in classes, laboratory period and examinations is expected of all students.  Instructors in 100- and 200-level courses must keep a record of attendance throughout the semester.  The instructor’s attendance policy, including procedures for submitting excuses and for scheduling makeup work when the excuses are accepted, shall be clearly defined in the syllabus to be distributed on the first day of class.  Instructors may use reasonable academic penalties commensurate with the importance of the work missed because of unexcused absences.  Students may be asked to provide documentation for multiple consecutive class absences or frequent single class absences.


By the third class/laboratory period or the fifth business day of the semester (whichever comes first) students who have not attended class or contacted the instructor regarding his/her absence may be dropped from the undergraduate class roll.  This drop will be initiated by the Associate Dean of the College upon the request of the department.  The student may petition the department for readmission to the class if s/he has been dropped in error, or in the event of students with extenuating circumstances, provided the request is received by the tenth business day of the semester.  Students who intend to drop a course continue to have the responsibility to officially drop and are encouraged to do this on a timely basis, following normal university procedures.


NC State University has a commitment to all students, including those who represent the University in official capacities. Students shall receive excused absences for a reasonable number of anticipated absences as well as for emergencies as specified below.

3.1 Anticipated Absences.  Excuses for anticipated absences must be cleared with the instructor before the absence.  Examples of anticipated situations where a student would qualify for an excused absence are:

3.1.1 The student is away from campus representing an official university function, e.g., participating in a professional meeting, as part of a judging team, or athletic team.  These students would typically be accompanied by a University faculty or staff member.

3.1.2 Required court attendance as certified by the Clerk of Court.

3.1.3 Students will be allowed a minimum of two excused absences per academic year for religious observances as verified by the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) ( For more information about a variety of religious observances, visit the Diversity Calendar.

3.1.4 Required military duty as certified by the student’s commanding officer.

3.2 Unanticipated Absences.  Excuses for unanticipated absences must be reported to the instructor as soon as possible, but not more than one week after the return to class.  Examples of unanticipated absences are:

3.2.1 Short-term illness or injury affecting the ability to attend or to be productive academically while in class, or that could jeopardize the health of the individual or the health of the classmates attending.  Students must notify instructors prior to the class absence, if possible, that they are temporarily unable to attend class or complete assignments on time.

3.2.2 Death or serious illnesses in the family when documented appropriately.  An attempt to verify deaths or serious illness will be made by the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (

3.3 There is no University-wide definition of a reasonable number of permissible excused absences. The instructor, in lieu of a University policy, is responsible for determining the acceptable number of excused absences in his/her class.  The instructor may wish to use the elements of the Add Policy (e.g., the number of class meetings normally held during the Add period at the beginning of the semester; see NCSU REG02.20.02 – Adding and Dropping Courses, as a guideline in making this determination.)

3.4 Because each instructor has the responsibility to implement grading procedures that are fair and equitable, the instructor shall devise a system for making up missed assignments and examinations that does not unfairly penalize the student when an excused absence is accepted.  Such make-up work shall be at a comparable level of difficulty with the original assignment or examination.  Make-up examinations shall be at a time and place mutually agreeable to the instructor and student.

3.5 When excused absences are accepted, the instructor shall hold all students with excused absences to the same standard for making up missed assignments or examinations.

3.6 In a case where the student realizes in the first two weeks of class that the anticipated number of absences will exceed the number of excused absences permitted in the course, the student shall discuss the situation with the instructor, the student’s adviser, or the academic dean in the college in which the student is enrolled.  It is anticipated that a suitable resolution shall occur before the end of the second week of the semester.