August 02, 2002

Faculty and students are reminded of Penn State's policy regarding students' requests for absence from class for the purpose of observing a religious holiday. The University Faculty Senate Policy on Class Attendance (42-27) states that instructors should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who are obliged to miss classes for legitimate reasons.

As further clarification, Academic Administrative Policy on Religious Holidays (R-4) states that while the University makes every effort to avoid conflicts with religious holidays, when conflicts are unavoidable, the policy is to try and make special arrangements for the student affected. The Faculty Handbook says that "Faculty members are encouraged to entertain requests for exemptions from class attendance for purposes of religious observances."

In consultation with campus and community religious leaders, The Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs has compiled a listing of those holy days of the major world religions for which observance may require a student to depart from his or her normal routine at the University. Only those holy days which occur when classes are in session are included. This is not, therefore, an exhaustive list of all major holy days in each religious tradition. The list is available on the Web at http://www.sa.psu.edu/cera/relhol.html.

Last Updated March 19, 2009