University Regulations

7. Student Absence Regulation

This regulation applies to all credit-bearing courses and programs.

Schedule A lists the Faculties, Colleges, and Schools whose programs and courses are excluded from this regulation. The Senate Office will add and remove academic units from this list based on direction from the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC).

Students experiencing short-term or long-term absences that result in missed or late academic requirements may seek alternate arrangements with their instructors.

Students must review Faculty, College, School, course or instructor specific syllabi and guidelines, and work-integrated learning handbook policies for the remediation of missed or late academic requirements. Absences may also result in the loss of class participation grades.

Course instructors may approve exceptions to this regulation to provide additional flexibility to students and to support students in successful completion of academic requirements. Faculties, Colleges, and Schools may approve changes to absence reporting timelines and to methods for providing absence information for the academic unit.

Any student who believes they will suffer undue hardship from the application of this academic regulation may apply for relief by completing an “Application for a Waiver of an Academic Regulation” form. Students wishing to appeal a decision denying the application for a waiver may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee of the Faculty, College or School in which they are registered.

Requests for alternate arrangements for missed University scheduled final exams are handled under a separate University regulation, “Requests for an Alternative Final Examination Time”.

Students who provide false or fraudulent medical or other evidentiary documentation for their absences are subject to University discipline under the Code of Student Conduct.

Information on managing absences may be provided by Dalhousie Student Health Services and Counselling Services and appear in the calendar entry with this regulation. Current information for the calendar appears in Schedule B and may be revised at their discretion.

Schedule A – List of Excluded Faculties, Colleges and Schools

The following academic units at Dalhousie have separate regulations to cover short-term and long-term absences that still meet the overall purpose of this regulation:

  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Schulich School of Law
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • College of Pharmacy

Students in these Faculties, Colleges or Schools must refer to their current academic calendars for specific regulations or policies on missed or late academic requirements.

Schedule B – Supplementary information from Student Health and Wellness

Dalhousie Student Health Services and Counselling Services will only provide sick notes or medical certificates to students for short term absences in the following cases:

  • A student’s Faculty or instructor is not using the “Student Absence Regulation”,
  • The missed or late academic requirement is considered final coursework, or
  • The test or exam falls within the last two weeks of an academic term.

Students are encouraged to stay at home if they have a communicable illness (such as flu-like symptoms) that is manageable at home to prevent further spread of illness to other students, staff or instructors.

For long-term absences, Dalhousie Student Health Services and/or Counselling Services will only provide documentation for students who have been under the care of a physician, registered nurse, social worker, psychologist, counsellor, or psychiatrist during the period of absence and/or for management of long-term or chronic physical or mental health conditions.

The full Student Absence Regulation is available.


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