College Absence Policy

Professors determine course attendance policies, and students should communicate directly with their course instructors about any absences. In urgent circumstances, a student’s dean may provide additional information to course instructors and faculty advisors.

Professors determine the attendance policy for their courses following college and department guidelines. Whenever possible, students should communicate directly with their course instructors about class absences. Student absences resulting from serious illness, departure from the campus, and/or family emergencies may also be reported to course instructors by a student’s dean. Such notification does not require the instructor to excuse the absence. Absences for participation in a sport or cultural activity may be considered permissible if the student's academic performance is satisfactory. The course professor has complete discretion in these situations.

When a student visits the Wellness Center and the staff recommends that students miss class or assignments because of illness, a staff member will send written confirmation of this recommendation directly to the student. With the student’s permission, staff will copy the student’s class dean.

The Wellness Center does not write excuses for class absences, and more information about Wellness Center procedures and students’ right to privacy is available on the Wellness Center website.

Withdrawing from a Course

Students can withdraw from up to two courses without special permission while at Dickinson. In addition, students may petition to withdraw from a course for health reasons. When students withdraw from a course, a grade of ‘W’ appears on their academic record.

The deadline for withdrawal is 4:00 PM eleven college business days before the first Reading Day for the semester. This can be done by completing the Course Withdrawal Form and submitting to the Registrar's Office by the deadline. A request for a course withdrawal after 4 p.m. on the last day of classes for the semester or for more than the allotted two courses will require a petition to the Subcommittee on Academic Standards for an exception to academic policy or deadline.

Students may also petition the Subcommittee on Academic Standards to withdraw from a course for health reasons by completing the Request for a Withdrawal for Health Reasons form. If granted, a grade of "W" will be posted to the student's record, but will not count as one of the two withdrawals mentioned above.

Students who choose to withdraw from a course should consult with their advisors and pay attention to Dickinson’s quantitative standards for academic progress: as specified in the Academic Bulletin, students need to earn passing grades in a specified percentage of the courses they attempt; grades of ‘W’ count against this percentage.