Office of Student Life

Health-Related Absences

Students who become ill or injured and are unable to attend class should email their professors as soon as possible, typically before the missed class, in order to notify professors of the reason for absence and begin a conversation about missed coursework.  Each academic department determines policies and procedures for missed classes and coursework. Information is included on each course syllabus. 

Please visit the Academic Catalog to read the university statement on attendance.  While there is no university absence policy, extended absences are generally considered those situations in which a student may need to miss class for a period of more than one week.  In these situations, students should contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200 to speak with a staff member about resources and options.

Students who experience illness, medical emergency, or other significant hardships resulting in  incomplete coursework may qualify for an Incomplete Grade. The online form and directions for requesting a grade of Incomplete (which is a temporary placeholder for the final grade) may be found on the Registrar's website under forms.  A grade of "Incomplete" normally is not given when a student misses more than 30 percent of the class work or 20 percent of class sessions.  In these cases, students may need to consider a medical withdrawal.  Please find directions, deadlines, and the online form for requesting a medical withdrawal at:  

Academic Advising and Support will email a student's professors notice of verified health-related absence:

  • when a student is evaluated in Health Services and determined to be unfit to attend class (notification provided by Health Services Staff),
  • upon receipt of recommendations for absence from an off-campus healthcare provider,
  • when Student Life staff respond to a health crisis and verify the student is hospitalized or has received provider recommendations for class absence, or
  • for other verified health-related emergencies.

This notice does not serve as an excuse but simply serves as notification to the professor that documentation of a health-related emergency has been received. Students are expected to communicate with each faculty member to develop a plan to move forward.

Please note that Student Health Services and Counseling Services will not disclose information to other university offices or to any third party (including parents) without permission from student.

Family Emergencies

When notified of a family health related emergency and/or death of an immediate family member (including grandparents), the Office of the Dean of Students will send a notice of an unverfied absence to a student's faculty members. Each academic department determines policies and procedures for missed classes and coursework. The student should submit documentation (ie. online obituary link, documentation from funeral home, hospital documentation) within 2 weeks of initial notification in order to provide updated verified absence notice to faculty members. Documentation may be faxed to 336.278.4126 or emailed to

Final Exam Absences

Medical Emergency: Students who have completed sufficient work to complete a course but who become ill or injured just prior to or during the final exam period should visit Elon’s Health Services or submit healthcare provider verification from an off-campus provider. Documentation must include the date of most recent appointment and dates of recommended absence. Students may choose to utilize the healthcare provider form located here. Verified medical issues will be communicated to the assistant provost for communications and operations who will notify instructors of the student’s situation. As soon as they are able, students should contact individual instructors to discuss arrangements for completing their work. In cases where the instructor is no longer employed at Elon after the end of the semester, the student should contact the department chair.

If a student has been approved for an Incomplete Grade and will concurrently be missing exams as part of the Incomplete Grade contract already in place, the student does not need to submit additional documentation regarding exam absence.

Death/Medical Emergency in Immediate Family:  Students who experience a death or medical emergency of an immediate family member should provide notice as soon as possible to Student Concerns Outreach staff ( or 336-278-7200).  Students should submit documentation if available (link to obituary, letter from family member’s doctor or hospice, etc.).  Since immediate documentation may not be available in these circumstances, the assistant provost for communications and operations will notify instructors of a reported family emergency and will send follow-up verification once documentation is provided.  Students are asked to provide documentation within two weeks of exam absence. 

Other Documented Excuses for Missing Final Exams: Occasionally, a student will find him/herself in a situation that may be best resolved by not taking one or more final examinations as scheduled. Justifiable reasons for such absences may include school-sponsored representation at events, but will generally not include travel arrangements, starting a job or an internship, or participation in family events such as weddings and graduations.  Please see the academic catalogue for information regarding rescheduling individual exams.  


The Office of the Dean of Students:

(336) 278-7200

R.N. Ellington Center, Suite 109 (East Entrance)

Division of Student Life Home