Elon University embraces the mission of an academic community that influences and transforms mind, body, and spirit. The University has specific guidance in place for how we respond to absences and accommodations that are necessary due to religious observance. According to this guidance, students may request an excused absence for approved religious holidays by following the specific guidelines listed below.

Click here to complete the Religious Observance Notification Form:


The following policy guiding procedure for the observance of recognized holidays is consistent with and complementary to the University’s mission.

As noted in the policy found in the Faculty Handbook, “Absence from class due to observance of a religious holiday is excused according to University policy.”

  1. This policy reflects the University’s commitment to being responsive to our increasing diversity and to encourage students’ spiritual development.
  2. The Religious Observance Policy requires planning for absences by completing and submitting the online Religious Observance Notification Form within the first three weeks of class, or by September 12, 2023.
  3. Students must discuss their planned absences with their faculty before the holiday takes place, and should make sure that agreements for making up any missed work are clear. The student should consult their academic dean if an instructor is unable or unwilling to grant the request.


The religious observance notification procedure is based on the operating principle that students will act in accordance with the Elon University Honor Code. This procedure can only be used to notify an instructor of an absence from class necessitated by observance on a religious holiday.

  1.  Since religious holidays are known in advance, students are expected to formally notify their instructor that they will miss class in order to observe a religious holiday by completing the Religious Observance Notification Form (RONF). Note that the form may take a few seconds to load.
  2. The RONF must be submitted online. The deadline for submitting documentation for fall semester 2023 is Tuesday, September 12, three weeks after the start of the semester.
  3. Students are required to make prior arrangements with individual instructors for completion of any work missed during an absence.

Guidance around religious accommodation

While students are expected to initiate and follow-up on communication with their faculty, we also encourage faculty to consider an equity-minded approach that does not put an undue burden on students. Examples of strategies that ensure respect for students’ diverse faith traditions is woven into course design include:

  • Not scheduling exams, presentations, or major assignments on or immediately following commonly requested major religious observances
  • Making notes, recordings, or other learning resources available to all students for instructional sessions that fall on the date of a recognized religious observance
  • Where appropriate, having an open dialogue with your students about religious observance

Religious holidays for Fall 2024

September 6, 2023Wednesday
Sri Krishna Jayanti (Hindu)
September 11-18, 2023Monday-Monday
Paryushan Mahaparva (Jain)
A week long holiday that involves fasting.
September 15, 2023Friday
Erev Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)
Friday evening (from 4 p.m.)
September 25, 2023Monday
Yom Kippur (Jewish)
September 26, 2023Tuesday
Mawlid al-Nabi eve (Muslim)
Tuesday evening (from 4 p.m.)
September 27, 2023Wednesday
Mawlid al-Nabi (Muslim)
September 29, 2023Friday
Erev Sukkot (Jewish)
Friday evening (from 4 p.m.)
October 6, 2023Friday
Shmini Azeret Eve (Jewish)
Friday evening (from 4 p.m.)
October 16, 2023Monday
Birth of the Báb (Bahai)
October 27, 2023Friday
Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahai)
October 31, 2023Tuesday
Samhain eve (Pagan/Wiccan)
Tuesday evening (from 4 p.m.)
November 1, 2023Wednesday
Samhain (Pagan/Wiccan)

Note for students: When you submit the RONF, both you and your instructor will be notified by email, and copies will be the academic dean. When completing the form, you may find it useful to consult OnTrack, where you can view your class schedule to obtain the name and the number of the course and the name of the course instructor. Your signature on the form affirms your compliance with the Elon University Honor Code.

Given the time limitations inherent in completing end-of-semester assignments or making up a missed final exam, this procedure cannot be used during the final exam period. You are expected to take final examinations at the scheduled times and to complete end-of-semester work by the deadlines set by the instructor. In the event that a religious holiday should fall during exam week, contact your academic dean as soon as possible, before the scheduled assignments or exam. There may also be certain circumstances (a concert or a performance for example) which cannot be made up. In this case, you may be advised to take that specific course in another school semester.