Religious Holiday Accommodation

Approved by:  University Curriculum and Policies Committee

History:  Approved: November 3, 2017

Related Policies:  Registration and Add/Drop

Related Forms, Procedures and References:  Academic Calendars

For Questions Contact:  Office of the Registrar | 651.690.6531


With St. Catherine University’s ongoing commitment toward social justice and its openness to students of diverse religious backgrounds, the university acknowledges that students maybe absent from class and curricular-related activities because they are observing a religious holiday.1 The policy stated here ensures that students may observe a religious holiday without academic penalty. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons (or observance) does not excuse students from responsibility for any coursework required during the absence. Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or other coursework2 due to religious observance, shall be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to complete such academic requirements.

Under this policy, the following responsibilities are stipulated:

  • Faculty will inform students of this policy in their syllabi and consider religious observance an excused absence.
  • Students will provide faculty with reasonable notice (preferably within the first two weeks of the term) of their religious observance including the dates of religious holidays on which they will be absent.  Faculty may expect a reasonable limit to the number of such requests from any one student.
  • Faculty will work with students in advance to agree upon an appropriate plan and timeline for completing or making up any coursework that is missed due to religious observance.  Alternatively or in addition, faculty may extend existing blanket policies for absences (e.g., allowing students to drop an assignment grade without penalty) to religious observance.  Such policies must be clearly communicated to students in the syllabus.
  • Students will complete or make up any missed coursework in the manner and timeframe agreed upon with the faculty member.

All University offices are encouraged to make every effort to avoid scheduling major campus-wide events when members of the campus community may be unable to participate because of religious observance.

1In the absence of a simple and dignified way to determine the validity of individual claims, the claim of religious conflict should be accepted at face value.

2Coursework includes but is not limited to labs, Salons for The Reflective Women course, service learning, clinicals, etc.