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Absences and Attendance


Regular class attendance is expected of all students. Classes are conducted in a manner that will encourage academic excellence and the growth of Christian character. The final authority for attendance and any effect that it might have upon grades rests with the individual faculty member. This is due to the tremendous variety of class size and purpose, and the specific requirements in attendance.

If a student must miss a class for which attendance is required, that student should inform the instructor — before the class, if possible, or as soon as possible thereafter. See further instructions for types of absences below. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement of a course will be assigned a grade of “UW” (Unofficial Withdrawal) which will influence the GPA the same as an “F.”

Visitors and current students may visit a class for a maximum of one week (or the equivalent thereof, based on a 15-week course). After one week, registration in credit or audit status for the course(s) is required.


Absences, Medical Reasons

Medically-Based Absences

Students with medical or psychiatric conditions that require them to miss a week or more of class should register with the Office of Student Accessibility for appropriate accommodations, support and guidance moving forward. This process begins with the submission and review of current diagnostic documentation and the development of a unique care plan provided by the Office of Student Accessibility director in collaboration with their treating physician.

There may be cases in which a student’s health needs require more absences than what can reasonably or appropriately be accommodated in a university setting. In these cases, alternative accommodations such as a Medical Withdrawal may be considered and pursued.


Absences, Non-Medical Reasons

In certain extreme situations, a student may be forced to miss a number of class sessions for nonmedical reasons; family emergency, extreme personal trauma, etc. Such students should advise their professors, as well as their Resident Director or Graduate Assistant (for resident students) or the Director of Commuter Life (commuter students), of the situation and seek their guidance. Normally, absences would need to extend beyond one week’s worth of classes before the RD, GA or DCL would become involved; however, they may become involved sooner if a crucial date (such as an exam) must be missed. If the student is incapable, the RD, GA or DCL will advise the faculty of the absences; however, as noted above, the faculty are the final arbiters of whether an absence is considered ‘excused’ or not.

Mission/ministry/service/performance trips during the semester that require the student to miss class time are discouraged, and such absences will be considered ‘excused’ only at the discretion of each professor.

Jury Duty: while Biola does encourage students to participate in their civic duty as jurors, accepting such service can cause a student to miss excessive class sessions and important material. Biola students are encouraged to request postponements until non-enrolled periods (summer). If a postponement is not possible and a student is summoned and not excused, the student’s absence(s) will be considered excused at the discretion of the instructor. An “Incomplete Grade” option (see below) will not be allowed for jury duty. Any exceptions to this policy must be granted through the Office of the Registrar.


Intercollegiate Athletics Class Attendance Policy Addendum

Student-athletes will be excused to miss class only under the following circumstances per NCAA Division II rules and regulations. The following information is provided to student-athletes, head coaches and faculty members and is intended to summarize Biola policies on missed class time due to athletics contests.

  • Student-athletes are not permitted to miss class for home practice activities including but not limited to: practice, weights/conditioning, film study, promotional events, or community engagement events. There are two exceptions:
    • When a team is traveling to an away-from-home contest and the practice is in conjunction with the contest. Bylaw 17.1.
    • Championship Practice. Student-athletes representing Biola at a conference or NCAA championship shall be permitted to miss class time to attend practice activities in conjunction with the event. Bylaw 17.1.
  • Student-athletes are permitted to miss class for competition, home and away, during the championship segment of competition. No class time shall be missed for competition, including activities associated with competition, during the non-championship segment of competition per Bylaw 17.1. Student-athletes are not excused from classes that end prior to departure time on the day of travel.
  • Student-athletes are responsible to notify faculty within seven business days after the first day of class concerning any future missed class time due to athletics contests using the Class Absence Reporting Form [available at, search for ‘athletics’ or ‘absence’]. This will ensure the individual faculty member has been notified of sport-related absences prior to missing class. The form includes a section requesting accommodations for completion of any missed work. All missed class work and assignments must be completed according to the schedule established by the faculty member teaching the course.
  • In the case of last minute travel itinerary changes due to unforeseen circumstances, the student-athlete is responsible to promptly notify faculty (within 24 hours of the change).

Individual faculty members will judge the validity of student-athlete absences from class and may require documentation for excused absences. In such cases the student-athlete will submit a written request to the assistant athletic director for compliance to request that documentation be sent to the faculty member. For classes requiring mandatory attendance incompatible with the number of planned absences, student-athletes will be advised to register, if possible, during a semester in which they will not be participating in the university sanctioned activity.

If a faculty member already has a policy in place that allows for a minimum number of absences, missed in-class assignments, and/or late assignments, then absences due to athletics contests will apply toward that policy.

As with any academic issue, student-athletes may exercise their right to appeal adverse attendance decisions. Should the faculty member and student-athlete be unable to agree on appropriate accommodation under this policy, either party shall have the right to request mediation. The person seeking mediation will pursue resolution by meeting with the following individuals (in order) until the issue has been resolved: the department chair, academic dean, faculty athletics representative, director of athletics, and the associate provost for academic administration.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Class Attendance Policy Addendum was developed in order to ensure collaboration between faculty members and the student-athlete in order to achieve graduation requirements.


Incomplete Grade Process

The purpose of an Incomplete Grade Process is to meet the needs of a student facing unforeseeable emergencies beyond his/her control and are serious enough to prevent completion of course assignments before the semester ends (i.e. extended illness, significant injury, critical family emergency…).

A temporary “grade” of “IN” (Incomplete Grade) will be issued in these special cases when approved by the Office of the Registrar. IN grades are normally completed no later than five weeks after the end of the term. In the event of the inability of a student to complete the coursework by the approved deadline, the Office of the Registrar will assign the grade which the student has earned by the end of term.

All Incomplete Grade requests require approval from the faculty of record and the Office of the Registrar (undergraduate) or appropriate Dean (graduate). 

Notes & Restrictions

  • Requests for an Incomplete (IN) Grade will be accepted starting the 4th week of the 7-week semester, and the 12th week of the 15-week semester.
  • The submission deadline for an Incomplete (IN) Grade for Full-Term courses is the Friday before finals week. For Sessions A and B, the deadline is the Friday before the end of the course.
  • Incomplete (IN) Grades will not be granted for matters such as excessive employment, over-scheduling, or current poor performance in a course.
  • Students who miss more than 20% of regular class sessions (including “excused” absences) may be required to drop the course and be ineligible for an Incomplete (IN) Grade.
  • The Incomplete (IN) Grade process is available throughout the academic year, including summer term.

Incomplete Request Process

    • Students will fill out the Incomplete Grade Request form. Submit a form for each class that an IN grade is being requested.
    • The form is routed to the professor of record and the University Registrar (undergraduate) or appropriate dean (graduate) for approval. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure the paperwork is processed.
    • Once the request is approved, the student receives a confirmation email, and the Office of the Registrar enters an Incomplete (IN) Grade on the student's transcript that serves as a placeholder. The professor will issue a final letter grade when the pending coursework is completed.