The syllabus must contain, in addition to course-specific information, specific references to the policy for makeup work for legitimate absences.

Instructors may:

  • Copy the exact language and table provided below, or
  • Include references to the policy, or
  • Include statements on the policy in the syllabus.

U of M recommended legitimate absences policy statement

Students will not be penalized for absence during the semester due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances. Such circumstances include verified illness, participation in intercollegiate athletic events, subpoenas, jury duty, military service, bereavement, and religious observances. Such circumstances do not include voting in local, state, or national elections. For complete information, please see:

University of Minnesota policy requires faculty members to provide make-ups for major examinations to students with legitimate, documented excuses. If your class will have students who are new to a university-setting, you should be very explicit about what constitutes a "legitimate excuse" and what kind of documentation you will accept. Inform students of their options to make up the work.


Students are expected to take exams at the times scheduled in the syllabus. Possible exceptions include serious illness, family emergency, or a legitimate conflict with recognized University activities. If these apply, you must contact you lab instructor or the General Biology Program office to request a makeup. Make these arrangements as soon as you know of the conflict--BEFORE the exam if possible.

- Craig Packer, Biology 1201: Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives