Students' Religious Observance and Class Attendance
Date: January 19, 2023
To: NYU Faculty
From: Interim Provost Georgina Dopico
As a nonsectarian, inclusive institution, NYU permits members of any religious group to absent themselves from classes without penalty when required for compliance with their religious obligations. The University Calendar Policy on Religious Holidays lays out the policy and principles, including those required by law, to be followed by students and faculty.
Your commitment to the University’s policy furthers the inclusive environment we seek to create at NYU, one in which we hope students will feel comfortable making requests that are, for many, of a deeply personal nature. Thank you for your support of students' commitment to religious observance.
For those faculty seeking language that they may include in syllabi or other course materials about the observance of religious holidays, the University's Center for Global Spiritual Life has developed some model language that you may find helpful in making students aware of NYU’s policy. The policy advises students to approach you directly to discuss potential absences and work out a reasonable arrangement. Please note that students are not required to obtain a note excusing their absence.
If you have questions about applying the policy to specific circumstances, you should consult with your department chair and/or school Dean. You may also email the Office of Global Spiritual Life at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have about specific religious traditions.
Finally, in cases where religious observance necessitates students’ missing scheduled class exams, the Moses Center for Student Accessibility, in collaboration with the Center for Global Spiritual Life, can coordinate the administration and proctoring of exams. For additional information about this program, please email email@example.com.