Date: January 19, 2024
To:  NYU Faculty
From: Interim Provost Georgina Dopico

As a nonsectarian, inclusive institution, NYU allows students of any religious identity to excuse themselves, without penalty, from classes or other academic obligations when required for compliance with their religious observance. NYU’s longstanding University Calendar Policy on Religious Holidays lays out the policy and principles, including those required by law, to be followed by students and faculty. Under the policy, which follows applicable laws, students shall receive reasonable accommodations to complete their academic work when absent for religious observances.

The policy advises students to approach you directly to discuss potential absences and work out a reasonable arrangement. Students are not required to obtain a note excusing their absence. Ideally, this planning can happen at the beginning of the semester, well in advance of academic obligations; for that reason, faculty may find it useful to include language in syllabi or other course materials about the observance of religious holidays. NYU’s Center for Global Spiritual Life has developed some model language that you may find helpful in making students aware of NYU’s policy.

If you have questions about applying the policy to specific circumstances, please consult with your department chair and/or school Dean. You may also email the Office of Global Spiritual Life at religiousaccommodations@nyu.edu with any questions you have about specific religious traditions.

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 religiousaccommodations@nyu.edu.

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 help with this.