Religious Accommodations at NYU
NYU is committed to fostering an inclusive environment for community members of all faiths. As part of this commitment, we continually seek ways to support students’ ability to practice their religions without adverse impact on their academic progress.
The existing University Calendar Policy on Religious Holidays affirms the University’s support for students who need reasonable accommodations when they are unable to attend class, meet an assignment deadline, or take a quiz or exam due to religious observance. NYU aims to create an environment where students feel supported and comfortable making requests that are, to many, of a deeply personal nature.
Best Practices for Students
The first step in requesting reasonable accommodations for religious observance is to raise the need directly with your professors. It is important to do this at the start of the semester or with sufficient advance notice. It is also useful for you to include the following information:
- the date(s) of the religious holiday or observance that conflicts with the assignment due date, exam date, etc.
- an explanation of the obligations and restrictions associated with the religious observance
- the specific academic accommodation(s) requested (e.g., an extension on an assignment, an alternate test date, etc.)
If you require additional support after you discuss your religious needs with your professor, you can submit a Support for a Religious Accommodation Form. Once the form is received, a representative from Global Spiritual Life will be in touch to discuss the request. Where necessary, they will partner with the Moses Center for Student Accessibility to provide testing accommodations.
Please email email@example.com with any questions.
*Students at global sites should instead approach their academic site staff to request accommodations.
Best Practices for Faculty & Staff
To support students in making requests for religious accommodations and to make them aware of the University policy, we recommend the below best practices:
1. Inclusive Language for Syllabi
Include the below model language about religious accommodations in your syllabi:
"NYU’s Calendar Policy on Religious Holidays states that members of any religious group may, without penalty, absent themselves from classes when required in compliance with their religious observances. You must notify me in advance of religious holidays or observances that might coincide with exams, assignments, or class times to schedule reasonable alternatives. Students may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance."
2. Calendar of Holidays & Observances 2022-2023
Review the Global Spiritual Life Calendar of Holidays and Observances and familiarize yourself with those that may fall during your class or exam times. Consider whether any scheduling changes can be made proactively to minimize the need for accommodations.
3. Share the Policy In Class
Verbally share the policy in your first class session, reminding students that they should approach you well in advance to request accommodations.
4. Seek Understanding
Seek to understand the needs of students approaching you, and work out a reasonable accommodation for their needs.
Exam Proctoring Support
In cases where religious observance necessitates a student missing a scheduled class exam, the Moses Center for Student Accessibility, in collaboration with the Center for Global Spiritual Life, can support with exam proctoring. Once a professor and student have agreed on a new exam date and time, the student should complete the Religious Accommodation- Test Reschedule Form.
If any questions arise about applying the policy to specific circumstances or about specific religious traditions, you are encouraged to reach out to the Center for Global Spiritual Life at email@example.com.