Statement to Academic Instructors and Students about Medical Excuses
Student Health does not provide “medical excuse notes” to students for absences from classes, labs, studios or exams, or for missed deadlines due to short-term illness, injury, or other clinical appointments. This is consistent with the University of Virginia Honor Code and allows us to dedicate our resources to the care of our patients. This policy is also consistent with the recommendations of the American College Health Association.
For a prolonged absence (more than 3 sessions of a course) due to illness or injury, a student can request that Student Health provide documentation to the student’s academic dean verifying that there is a medical reason for the absence. We will not, however, provide any specific information about the nature of the illness or about treatment. We also do not advise students about absence from class unless a contagious illness justifies that recommendation or requirement.
We encourage our students to engage in self-care practices, including avoiding the spread of infections such as colds and the flu by minimizing contact with others when acutely ill.
We acknowledge the challenges that faculty face when trying to be equitable in determining when and how to excuse an absence or whether to require make-up assignments. We believe that University students seek increasing levels of responsibility and trust as they mature and we appreciate the many ways in which faculty and other instructors support their development into dependable and reliable adults.