Foreign Language Class Attendance Policy

During fall and spring semesters, the maximum allowed number of absences may not exceed:

  • 8 absences per semester for classes meeting 5 times per week
  • 6 absences per semester for classes meeting 3 times per week
  • 4 absences per semester for classes meeting 2 times per week
  • 2 absences per semester for classes meeting 1 time per week

There is no distinction between “excused” or “unexcused” absences besides the following with written documentation: observation of religious holidays, students representing the university (e.g., sports teams), or military or other government duty.

If the student exceeds the maximum number of either absences before the withdrawal date, it is advised that the student discuss their grade with their instructor and consider withdrawing from the course. If the student exceeds the number of absences after the withdrawal date, the final grade will be lowered by one letter grade for each additional absence (i.e., a grade of A would become a B after one extra absence, and a C after two extra absences).


VCU makes exceptions for religious holidays (see the date on the official calendar), university-sponsored events and for extreme unforeseen circumstances.


A doctor's note does not represent an excuse for an absence, unless it states that the student was ill for a prolonged period of time with a condition that prevented them from attending class. In such cases, students are encouraged to discuss alternate arrangements with their instructors. Doctor appointments, interview appointments and other scheduled appointments (e.g., travel plans) are not considered acceptable excuses, as the student is expected to schedule these appointments outside of class time.

Late Arrivals and Early Departures

Late arrivals and early departures are distracting to students and instructors alike. Students should be on time for class and should stay for the entire period. Every minute absent from class impacts the student’s participation and/or attendance grade. If you arrive late, you might be asked to leave the class. Three late arrivals count as one absence. It is up to the instructor to determine what constitutes tardiness. Early departure from class or prolonged stepping out of class for more than five minutes will count as one or more tardies and possibly as an absence, depending on the amount of time missed. Please plan your travel and parking strategies accordingly. Cass time is precious. Students should make every effort to attend. Even if you will be late or must leave early, attend as much as you can.

Make-Up Work

There will be no make-up quizzes, tests, presentations, opportunities to turn in late homework, etc., for absences unless:

  1. The instructor has been notified in advance, and
  2. There is appropriate documentation.

Student Responsibility

It is the student's responsibility to be in compliance with these attendance and make-up requirements. Instructors are not required to give reminders of attendance status to each student. Students may make an appointment with a language coordinator should they have specific concerns. Contact the foreign language coordinator at