Accommodating Religious Observances

Accommodating Religious Observances


When planning courses, it is useful to remember the rich mixture of religious and ethnic groups that comprise our student population. Indiana University students follow many different religious practices; some of them will need to miss classes for observances on which the university remains open.

The IU Religious Observances policy is the result of lengthy faculty discussion about the just and appropriate way to deal with our increasingly diverse student population. The policy attempts to strike a reasonable balance between accommodating religious observances of students and meeting academic needs and standards.

  • Instructors should, on the syllabus, notify students of the religious accommodation policy and of the dates of major papers, exams, and projects.
  • Students should use the appropriate form to request a religious accommodation within the first two weeks of the course.
  • Instructors should make a reasonable accommodation when a student must miss an exam or other academic exercise because of a required religious observance. With timely notice, students must be allowed to make up the work that was missed.  Absence for a religious observance does not count toward the number of absences an instructor might allow in a class.


VPFAA provides the policy for religious observances and the form for requesting religious accommodations, and a calendar of upcoming religious observances is available in the Enrollment Bulletin site.

For More Help or Information

Contact the CITL to get help designing your syllabi to accommodate religious observances.