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Excused (Authorized) Absences

Faculty and staff requesting group excused (authorized) absences for participation in official university activities or functions should allow at least one week for processing of the absence request, depending on the size of the class and the current absence request load that the Dean of Students Office is managing.

COVID-19 Considerations:

Faculty and Staff: DOS needs to review all class and organizational group excused absence requests for compliance with the UW travel policies (pp. 9-10 of the UW COVID-19 policy, UW COVID-19 transportation policy) and CANNOT guarantee that a group or class excused absence request will be granted.

StudentsDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, instructors are encouraged to add additional information on the attendance policy specific for their course and modality of delivery. Please refer to your course sylabus and review the COVID 19 student attendance policy before requesting an authorized absence.


In certain situations where an unanticipated class conflict arises, DOS can provide an excused absence to a student, allowing them to make up missed work for the class without penalty.

Students wishing to request an excused absence must have a documented circumstance that fits one of the categories listed below, and DOS must receive the request within two weeks of the absence.

  • Special curricular requirements (e.g. e.g., academic field trips, judging trips, academic conferences, field work for class or course of study, etc.)
  • Participation in official university activities or functions (e.g., sanctioned intercollegiate athletic events, Registered Student Organization activities); 
  • Observance of religious holy day or holiday
  • Active military service
  • Illness, injury, caregiving, or other extenuating circumstances (missing 3+ days of class as a result of admission to a hospital, accidents with significant injuries, death of an immediate family member, family medical emergency, etc.);
  • Court-imposed legal obligations (e.g. subpoena, jury duty, etc.)
  • Pregnancy and parenting under Title IX; and
  • When the University is officially closed by the President

DOS cannot process excused absence requests without appropriate documentation. If you have questions about qualifying documentation for a request, or who qualifies as an immediate family member, please contact DOS at 307-766-3296 or dos@uwyo.edu

Students with medical-related absences that result in less than 3 days of missed coursework should work directly with their faculty to arrange to make up missed work. Students with chronic medical conditions may qualify for additional support and accomodations with Disability Support Services.

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The Dean of Students does not issue authorized absences for

  • Colds, flus or other typical types of illness that affect student attendance for less than three days
  • Doctor or dentist routine appointments
  • Jail time for any reason
  • Appearing in court if the violation was incurred because of the person’s own behavior
  • Pre-planned vacations, trips, weddings, graduations or non-UW activities.

With the exception of active military duty and certain pregnant student support, DOS cannot issue an authorized absence for more than 5 days for any given situation. If you need more than 5 days away from classes, you will need to work directly with your instructors.

Additionally, excused absences for participation in official university activities or functions must be requested by the supervising/advising UW faculty or staff member.

Anyone requesting an excused absence must include the W-number of the absent student(s), using the format W00000000, in the online request form. Excused absences can take several days to process, depending on the overall volume of requests at the time you submit the form.

Any excused absence request must include supporting documentation. Qualifying documentation depends on the nature of the absence, but must include information about the reason for the absence, and the timeframe of the absence. Generally accepted documentation includes:

  • Special curricular requirements: approval of your area of department supervisor
  • Participation in official university activities or functions: request by the supervising/advising UW faculty or staff member
  • Observance of religious holy day or holiday: verification that the observed day falls on the date of the requested absence
  • Active military service: military orders
  • Illness, injury, caregiving, or other extenuating circumstances: note from a doctor or other medical provider, obituary or funeral card, or other appropriate documentation given the circumstances
  • Court-imposed legal obligations: copies of relevant legal documents
  • When the University is officially closed by the President: No official request or documentation needed

Questions about appropriate supporting documentation can be directed to the Dean of Students office at 307-766-3296 or dos@uwyo.edu.

Faculty can find important information on how to effectively manage student absences from the "Guidelines on Managing Student Absences." 

Approved excused absences will be documented in a signed PDF letter that will be emailed to the student(s) as an attachment. Students are expected to provide the letter as documentation to any faculty who will be affected by the student's absence. The letter will not include detailed information about the nature of the absence.

Faculty are expected to provide the student the opportunity to make up missed work in accordance with University Regulation 2-108. Faculty with concerns about the validity of an excused absence approval may contact the Dean of Students office at 307-766-3296 or dos@uwyo.edu.

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IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING FINALS WEEK: The Dean of Students Office cannot issue excused absences during finals week for any reason.  If a student needs to re-schedule their final exams they must request the change directly from their instructors. 

IMPORTANT NOTE ON APPEALS:  Appeals must be specifically described in writing and provided within ten days of excused absence notice to the Dean of Students, 128 Knight Hall, Laramie Wyoming 82071.  Consistent with University Regulation 11-3, appeals may be sought on two grounds: (a) failure to follow proper procedures; or (b) newly discovered relevant facts.  Students will receive a written response within ten business days of their appeal submission.

Contact Us

Dean of Students Office

Knight Hall 128

Dept. 3135, 1000 E. University Dr.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3296

Fax: 307-766-3298

Email: dos@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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