Every time classes get a little emptier, like they did this week for to the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, questions arise about the University’s policy on religious observances and other holidays.
There are more than 35 holidays, both religious and otherwise, listed on the University Office of the Provost’s website that conflict with University class schedule.

During the year, classes are canceled for only two holidays: Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The University’s scheduling policy doesn’t observe religious holidays, though it does attempt to aid students in avoiding any negative consequences of missing class.

“Although the University of Michigan, as an institution, does not observe religious holidays, it has long been the University’s policy that every reasonable effort should be made to help students avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with academic requirements,” the policy reads.

Students are responsible for making up any missed assignments. If the holiday falls on an exam or test day, the student must inform the faculty member before the term’s drop/add deadline in order to make up the test at a later date without penalty. It is up to the professor to determine a “reasonable alternative opportunity” when it comes to make-up work.

When a student has a dispute with a professor over missing class for a religious observance, the student can contact the department chair.
If the matter is still unresolved it is referred to the Dean of the School or the University’s Ombudsperson. The University provost has the final say.

Holidays many students celebrate that take place during the academic year include: Rosh Hashanah in the end of September, Yom Kippur in October, Chinese New Year in the end of January, Good Friday and Baisakhi in April, and Ascension Day in May.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.