The following information is intended to help faculty understand and apply the College's attendance policies. Of foremost concern is the application of policies in a manner that is consistent for all students in equivalent situations. We strive to provide all students with reasonable opportunities to succeed in their curricular and extracurricular pursuits.

Policy on Class Attendance: 

  • In each course freshmen are permitted one unexcused absence per semester for each credit hour earned by passing the course for the semester.
  • There is no college-wide policy on the number of unexcused absences from class allowed any sophomore, junior, or senior. Professors will inform each of their classes at the beginning of each semester what attendance is expected.
  • All students must present assigned homework promptly and must be present for all assigned tests and quizzes unless excused by the Dean of Students.
  • Students are expected to attend class on the day before and the day after scheduled vacations. Faculty members will hold classes on the day before and the day after vacation.

Excused Absences: 

  • An excused absence entitles the student to make up any work done for a grade during the class period missed. It does not excuse the student from doing the assignment for the period missed, nor from the responsibility for the subject matter taken up during that period. Whenever possible the student should inform his instructor, turn in assignments, and arrange to make up classroom work to be missed, before he is absent. If the student delays in attending to this matter, his excuse may be nullified.
  • A student is excused from class if he is absent for a trip officially sanctioned by the College, such as a scheduled intercollegiate athletic trip involving a team which is recognized by the athletic department's program, a glee club trip, a pep band trip, a field trip connected with a course, etc. In these cases it is unnecessary to obtain an excuse from the Dean of Students unless requested to do so by the professor.
  • Other excuses from class are issued at the discretion of the Dean of Students. There are no formal medical excuses.

Excessive Absences:

  • A faculty member who believes that a student's absences are damaging his work in a course will inform the Dean of Faculty, who will in turn notify the student by mail. Written notice from the Dean's Office constitutes a final warning about absences in that course. No prior verbal warning is required. If a student receives warnings about absences in more than one course, the Dean of Faculty, or his/her designee, will ask the student to come in for a meeting to discuss if there are problems that can be resolved with the assistance of campus resources.
  • If, after such a warning, a student continues to miss classes, the professor will again notify the Dean of Faculty. The Dean of Faculty or his/her designee will determine whether the student should be withdrawn from the course. If the student is withdrawn and has the right to drop the course without penalty at the time of the withdrawal, no grade for the course will appear on the permanent record; otherwise, the student will receive a grade of WF (withdrawn failing) in the course.
  • Any appeal for reinstatement to the course must be made in writing to the Executive Committee of the Faculty within one week after the student has been notified of his withdrawal. Unless and until the Executive Committee reinstates the student, he may not take part in the course.
  • If the student is withdrawn with grades of WF from two courses during the same semester, the student will be suspended for the remainder of that semester and will receive grades of W in all of his other courses. A student suspended in this manner must apply to the Admissions Office for readmission to the College and ordinarily will not be readmitted for the following semester. The Executive Committee may set time limits upon the student's suspension consistent with his academic and disciplinary record.

Additional Policies Relevant to Student-Athletes:

Student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate athletics at Hampden-Sydney College must adhere to the same high standards as students who do not participate in intercollegiate athletics. A mission statement for the Athletic Department appears in The Key. Notwithstanding, faculty should be aware of certain policies that most often apply to student-athletes (but may not be unique to them).

  • Practice Times: Athletic practices do not begin earlier than 4:00 p.m. at Hampden-Sydney College. No student should be excused from class or dismissed early to attend athletic practice. This includes classes that may, on occasion, run beyond 4:00 p.m., for example, science laboratories. Coaches understand that students may be late for practice at times. Many sports have unofficial practice or warmups that begin earlier than 4:00 p.m., for example, batting practice, weightlifting, and physical therapy. Students are free to participate in those activities as long as they do not interfere with normally scheduled classes.
  • Travel to Athletic Contests and Other Sanctioned Events: Student-athletes (and others attending College-sanctioned events) are excused from classes from the time of departure that coaches (or relevant other advisors) designate until the team arrives back on campus. For afternoon contests nearby, this may mean a morning departure on game day and an evening return. For multi-contest trips, this may mean several missed class days including days on which only travel takes place.
  • The Athletic Department has a general policy that student-athletes must travel to away games with the team (with only rare, common-sensical exceptions such as a student who lives near an away contest that takes place the day after Fall Break). Student-athletes are not allowed to drive themselves or others to contests. This is not only an issue primarily of liability, but also of fairness. Student-athletes should not be put in a position where they must choose between participating in a sanctioned contest and attending class. Faculty should not put themselves or the College in a position of great legal jeopardy by encouraging any violation of the College's policy.

Relevant NCAA Policies:

  • Missed Class Time -Practice (Article 17.1.6; effective 8/1/00)"No class time shall be missed for practice activities except when a team is traveling to an away-from-home contest and the practice is in conjunction with the contest." [For example, if a team travels to an away site and then conducts a practice the day before the contest, the student is excused.] 
  • Competition in the Nontraditional Segment (Article; effective 8/1/01)"No class time shall be missed for competition during the nontraditional segment."[For example, students may not miss class for a fall-semester baseball game or a spring-semester soccer game.] 

Relevant College Policies: 

  • The Hampden-Sydney College Catalogue