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The following information is intended to serve as a policy guide for students, faculty and staff. Refer to HOP policy 04-110 for full details.

Jump to details for faculty/staff

Student guide

As a student at SFA, you're expected to attend all classes, laboratories and other class-related activities on a regular and punctual basis. Attendance and make-up policies are stated in course syllabi, and an accurate record of attendance is maintained for classes in which attendance is a factor in the course grade.

Course keystone events: Keystone events, listed in the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester, identify critical components of the course that are required for successful completion of the class. Institutional absences will not be approved for keystone events. It is your responsibility to identify any conflict with a keystone event and make adjustments as necessary. Refer to HOP policy 04-110 for full details.

Excused absences may be granted for institutional purposes from otherwise-required academic activity only when a valid institutional absence is approved by the appropriate administrative unit or official.

An institutional absence may be granted to a student who represents SFA in one of the following capacities:

Academic activities (including research)

Students who participate in:

  • curriculum-based scheduled course activity outside of a normal class meeting time
  • academically-oriented activity
  • or post-graduation career activity.

Examples of post-graduation career activities include conferences, research presentations, graduate school interviews, job interviews related to earned degrees, and similar.

Important: Institutional absences for graduate school interviews or job interviews related to your degree must be submitted by you with proper documentation.

Apply online for an academic institutional absence.

All other institutional absences for academic activities are submitted by the faculty member sponsoring the participation and approved by the academic dean of the applicable college.

Extra/cocurricular activities

Students who are representing SFA in an official capacity in a preapproved extra/cocurricular activity sponsored by the student organization. Examples of this include:

  • Student Government Association
  • Sport Clubs
  • and Model UN.

Important: Student organization meetings, conference, etc. are not acceptable activities for an institutional absence request. Members of student organizations who are attending these types of events are doing so in their capacity as a member of that organization and not as official representatives of SFA.

Only advisors to organizations should submit the extra/co-curricular institutional absence request.

Apply online for an extra/co-curricular institutional absence.

Next steps: Process and expectations

Once the appropriate form is submitted by the requesting party, it will be sent to the applicable approval authority. The approval authority may approve the form or return it for corrections.

If returned for corrections, the requesting party should complete the following steps:

  1. Make the corrections.
  2. Resubmit the form.
  3. Notify the approval authority the form has been resubmitted.
Approved forms

Once the applicable approving authority approves the institutional absence request, the approval will route to the Dean of Students Office for notification. The Dean of Students Office will notify the student's instructors of the approval and the requesting party also will receive the official approval form in their email.

Course instructors are required to honor all institutional absences approved under HOP policy 04-110 when you have provided proof of approval at least five business days prior to any anticipated absence.

Your institutional absences cannot exceed 15% of the scheduled meeting times.

Maximum number of allowable missed classes

16-week courses
Meeting frequency per week Missed-class limit
3 7
2 5
8-week courses
Meeting frequency per week Missed-class limit
4 5
3 4
2 2
1 1
Maymester courses
Meeting frequency per week Missed-class limit
5 2
Summer courses
Meeting frequency per week Missed-class limit
4 3

If you need needing to miss class for reasons that do not classify as an institutional absence, view the faculty notification request process.

Attendance accommodations are handled through the Office of Disability Services.

Faculty requirements regarding institutional absences

Effective Jan. 1, 2024

Faculty are required to honor approved absences, with the exception of any conflict regarding course keystone events.

Course keystone events: At the beginning of each semester, your syllabus must identify critical components of the course that are required for successful completion of the class. These events cannot be added at a later date and are no longer considered a keystone event if their original date or time is changed. Refer to HOP policy 04-110 for full details.


Dean of Students Office
Fax: 936.468.7111  

Physical Address:
1936 North Street
Rusk Building, Third Floor Lobby

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13066, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas  75962