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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.

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.

Athletic activities

Students who participate in NCAA-sanctioned events.

These institutional absences are submitted by an academic services representative within SFA Athletics and approved by the Faculty Athletic Representative.

Extra/cocurricular activities

Students who, as a representative of SFA, participate in pre approved extracurricular or cocurricular events sponsored by student organizations

These institutional absences are submitted by the student organization's advisor and approved by the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

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/staff guide

The following process is in effect until Dec. 31, 2023.

To submit an institutional absence approval for a student who will represent SFA in one of the three capacities mentioned above, email the following information to

  • Date(s) of event
  • Name of event
  • Location of event
  • Name(s) of student(s)

Approved institutional absences will then be posted in mySFA on the Excused Absence page.

New process 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