Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances

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Illinois law requires the University to reasonably accommodate its students' religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work requirements. We recommend that instructors take a moment during the first class meeting or the meeting when the syllabus is distributed to encourage students to examine the syllabus for potential conflicts and to share with students any directions as to how to request accommodation.

Instructors may request that students procure an absence letter from the Office of the Dean of Students related to any class sessions missed due to religious observances. This policy outlines the procedure that students should follow to obtain an absence letter. The policy attempts to strike a reasonable balance between accommodating religious observances of students and meeting the academic needs and standards of the university.

To request this letter, students should complete the Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances form and submit copies to the Student Assistance Center ( and the instructor for each course the student will miss. In order to best facilitate planning and communication between students and faculty, students should be encouraged to make requests for absence letters by the end of the second week of the course in the semester in which the request applies. In the case of exams or assignments that are scheduled after the first two weeks of the semester, students should submit the form as soon as possible. Per our protocol, upon receipt of the request form, the Student Assistance Center will provide an absence letter which students may also forward to the requesting instructor.

To assist in planning for any future conflicts, an interfaith calendar of primary sacred times for world religions is available here. Another version of an interfaith calendar in excel format (xls) is also available, and if you would like to import these dates into your Outlook or Google calendar, you can find instructions at Google calendar and Outlook calendar. Given the diversity of students who attend the University of Illinois, these calendars are not all-inclusive and are not intended to exclude any religion, sacred time, or days of religious observance.

Please Note: Absence letters approved for religious observances are intended for the date or dates of the observance only; they do not include dates for potential travel.

Please complete the Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances form (pdf) and send by email to

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