Attendance Policy For Required Educational Activities

Students are expected to attend all sessions marked as “required” in Phase 1 course syllabi unless excused prior to the event by the course director. Unexcused absences for required activities will result in an unsatisfactory professionalism evaluation, and may lead to additional adverse academic actions by the ASC.

During Phases 2 and 3 students are allotted the following breaks: Thanksgiving and a winter break (see the academic calendar for details).  Thanksgiving break starts at the conclusion of clinical/academic responsibilities on Wednesday, and ends at the beginning of clinical/academic responsibilities on Monday. Third and fourth year students on scheduled clerkships and electives are NOT automatically off on official one day holidays listed on the academic calendar.

Clerkship directors, at their discretion may permit students a holiday (example: on Labor Day, outpatient clinics are closed, and a clerkship director may give the students assigned there the day off). 

Religious Holidays

The COM recognizes that there are other holidays, both religious and secular, which are of importance to some individuals and groups. Students who wish to observe these holidays must inform the director before the course or clerkship begins, if applicable. The director may provide the student with an alternative arrangement to make-up the day(s) missed, on-call assignments, and examinations and other projects. The timing of make-up work is at the discretion of the course/clerkship director and may fall during vacation periods. Missed days which cannot be completed before the course end date will result in a grade of “Incomplete”. Students shall not be penalized due to absence from class or other scheduled academic activity because of religious observances.

If a faculty member is informed of, or is aware, that a significant number of students are likely to be absent from class because of a religious observance, a major examination or other academic event should not be scheduled at that time.

A student who is to be excused from class for a religious holy day is not required to provide a second party certification of the reasons for the absence. A student who believes that they have been unreasonably denied an education benefit due to religious beliefs or practices may seek redress through the student grievance procedure, see UF Regulation 4.012.

Unexpected Absences

In the case of an unexpected absence, the student MUST notify the responsible faculty/mentor or senior resident (when on a clinical service), the Course/Clerkship Administrator and Director as soon as possible. The course or clerkship director will determine if the absence is excused or unexcused. All absences MUST be logged by the student into the absence monitoring system found on the Phase Canvas pages. If the absence is longer than three days, the staff in the Office of Student Affairs and Registration (352-273-7971) MUST also be notified. Failure to communicate unexpected absences promptly is a professionalism concern that can affect your final grade and, if a patter of behavior is identified, necessitate review by the Academic Status Committee.

Planned Absences

In the case of planned absences to attend meetings or family events such as a wedding or funeral, the student must contact the Course/Clerkship Administrator as far in advance as possible* to discuss the requests and obtain the permission of the Course/Clerkship Director to be absent from assigned responsibilities. If permission is obtained for the planned absence, the student must notify the Office of Medical Education ( of the approved dates for the absence and log the absence in the absence monitoring system which is found on the Phase Canvas pages. 

*Students planning to submit work for oral/poster presentation at an academic meeting are expected to contact the course/clerkship director for permission as soon as the meeting dates are available. Please note that:

  • Requests do not guarantee approval of time off.
  • You may be required to make up experiences/work that may include weekends or between clerkships/courses.
  • You should not make plans, purchase tickets, etc., until the leave has been approved.
  • You will be expected to submit your acceptance letter and the program outline, detailing exactly when the presentation will occur.
  • You will need a letter from a faculty sponsor.
  • Approvals may not necessarily include time off for the entire meeting.
  • If approved, you may be sponsored for research travel support.

Absences for Health Services

Students are encouraged to maintain their own personal health throughout medical school. This includes their dental, mental and/or physical health. Ideally, students will make every effort to schedule these appointments at dates/times that do not conflict with required education activities. When this is not possible, students must submit their request for an excused absence to the relevant course/clerkship director(s). Upon approval, the director will notify the student of makeup requirements and due date, if appropriate. Additionally, students will not be penalized for absence from class or other scheduled academic activities for medical reasons. This applies to absences for acute illnesses as well as to absences due to regularly scheduled ongoing treatment for dental, mental or physical health. For any questions and/or concerns regarding this policy, students are to consult the Associate Dean for Medical Education or Student Affairs.

Absences during Jacksonville Clinical Rotation

If the absence occurs while in Jacksonville on a clinical rotation, the Office of Student Affairs (Dani Brown, in Jacksonville MUST be notified in addition to the OME in Gainesville and the clerkship administrator/director in Jacksonville. Contact information for each clerkship is located on the Departmental Student Liaisons website.

Fourth-Year Interview Absences

Students are expected to schedule residency interviews during their interview month and vacation.  However, due to the inherent unpredictability of the residency interview process, it may be necessary for students to schedule interviews during an elective.  Students should not schedule interviews during electives without prior approval of the elective director.  The approval process may include discussion and provision of documentation that the interview was impossible to schedule at another time.  The make-up may include additional clinical assignments and/or extension of the elective into another time period. Students should not schedule interviews during required clerkships.

* Repeated unexcused absences will result in a professional concern notation in the MSPE, or additional disciplinary action.

Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work within the UF COM are consistent with the university policies.