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Religious Holidays and Excused Absences

Below are listed the main religious holidays which impose a work restriction on those observing them in a given academic year.

The Administrative Policy Manual states:

Excused absences for religious holidays must be arranged in advance with individual faculty members. Faculty members are encouraged to be sensitive to students' religious preferences, and will, if at all possible, accommodate student requests for an excused absence. Faculty members will also make every effort not to schedule exams or quizzes on religious holidays when a student's desire to observe that holiday has been expressed.  However, the final decision to schedule an exam or quiz rests with the faculty member.

The list is divided into two categories:

  • holidays during which work is expressly restricted by certain traditions;
  • holidays during which some students may request excused absences in order to travel or take part in special religious celebrations. 

Religious holidays with work restrictions

  • Rosh Hashanah - Jewish
  • Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan) - Muslim
  • Yom Kippur - Jewish
  • Sukkot - Jewish (work restriction 1st two days only)
  • Shemini Atzeret -Jewish
  • Simchat Torah - Jewish
  • Birth of the Bab - Baha'i
  • Birth of Baha'u'llah - Baha'i
  • Eid al-Adha - Muslim
  • Naw-Ruz - Baha'i and Zoroastrian
  • Passover- Jewish (work restriction 1st two days and last two days)
  • Ridvan - Baha'i (work restriction- 4/21, 4/29, 5/2)

Religious holidays during which students may possibly request excused absences

  • 1st day of Ramadan - Muslim
  • Mabon -Pagan
  • Diwali - Hindu, Sikh, Jainist
  • Samhain - Pagan
  • Imbolc- Pagan
  • Chinese New Year - Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist
  • Ash Wednesday - Roman Catholic/Protestant
  • Holi - Hindu
  • Feast of St. Joseph - Roman Catholic Christian
  • Ostara - Pagan
  • Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday
    • Roman Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox
  • Memorial of Christ's Death - Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Baisakhi/Vaisakhi - Sikh
  • Beltane - Pagan
  • Wesak/Buddha Day - Buddhist