Printed on: 05/08/2021. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  Administrative Policy

Mandatory Attendance at First Class Session and Consequences for Absence: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

Responsible University Officer(s):
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
Policy Owner(s):
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
Policy contact(s):
  • Stacey Tidball, Karen Starry
Date Revised:
Jun 30, 2016
Effective Date:
Apr 15, 2009

Policy Statement

  1. Students are required to attend the first class session in order to receive important information about the course from the instructor. Students must attend the first class meeting of every part of a course in which they are registered (including, labs, discussion sections, lectures, and other types of class meetings), unless they have obtained prior approval from the instructor (or department, if appropriate) for an intended absence before the first class meeting. Without such prior approval, a student may lose their place in the class to another student.
  2. If a student wishes to remain in a course from which the student has been absent the first day without prior approval, the student must contact the instructor as soon as possible. In this circumstance, instructors have the right to deny access to the class if other students have been added and the course is full. However, instructors should consider extenuating circumstances that may have prevented a student from attending the first class session and from notifying the instructor in advance.
  3. Absence from the first class session that falls during a recognized religious holiday (e.g., Rosh Hashanah) does not require instructor approval, but the student must notify the instructor in advance regarding the absence and the reason for the absence. In this instance, the place for the student will be retained. (See Administrative Policy: Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester for further information regarding absences).
  4. Students are responsible for officially cancelling their enrollment in any course in which they have enrolled and subsequently been denied enrollment. If any such student does not officially cancel enrollment from the course, the instructor has the choice to either (a) assign a failing grade to the student for that course, or (b) request that the student be disenrolled.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.

Reason for Policy

Students are required to attend the first class session to receive important information about the course from the instructor. In addition, because students can enroll and disenroll for courses on-line, the list of registered students fluctuates. A student’s presence at the first class session is required to clearly indicate the number of students who are committed to taking the course. Instructors can then determine whether any students who were not able to register for a course because all seats were taken may take the place of students who registered but did not attend the first class session.




Frequently Asked Questions


Primary Contact Stacey Tidball
Karen Starry
Crookston Campus Jason Tangquist 218-281-8424
Morris Campus Janet Ericksen 320-589-6015
Rochester Campus Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain 507-258-8006


Officially cancel
Students must cancel (drop) a class if they have been denied enrollment in that course. Students are responsible for dropping a course to officially remove it from their record and may do so online in the course registration system.


Attend the first sessions of courses for which they have registered, or seek prior approval from the instructor if they are unable to attend. Use the course registration system to drop a course they have registered for but will not be attending.
Monitor official course registration lists. Take attendance at first class meeting(s). Respond promptly to students who have contacted the instructor regarding not attending the first class session. Notify students if they have been denied enrollment in a course. Report a failing grade if a student who was denied enrollment in a course does not drop the course, or request that the student be disenrolled.

Related Information


June 2016 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. More clearly specifies the responsibilities of both the instructor and the student. Added instructor responsibility.
December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
April 2009

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