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

Effective Date: April 2009
Last Update: December 2009
Responsible University Officer:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner:
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
Policy Contact:
CONSULTED WITH: Faculty Senate

Printed on: . Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.


  1. Students must attend the first class meeting of every part of a course in which they are registered (including, for example, labs and discussion sections), unless they obtain 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 his or her place in the class to another student. The registration materials should alert students to the fact that they must attend the first session of a course, whether that session is a lab, discussion section, lecture, or some other class meeting.
  2. If a student wishes to remain in a course from which he or she has been absent the first day without prior approval, the student should contact the instructor as soon as possible. In this circumstance, instructors have the right to deny admission to the class if other students have been admitted and the course is full. However, instructors should consider extenuating circumstances (e.g., weather) that may have prevented a student from attending the first class session.
  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 instructor must be notified in advance of the absence and the reason; in this instance, the place for the student will be retained. (See Administrative Policy: Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester).
  4. Students must officially cancel any course for which they have enrolled and subsequently been denied enrollment. Instructors will fail any such student who does not officially cancel a course.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.


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.


There are no procedures related to this policy.


There are no forms related to this policy.


There are no appendices related to this policy.


  1. What is the necessary process for instructors to disenroll students from a course?

    Instructors can contact their college’s student services department or One Stop Student Services to request students be disenrolled for not attending the first class session.

  2. How does this policy apply to on-line courses?

    The policy extends to on-line courses as well as traditional in-person courses. Students must attend the first class meeting or obtain permission from the faculty member to be absent. If a student does not attend (e.g., log into the course in Moodle) the course instructor may request that the student be removed from the class.

  3. Is it mandatory that a student be removed from a class if he/she misses the first class session?

    Faculty members are not required to request that the student be removed from the class, but it is their prerogative to make such a request.


Primary Contact(s)
Crookston Campus
Morris Campus
Rochester Campus


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 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.



December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
April 2009

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Last modified on December 17, 2014