The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Class Attendance and Eligibility

Only students who are properly registered for a course may attend it on a regular basis. Any other person in the classroom for special reasons must obtain the consent of the instructor.

Academic success is built upon regular class attendance. At the University of Tennessee, students are expected to attend all of their scheduled classes. Research shows a strong correlation between attendance and participation in class and improved student learning. A student who finds it necessary to miss class assumes responsibility for making up examinations, obtaining lecture notes, and otherwise compensating for what may have been missed.

It is the prerogative of the individual instructor to set the attendance requirements for a particular class. This means, for example, that an instructor in first year composition may state in a syllabus how many absences are allowed before a student receives a grade of No Credit.

Class Attendance Guidelines for Extenuating Circumstances

In rare cases, students may have extenuating circumstances that make it impossible for them to attend all sessions of a class. These include military orders, court-imposed legal obligations, religious observances, extended illness, and participation in university, college, or unit sponsored activities that lead to clear experiential and educational outcomes. On the first day of class each term, or immediately after the student knows of the need to miss class because of one of these extenuating circumstances, the student should share with the instructor a document detailing the extenuating circumstance. The document should outline the dates on which classes will be missed. Students with documented extenuating circumstances should be allowed to make up missed examinations. Instructors have discretion to determine what coursework, beyond examinations, is available for make-up credit. Instructors who feel the required time away from class may be too much to allow a student to do well should consult with the student to determine whether, through extra effort and tutoring, the student may be able to achieve the learning outcomes of the class. If not, the instructor should recommend that the student withdraw from the course. If at all possible, the recommendation to withdraw from the class should occur before the end of the add/drop period. Students should consult with an academic advisor as soon as they know that a class must be dropped.

First Class Meeting

Students who fail to attend the first class (or laboratory) meeting without prior arrangements with the department concerned may lose their space in class to other students. Students should not assume that they will be officially dropped from the class; it is always the responsibility of the student to drop courses not attended. Otherwise, the student is liable for a grade of F in the course and for payment of appropriate fees.

Minimum Class Size

An undergraduate course will not normally be given for fewer than fifteen students at the lower division and twelve at the upper division except by permission of the chancellor. The university reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or combine classes when necessary.

2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog, Academic Policies and Procedures


The Office of the University Registrar

209 Student Services Building - Knoxville, TN 37996-0200
Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, except holidays.


Telephone calls for the Office of the University Registrar are answered by One Stop Student Services (865-974-1111) located at Hodges Library Ground Floor, 1015 Volunteer Boulevard. To contact University Registrar staff please refer to Staff Listing.




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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System

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