Student Absences

Excused Absences
Student attendance is required for all course activities, examinations, and clinical courses. An excused absence is granted by the Deans for Student Affairs in the instances of illness, death of a member of the student's immediate family, religious observance, or an authorized College related trip. The Deans for Student Affairs must be contacted prior to the examination to obtain an excused absence. Students seeking an excused absence must also inform their course or clerkship coordinator of their planned absence. An Absence Request must be submitted to the Deans for Student Affairs using the Medical Student Excused Absence Submission Application

Any student who misses an exam/quiz due to illness must be seen and examined by a physician on the day he/she is absent. The student must give a copy of the physician’s note/excuse to the Deans for Student Affairs the next day that he/she is able to return to school.

Failure to follow this procedure may result in the student receiving a grade of zero for that exam/quiz.

Leaves of Absence/Reduced Curriculum

The request for a leave of absence or a reduced curriculum must be submitted in writing to the Deans for Student Affairs. In the case of a leave of absence, return from such a leave must be approved by the SPPC, may necessitate an amended academic curriculum, and is subject to the availability of space in required courses. The following categories of leave may be sanctioned by the SPPC and approved by the Dean:

  • Academic Leave of Absence is available to students who wish to undertake specialized academic pursuits in a defined field of study. Students must be in good academic standing. Approval will not be given for intervals in excess of one year without reapplication.

  • Personal Leave of Absence is initiated at the student's request. Students must be in good academic standing. Leaves in this category may range from a number of weeks to a maximum of one year.

  • Medical Leave of Absence. Illness can seriously disrupt or impede students' progress through the course of study. A student anticipating an absence of 10 days or more must secure a medical leave of absence. Applications for this type of leave may be requested through the  Office of Student Affairs and must be accompanied by a letter from the student's attending physician.
    • Processing and approval of a medical leave by the SPPC may require a review of the student's pertinent medical records by a specially appointed committee of physicians with relevant medical expertise. The length of the medical leave of absence will be determined by the SPPC in consultation with the student, the attending physician, and the ad hoc committee of physicians. Request for reentry must be accompanied by a statement from the student's attending physician that addresses the student's ability (mental and physical) to carry a full academic load. At this juncture, the SPPC may again require review of the student's medical records, a medical assessment by a physician with relevant clinical expertise at the student's expense, or both.
    • Absences resulting from acute illness do not require a medical leave of absence. However, for absences that encompass a major performance examination, a course with required attendance, or more than five days of a clinical clerkship, the student is responsible for notifying the  Office of Student Affairs as soon as possible.

  • Administrative Leave of Absence is initiated by the administration. Students are required to remain outside the curriculum to accomplish a specified task.

Bad Weather Policy
Typically, the College of Medicine and the University of Kentucky Hospital do not close during inclement weather. The University of Kentucky, on rare occasions, will invoke emergency closing procedures. When this occurs, all classes will be canceled or delayed. Makeup of course time and/or exams will be determined by the Director of the course in conjunction with the Student Affairs Office.


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