Religious Excused Absences

Temporary / Emergency Policy

Note: This policy was adopted on under the temporary / emergency policymaking provisions of the University's Policy on Policies. It will revert on August 22, 2024.

Information about this policy change, and any proposals for further policymaking, can be accessed at the University Policy website. Students and employees may submit comments on those proposals through the Proposed Policy Change Comment Form, which is accessible through the site.

3380.1 Policy Statement

It is the policy of Wright State University to welcome individuals from all different faiths, philosophies, religious traditions, and other systems of belief. In order to facilitate their free exercise and free observance of sincerely-held religious beliefs, practices, and events, exemptions from University policies may be requested and will be processed in accordance with this policy.

3380.2 Student Absences

  1. Upon advance request, each student will be excused from class for up to three (3) days per academic semester in order to attend or participate in religious activities.
  2. To request excusal under this policy, the student must notify their faculty, in writing and during the first fourteen (14) days of the semester, of the date(s) of each absence. The request must state that the proposed absence is for the student to participate in religious activities. The request need not provide, and faculty shall not require students to disclose, additional details about the nature of the student’s religious beliefs or their activities on the date of the proposed absence.
    1. For purposes of this policy, faculty must accept without question the sincerity of a student’s stated religious beliefs.
    2. Faculty have discretion to approve or deny a student’s request for additional days of religious excusal. Such requests must be processed impartially and without regard to the student’s particular religious beliefs.
  3. If an absence excused under this policy will cause a student to miss an examination, the faculty member will schedule a make-up examination on a date and time that is reasonably acceptable to the student and the faculty member, either before or after the date of the excused absence. The make-up examination need not be identical to that administered to the rest of the class, but shall not be substantially longer or more difficult.
  4. If an absence excused under this policy will severely affect the student’s ability to meet any academic requirement, the student may request additional accommodations from the faculty member. The request must (1) be in writing, (2) state that it is a request for religious accommodations, and (3) identify the particular accommodations the student desires.
    1. Faculty will notify the student promptly and in writing if a request is approved.
    2. Faculty may approve a request “with modification” if the student consents.
    3. Before denying a request, the faculty member shall first permit the Office of Disability Services to mediate in an effort to identify mutually acceptable alternatives, and then if that effort is not successful, consult with the Office of General Counsel.
  5. Records and information regarding student religious absences and accommodations shall be kept confidential and not disclosed except (1) with the student’s written consent or (2) to University employees, contractors, and vendors with a bona fide need to know the information.
  6. As used in this policy, the term “religious” includes traditional tenets of established faiths, and also deeply held personal moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong, which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. For purposes of administering this policy, the University shall accept without question the sincerity of a stated belief.
  7. It is the student’s responsibility to submit any request for religious excusal or accommodation sufficiently in advance of their need to allow a reasonable opportunity for processing. The University will process such requests promptly.

3380.3 Further Information

Further information about this policy is available from the General Counsel (Website: Office of General Counsel), (937) 775-2719, 360 University Hall, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435.

3380.4 Required Postings

The General Counsel shall cause this policy, and a non-exhaustive list of major religious holidays for the next two academic years, to be posted prominently on the University’s website. The list may not be used to deny accommodation to any student for a religious holiday or festival that does not appear therein.


Section 3345.024(C) of the Ohio Revised Code requires the University to post prominently on its website a list of major religious holidays or festivals for the next two academic years. Each school may adopt its own list, or a list prepared by the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Wright State University has chosen to adopt the Chancellor's list, which is available at the following link:

ODHE Non-Exhaustive List of Major Religious Holidays / Holy Days (2024)

The list is non-exhaustive, and may not be used to deny accommodation to a student for a holiday or festival of the student's faith, religious, or spiritual belief system that does not appear on the list.