Class Attendance Policy

DVM Students
Faculty Document
College of Veterinary Medicine Student Handbook

The College of Veterinary Medicine class attendance policy will be in accordance with the University policy.  According to the University attendance policy:

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance policies must be flexible to encourage students to stay home when they are ill. In addition, de-densification of our facilities to limit transmission of the virus will result in many class sessions being delivered online. In-person class sessions should be recorded so that students who are unable to attend can receive the course materials online.
  • Instructors are expected to establish and clearly communicate in the course syllabus attendance policies relevant to individual courses including penalties for lack of attendance. According to university policy, during the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person attendance will not be a factor in final grades. In the professional DVM program, it may not be possible to achieve some learning outcomes without in-person participation. In this case, a grade of Incomplete may be assigned until the learning outcomes can be achieved.
  • The University expects each student to be responsible for class-related work missed as a result of unavoidable absence; this work may be made up at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Only the instructor can excuse a student from a course requirement or responsibility.
  • When conflicts or absences can be anticipated, such as for many University sponsored activities and religious observances, the student should inform the instructor of the situation as far in advance as possible and the instructor should strive to accommodate the student.

The designation of “excused absence” means that the instructor(s) will provide to the student an opportunity by which to address graded activities that occurred during the absence.  Alternative activities may be arranged with the instructor(s) such that the student will not jeopardize his/her academic standing due to the excused absence.  These activities may be the same as, or different from, materials completed by students present in the class.  Unexcused absences will be handled according to the policy stated in the course syllabus.


Years 1-3 of DVM Program 

  1. Students are expected to participate in all scheduled class activities during their veterinary education and are responsible for achieving the learning goals addressed by all materials/learning opportunities presented.
  2. Students who are absent due to illness or quarantine will not be penalized to ensure that they do not come to class when they are ill. The student should work with their instructor to arrange to make up missed work or exams. Students who are ill or quarantined should complete the 1st to 3rd Year Student Absence Form through DVMConnect so that their instructors of record can be notified.
  3. Absences for funerals, court appearances, family emergencies, and religious observances should be excused by the instructor of record. The student should complete an Excused Absence Request Form available in Student Services in advance if possible. At the time of their absence, the student should submit the 1st to 3rd Year Student Absence Form through DVMConnect. Within one week of return to campus, the student should arrange with the instructor(s) of record to make up any missed work.  Absences under these circumstances will not affect the number of days permitted for extracurricular educational activities in #5 below.
  4. Students elected to offices of professional organizations that require attendance at national meetings (e.g., Student American Veterinary Medical Association Purdue President, Student American Veterinary Medical Association delegates, national president of a national student organization) or requested to participate in PVM-sponsored events (e.g., Veterinary Practice Management Program) occurring during class time should request an excused absence from their instructors at the beginning of the semester in which the absence will occur. The student must submit a completed Excused Absence Request Form to the Student Services Office by the end of the second week of the semester or at least one month before the excused absence.  The student is responsible for arranging to make up any missed work with his/her instructors.  Excused absences for these purposes will not affect the number of days permitted for extracurricular educational activities in #5 below.
  5. Valuable extracurricular educational opportunities occur during the academic year, however, students’ first priority should be their courses. Students in the first semester of the DVM program are not allowed excused absences for extracurricular education.  Students in the second through sixth semesters of the DVM program may request excused absences for up to 2.5 instructional days per semester.  Some course experiences cannot be made up, such as some laboratory experiences and some group activities, so excused absences may not be given in these instances.  Students requesting an excused absence to attend an educational experience must meet the following criteria:
    • The student must obtain consent for the absence from each instructor of record whose course(s) will be missed by completing the Excused Absence Request Form available in Student Services.
    • The student must also submit a 1st to 3rd Year Student Absence Form through DVMConnect on the day of the planned absence.
    • The student must not be on probation or have received a failing grade in the previous semester.
    • The student is responsible for all materials/learning opportunities and evaluations missed.
    • If the absence requires rescheduling of an examination, the student must complete the online Examination Reschedule Form through DVMConnect.
  6. Attendance at the Purdue Veterinary Conference is not counted in the 2.5 instructional day limit noted in #5 above. Students may attend the Purdue Veterinary Conference to the extent that they are excused from their classes. 

Year 4 of DVM Program

  1. Students who are ill are expected to stay home and submit a Clinical Rotation Student Absence Form through DVMConnect. The student should also contact the senior clinician for the rotation so that patient care needs can be addressed. Clinical rotation days missed due to illness will be handled on an individual basis. If a few days are missed (e.g., 3 weekdays), the instructor of record may determine that these days do not need to be made up if the student has demonstrated at least minimal competency in the rotation objectives.
  2. The maximum number of instructional days that may be approved as excused absences for a student in a single block are one and one-half days for a 3-week block, and one day for a 2-week block. Total instructional days allowed as excused absences (excluding absences for illness) for a 4th year student will not exceed five.  Absences in excess of these limits must be made up.  Days requested for state board examinations will be counted as excused absences.  Days used to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) are not counted as excused absences (see #6 below).
  3. Requests for preplanned absences (e.g., professional activities, weddings, etc.) must be made at least two weeks prior to the start of the block during which the absence will occur with approval at the discretion of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Requests may be denied.  Students must submit the online Clinical Rotation Student Absence Form to initiate the request.  If, due to an emergency, an absence cannot be pre-arranged, telephone contact with the  senior clinician or the Student Services Office should be made as soon as possible.
  4. Students will not be allowed to leave one rotation in order to make up missed instructional days in another rotation (block change days included). Weekend days for rotations that do not have weekend activities could be used to make up days in a rotation that has weekend activities with approval of both instructors of record. Students may make up days during their vacation block, their practicum vacation, their professional development block or at the end of their fourth year.
  5. Excused absences will not be granted for the day immediately before or immediately after the December-January hospital practicum period.
  6. Absences for all reasons except illness are included under this policy, for example, professionally-related activities such as job interviews and attendance at professional meetings, and personal events such as emergencies, weddings, births, death of family member, etc.
  7. Absence Policy for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE)
    • The NAVLE will be taken at Prometric Testing Center. Scheduling of testing times will be coordinated through Student Services.  Absence from class for NAVLE need not be made up.  An absence form does not need to be completed for the NAVLE.
    • Students will be released at 3:00 p.m. the day prior to taking the NAVLE. Students should be relieved of all case responsibilities at 3:00 p.m. 

Approved by the PVM Curriculum Committee on August 11, 2020.


Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

© 2021 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by PVM Web Communications

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact PVM Web Communications at