Institute Approved Absences

Institute Approved Absences (IAA) Web App for Faculty and Staff

This site facilitates the process by which recognized student groups may request excused absences.

There are no formal institutional regulations regarding class attendance. All students are responsible for obtaining an understanding of each instructor's policy regarding absences. Although it is recognized that occasionally it may be necessary for students to be absent from scheduled classes or laboratories for personal reasons, students are responsible for all material covered in their absences, and they are responsible for the academic consequences of their absences. Work missed may be made up if the reasons for absences are acceptable to the instructors. Students who are absent because of participation in approved Institute activities (such as field trips and athletic events) will be permitted to make up the work missed during their absences.

Before you begin the process of requesting Institute Approved Absences, you will need:

  • A list of the participating students' GTID numbers that can be copied into the site.
  • An emergency contact document that provides contact information: the name and phone number of an emergency contact person for each participating student. This document may be in MS Word, MS Excel, PDF, or plain text format.

Institute Approved Absences (IAA) Form for Students

Individual students may make requests for Institute Approved Absences. The following guidelines and deadlines apply. Recognized student groups who need to request excused absences do so through their faculty advisor who enters the information on the Registrar's Office website through the IAA Web App for Faculty and Staff.

IAA Web App for Faculty and Staff

The Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over these requests. The request is made through the Registrar's Office which then submits it to the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee. Students should submit the required request form to It will be routed to the appropriate staff members to prepare it for the Committee. If approved, the letters are issued by the Registrar's Office. The student is notified by email of the decision.

The types of requests may include students missing class to deliver a paper at a conference, students attending a seminar or conference related to their studies, students attending a 
conference related to a leadership group of which they are members and officers, or students attending a meeting or conference as Georgia Tech representatives. These requests are evaluated on their individual merits.

Requests for absences due to religious observances may be made directly to the instructors of classes that will be missed and worked out in an informal manner. Students also have the option to fill out the request form and submit it to the Registrar's Office as indicated above. Students should fill out the request for a religious absence within the first two weeks of the semester. Please note that after the first two weeks of the term, a formal request for an excused absence due to a religious observance may be made via the request form, but it will be considered as an appeal and will be reviewed by the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee. It is important for students to be aware that exercising one's rights under this policy is subject to the Georgia Tech Honor Code.

In general, excused absences will not be approved for the final exam period, but SAFAC may be petitioned to grant exceptions.

General Guidelines Regarding Institute Approved Absences

Information Required

Students are expected to provide the following types of information, along with their GT ID, name, and email address (using the form mentioned above)

  • Name of the event and a description of it
  • Their role in the event (attendee, presenting a paper, etc.)
  • Location of the event
  • Dates and times of the event
  • Dates of requested absences
  • An agenda or program that shows what events occur on what dates
  • Their class schedule for those dates
  • A list of any exams, tests, or presentations they will miss on those dates


Deadline for Submission of Request

The requests are expected to be filed in the Registrar's Office as soon as the student receives the information and wishes to attend the event. At least two weeks (10 business days) in advance of the scheduled event is the time needed for the Committee to review the request and to take the follow-up action. The Committee typically cannot address the request if it does not arrive within this two-week (10 business days) timeframe.

If this deadline is not met, it may not be possible for the request to be processed. In this event, the student should work with the student's professors individually to determine if missed work can be made up. It is up to the instructor of each class to make this decision if an excused absence is not approved.

Further, when the activity involves some kind of competition that may result in the student being selected for the next round, they need to notify the Committee within 24-hours to ask for the excused absence for that event.

  • Generally, Institute Excused Absences will be limited to no more than 10% of the instructional period within a term. An Excused Absence for the Final exam Period requires special approval.
  • Individual students making requests have the option of first working with their instructors for accommodations for missing class time. In such instances the IAA would not be needed.
  • Institute Approved Absences are not intended for personal travel, or time away from class that is based on personal needs or preferences. Students are expected to schedule classes around their personal needs if possible. At Tech, their academic scheduling should be their priority. The Student-Faculty Expectations section of the Catalog addresses job interviews. See:
  • Students should bear in mind in making the decision to request an excused absence that time missed from certain classes may be more difficult to make up than others (labs, studios, group presentations, team projects, etc.).

Request for Excused Absence to Vote

In alignment with section 4.1.3 of the University System of Georgia (USG)’s general Student Affairs policy, students are encouraged to vote in all federal, state, and local elections. Students are encouraged to plan their voting to avoid missing classes. Students are also encouraged to participate in early voting whenever possible or to vote before, in between, or after classes on election day. For students who are registered elsewhere, they are encouraged to request absentee ballots by the appropriate deadlines. However, faculty should not penalize students for missing a class to vote on election day. In this case, a student should inform the course instructor at least 5 business days before election day about the absence for voting in writing. The course instructor is expected treat the absence as an officially excused absence if a student chooses to vote in person on election day.