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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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: https://catalog.gatech.edu/rules/21/.
- 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.).