Massachusetts law provides as follows:

Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on a particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151C: Section 2B).


Regular attendance at course meetings and related events is expected of all students. Furthermore, students are expected to remain in the immediate vicinity of Cambridge during the Examination Periods, Reading Periods, and term time with the exception of scheduled vacations and holidays. Students may not be absent from the area for extended periods of time during the term without the permission of their Allston Burr Resident Dean or the Dean of Freshmen.

A student on probation is required to attend all academic exercises. Unexcused absence by a student on probation renders him or her liable to requirement to withdraw from the College at any time.

By vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences instructors are required to hold their regular classes on the days preceding and following holidays and vacations. They are not permitted to allow temporary transfer of students from section to section or to excuse students at these times.

Restricted Attendance

With the exception of classes held prior to the filing of study cards, when any registered student may attend a class, only students enrolled in a course and auditors who have been given specific permission by the instructor ordinarily may attend course meetings. From time to time, instructors may permit other guests, such as colleagues, parents, alumnae/i, or prospective students, to attend individual class meetings; however, instructors are always free to restrict attendance at a class meeting or meetings to regularly enrolled students and authorized auditors.