Attendance Policy

Class attendance, preparation, and participation are integral to a student's academic success.  Active attendance is determined by a student's continued participation and attendance in registered courses.  Students are urged to attend every class session and to spend an appropriate amount of time outside of class preparing for each class session.  Students who do not attend a course by the end of the add/drop period will be withdrawn from the class.  Students who are absent more than 14 consecutive calendar days, excluding holidays and scheduled breaks, and without an approved Leave of Absence, will be withdrawn from the University.1  A student's last day of attendance will be the last recorded day the student attended an on-ground class or for those students taking an online class, the last day the student participated in an academically related activity, as defined under the Online/Distance Education Student Attendance Guidelines.  Absences in excess of the limits stated below will result in a grade of "WF".  

Course Type:

Maximum Percent of Absences

General Education



Theory 20%

Clinical 0%  (Effective 10/30/17)*

Dental Hygiene



Theory Courses: 20%

Clinical: 0%*

Occupational Therapy

Didactic and Lab Courses 20%

Clinical Courses:  0%*

Physical Therapy


Health Administration


*Students are required to make-up any missed clinical hours. 

1Pharmacy students scheduled for an approved APPE term who will not be actively engaged for up to 45 days will be considered enrolled if they submit a signed "Intent to Return" form to the Financial Aid Office prior to their last date of attendance in the previous semester.  

Students should note that in addition to the requirements above, programs and courses may mandate additional attendance requirements.  Please review the program handbook or course syllabus for more information. 

Online/Blended/Distance Education Courses
Online students are subject to the same attendance policy and procedures as traditional on-ground students.  However, in an online modality, participation and attendance must be defined in a different manner.  Each student participating in an online distance education course is expected to actively participate in the course through Academically Related Activities ("ARA"), all of which contribute to the students' overall academic goals.  On-ground students taking a blended modality course are subject to both the on-ground and online attendance policies.  

A "class week" for online courses starts on a Monday and ends on the following Sunday at 11:59 PM PST.  A "class week" for blended courses corresponds to the week between the on-campus meeting times.  For example, if the on-campus portion meets on Tuesdays, the related online portion begins that same Tuesday and ends the following Monday at 11:59 PM PST.  

ARAs are used to determine a student's official last date of attendance and corresponding enrollment status at the University.  ARAs are also used to determine the effective date of active and withdrawn enrollment statuses.  The following activities that occur after the course start date and on or before the course end date will be considered Academically Related Activities:  

  1. Submission of a gradable assignment, such as a paper, test, exam or quiz.
  2. Participation in a gradable online discussion, as directed by an instructor, with classmates, in a way that is substantively and academically related to the enrolled course.  
  3. Participation in a gradable online discussion with an instructor (as defined by the University's Guidelines for Substantive Interaction Policy) in a way that is substantively and academically related to the enrolled course.  
The purpose of substantive interaction in an online discussion forum or thread is to promote comprehension of the academic topic through a collaborative, collective and interactive conversation.  Substantive interaction involves a sustained, interactive communication.  A substantive post adds to the discussion and encourages a response from fellow students.  A student's discussion post may include a well thought out opinion that applies ideas relevant to the course content.  It may compare and contrast the posts of others, perceptions of each student experience of facts may also vary based on the student's perception.  In some cases, the values of an outcome may be explored that further expands on the discussion thread.  By substantively interacting, it opens up the lines of communication with fellow classmates and instructors to help foster and promote a deeper academic understanding of the topics discussed in the course, which will contribute to student academic achievement.  Some examples of substantive posts that will be considered an ARA:  

  • Making associations between coursework readings and the interactive discussion.  
  • Apply lessons from your work, clinical rotations, and/or life to the interactive discussion.  
  • Ask additional questions of your classmates.
  • Explain why you agree or disagree, offering specific examples to support your beliefs.  
  • Craft comprehensive academic thoughts on the academic topic that are at least 25 words.  
Some examples of non-substantive posts that will not be considered an ARA: 

  • Discuss topics unrelated to the academic coursework (i.e., the plot line of your favorite television show).
  • Mocking or insulting classmates for their opinions.
  • Asking questions of the instructor that are not academically substantiv in nature or related to the specific course (i.e., "will this test be hard?"). 
  • Offering a two word response like "I disagree," without further explanation.  
  • Merely logging into an online course without active participation (as described above) does not constitute attendance.
  • Work submitted outside the Learning Management System does not count toward attendance.  
A student is considered to be in continuous attendance as long as no more than fourteen (14) calendar days exist between ARAs.2

2Pharmacy students scheduled for an approved APPE term will not be actively engaged for up to 45 days will be considered enrolled if they submit a signed "Intent to Return" form to the Financial Aid Office prior to  their last date of attendance in the previous semester.  

Establishing Participation and Substantive Interaction for Academic Attendance During and After the Add/Drop Period for Online/Distance Education Courses

During the add/drop period, students are required to establish class participation by logging into each course before the end of the add/drop period and submit a required assignment/test/quiz/paper.  Students who log into the course(s) within the add/drop period of the term start date but fail to participate academically will be adminstratively withdrawn from the course(s).  

After the add/drop period, students' participation and substantive interaction for academic attendance will be tracked using the tools within the learning managment system (LMS).  Throughout the term, students must participate in such a way as to ensure successful completion of the course by the end of the term (i.e., regularly submitting assignments and continuing to substantively interact with other students and the instructor).  Students are expected to abide by the institution's Attendance Policy and Online Student Attendance Requirements.  Students who do not engage in an ARA for a 14 consecutive calendar day period (excluding holidays and scheduled breaks) will be administratively withdrawn for lack of participation/substantive interaction, resulting in a grade of "W" or "WF" recorded on the student's academic transcript.  

Military Duty

Students whose military service requires them to be absent from their scheduled classes will not be penalized.  The student must provide the appropriate program Dean/Chair with written documentation verifying the required military leave and length of time requested.  Students who are absent for more than the maximum allowed absences for the program including time for military service, will need to take a Leave of Absence.

Miami Campus - Veteran's Attendance Policy
Early departures, class cuts, tardies, etc., for any portion of a class period will be counted as unexcused absences.  In addition, each minute missed will be counted toward overall time absent from the course.  

Students exceeding 20% total absences in a calendar month will be terminated from their VA benefits for unsatisfactory attendance.  Additionally, students who exceed the published absence allowances in the University Catalog will be dropped from the course.  

In order to show that the cause of unsatisfactory attendance has been removed, students must show good attendance (as defined) for one calendar month after being terminated for unsatisfactory attendance.  After such time, the student may be recertified for VA education benefits.  

The student's attendance record will be retained in the veteran's file for USDVA and SAA audit purposes.