Attendance Requirement

1. Required Class Attendance

Regular and punctual class attendance is required of all students in all courses, including in any course a student is auditing. This requirement applies to all semesters and all sessions offered by the Charleston School of Law. Faculty members are required to take attendance in all courses. Attendance sign-in sheets shall be used, and students have the responsibility for ensuring that they sign the sheet.

2. General Rule

Students are required to attend at least eighty-five (85) percent of the classes for each course.  Therefore, no student may miss more than 15 percent (rounded to the nearest whole number) of the class meetings in any course or seminar.

a.     Examples

    i.     During a fall or spring semester, for example, for a course that meets twice per week, a student may miss no more than four class periods; for a course that meets once a week, a student may miss no more than two class periods.

ii.     For one-credit hour courses, students may not miss any class meetings.

iii.     During Maymester or summer session, students must pay careful attention to the attendance policy as it is set forth in each course syllabus.

b.    Tardiness or Leaving Class Early

A student who is tardy or who exits class early may, at the discretion of the professor, be marked as absent.

c.     Absences Accrued before Adding a Course

Absences from class before adding the course during the drop/add period are counted toward the number of absences from the class.

3. Instructor’s Rule

An instructor may establish more restrictive class attendance policies than set forth in the General Rule, if the students are notified in writing (for example, in the course syllabus) during the first week of classes. A student who is present but unprepared for class may be marked as absent if the instructor adopts this policy in writing during the first week of the semester. The student found to be absent because the student is unprepared shall be so advised by the instructor during or immediately after the class in question.

4. Notice

Students must keep track of their absences. The Law School is under no obligation to keep track of students’ absences or to warn students when their absences reach a certain point.

5. Sanctions for Excessive Absences

Any student who misses more classes than allowed by the above formula or an instructor’s particular policies shall not be permitted to take the final examination or submit additional work. A grade of “WA” [withdrawn for absences] shall be given if the student has a passing grade. If a student has a failing grade at the time the student is withdrawn, a grade of “WF” shall be given. In the case of extraordinary circumstances, a student shall be allowed to withdraw and receive a grade of “W.”

6. Extraordinary Circumstances

In extraordinary circumstances, a student who receives a sanction for excessive absences may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for relief. Upon proof of extraordinary circumstances, such as serious personal injury or illness; serious illness, injury, or death of a member of the student’s immediate family; or other exceptional circumstance beyond the student’s control which prevented the student from meeting attendance requirements, the Associate Dean may grant whatever relief he or she deems appropriate under the circumstances.

Updated: August 2018.