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All syllabi should include the University’s mask use policy. If one of your students arrives to the classroom not wearing a mask (or declines to wear a mask), please use this script to address the situation. It includes how to address the student, the rest of the class, and post-class action steps.

Vaccinated faculty may elect to remove masks while teaching, but must maintain at least 3-6 feet of social distance, according to Carolina’s Community Standards.

Excused Absences

In any given semester you, as a faculty member, accommodate excused absences due to conditions that are beyond the students’ control:

  • Illness
  • Accidents
  • Major emergencies
  • Religion
  • University Excused Absences

You are strongly encouraged to resolve requests for an excused absence with the student directly without involvement of the University Approved Absence Office. The Class Attendance Policy remains in effect.

Your students have been instructed not to show up for class if they are showing potential COVID symptoms. Only students that have tested positive or who have received orders to isolate or quarantine will be issued University Approved Absences. Accommodations/adjustments for symptoms only should be arranged between the instructor and the student.


Your students may let you know if they need an accommodation directly, or they may inform the Dean of Students first; please show compassion and flexibility. If they have COVID-related concerns not related to class attendance, students can reach out to the COVID Student Care Hub or they can email the Dean of Students office (DOS). Please let them know that the DOS office is an excellent resource for them. Questions or concerns regarding accommodation requests due to disability can should be directed to the Accessibility Resources and Service office.

In most cases faculty members can work with students to make accommodations for excused absences. There are several different options that may reduce the need for individual accommodations including:

  • Record your classes and make them available for review later
  • Provide flexibility with an assignment due date
  • Send weekly emails to all students on your class roster summarizing upcoming due dates and more
  • Use online exams that allow flexibility with start and stop times
  • Hold Zoom office hours and review sessions in addition to in-person office hours
  • Encourage students to seek notes from classmates
  • Post PowerPoint slide decks and lecture notes to Sakai, preferably prior to the relevant class session
  • Use the Undergraduate Testing Center to test during an alternate time

However, there may be some situations — such as sustained absence during a semester or too many individual session absences — that may make it impossible for you to accommodate one of your students to receive credit for a course. In those cases, your students should contact their academic advisor about ways to withdraw from the course and/or repeat it at another time, as well as with the Dean of Students, to let them know about their situation.

You may not be able to accommodate a student’s absence request due to significant repeated absence:

  1. Students cannot adequately engage in the instructional minutes required by the federal definition of a credit hour;
  2. Students cannot achieve the course’s stated student learning outcomes; or
  3. Course instructional activities involve a pedagogical component that cannot be replicated or accommodated without class attendance (e.g., semester-long project, substantial collaborative work, work requiring in-person involvement).

Final Exams

Please review the fall 2021 final examination schedule as you are putting together your class schedule. A few reminders:

  • No examination (except for laboratory sections) may be held at a time other than that specified in the general schedule except with the advance approval of the provost.
  • No graded quizzes or exams (excluding in-class presentations) may be given during the last five days of the semester before the beginning of the final examination period.
  • The University requires instructors to provide a full three hours of instruction for final assessment purposes.

Office Hours

While there are times when remote meetings are appropriate, in the College we are asking faculty to allow a combination of both in-person and remote options.

In-Person Instruction

For undergraduate students, nearly all instruction will be in-person in Fall 2021. If a challenge to your in-person instruction emerges over the semester, please contact your senior associate dean for ideas about moving forward.


It is important to keep your grading records up-to-date and share the information with students, so they know how they are doing in your class at any given point. Note that Thursday, October 14, 2021, is the last day for undergraduate students to drop courses in ConnectCarolina (with a withdrawal grade notation) and declare a class pass/fail. More information about the Pass/Fail Option policy is available in the Catalog.

Classroom Emergency Resources

In the event of an on-campus emergency, the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Dean of Students office, and Campus Safety and Risk Management have put together both a general safety guide for instructors and a Classroom Emergency Preparedness script that we encourage you to download and review.

Classroom Guidance for Fall 2021- For Students


As part of the COVID-19 Community Standards, everyone is required to wear masks indoors while on campus. All instructors have been asked to include the University’s mask use policy in their course syllabi.

Excused Absences

We encourage you to review the list of excused absences, available in the University Catalog under the Class Attendance Policy subsection.

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