Didactic Phase Attendance Policy

Physician Assistant Studies

Didactic Phase Attendance Policy


Statement of Expectations

Students are required to attend all scheduled classes. These expectations are outlined in the syllabus for every course and the Canvas learning management system. An unexcused absence from class or repeated tardiness is considered unprofessional conduct. Consequences for unprofessional conduct may affect a course grade and/or result in student referral to the Student Progress Committee (SPC), remediation, course failure, delay of program completion, or other disciplinary action up to and including program dismissal. In all situations, students are responsible for the material presented during the time of absence. Approval for each leave request will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Types of Absence Requests

1. Emergency/Unexpected Absence

Didactic phase students must notify the program as soon as possible and, when able, no longer than 24 hours following an unexpected absence. Within 48 hours following a return from an unexpected absence, the student must complete the Excused Absence Request Form, which can be found on EXXAT. Absences greater than three (3) days due to illness or injury will require a statement from the student's healthcare provider. This statement must be delivered to the Course Director within 48 hours of returning to class. Failure to notify the program promptly may result in the absence being deemed "unexcused" and may result in disciplinary action.

2. Expected/Planned Absence

The program policy requires students to attend all scheduled classes. However, the program understands that there may be exceptional circumstances for which class or scheduled activity may be excused. Requests for vacations, weddings, or non-program-related travel are generally not approved.

  • Less than or equal to a 1-day Leave Request: Students must obtain written permission from the Program by submitting the Excused Absence Request Form to the Course Director.
  • Greater than 1-day Leave Request: Students must submit a Leave Request Form to the Course Director 30 days in advance of the intended absence or as soon as the intended leave is known to the student. Approval notification will be returned to the student within three (3) working days.
  • Student absence greater than five (5) consecutive days in one semester will require the student to meet with the SPC to address progression in the program.
  • Students who exceed a total of five (5) days of absence in one semester will be required to meet with the SPC. If it is determined that the absences violate the Professional Standards of Conduct Policy, this may be reflected in the student's course professionalism grade. This policy can be found here: https://med.unr.edu/physicianassistant/about/policies/professional-standards-of-conduct-policy.

3. Religious Observation and Practice

UNR Med PA Studies Program follows the Nevada State System of Higher Education (NSHE) policy on religious observation and practice. This policy can be found here: https://www.unr.edu/administrative-manual/3000-3999-students/3020-class-absence-policy. Students must submit this request 30 days ahead of the requested time off.


Absence and Leave Approval Process The student must complete the appropriate form.

  1. The student must submit the form to the Course Director(s) in the timeframe outlined under "Types of Absence Requests."
  2. The Course Director, Director of Curriculum, or Program Director will notify the student as soon as possible (but within three [3] working days) of the decision regarding the approval of the absence request and/or will provide the student with further information regarding next steps to discuss the request for absence.
  3. The absence form and the approval or denial decision will be placed in the student's file.
  4. Any denial of leave decisions may be submitted to the SPC for reconsideration.

Reviewed. 5/23/23