Absence Letters from the Dean of Students


students in leaves

Sometimes, life can get in the way of your academics.

If you're dealing with an issue that will prevent you from attending class or affect your academic success, your first step should be to reach out to your professors, explain the situation, and make a plan to stay on top of your work.


There are three main resources for you to be aware of when you need some flexibility in your courses:

Faculty teaching a class

Your faculty

Your typical first contact when you need some flexibility for day-to-day issues. If you need some flexibility on an assignment, assessment, and/or are missing class for a day or two, speak with your faculty to make a plan to stay on top of the work.

Students entering the recreation center

Dean of Students

Contact the Dean of Students when you're managing a temporary, extenuating circumstance that will get in the way of your academics for an extended period. A Dean's letter doesn't require anything specific from your faculty, but lets them know you're going through something. Dean's Letters will not be issued in situations where students are missing only one or two days of class.

students walking on-campus

Student Accessibility Services

Contact SAS when you need formal, long-term accommodations for an ongoing medical condition. If you are unsure if you qualify for accommodations, please reach out to SAS for more information.

Dean's Letters

If you're dealing with an unexpected, extenuating circumstance that will keep you out of class or affect your class performance for more than a day or two, you can email the Dean of Students to request that a Dean's Letter be sent to your faculty. In the email, include a brief description of the situation and provide some documentation (e.g., medical documentation). The Dean's Letter explains that you are experiencing compelling, non-academic circumstances beyond your control which might affect your academics. We ask that you reach out to your faculty to discuss how to stay on top of the work that you will need to miss.

When the letter is sent to your faculty, you will also receive a copy in your UNH email. An example of the letter can be found here.

Please note that students may miss class or have an issue in class for a variety of reasons, and a notice does not need to be sent every time you need to miss one or two classes. Faculty have discretion to work with students who are managing personal issues. If you miss a day of class or are managing a situation that will affect your performance for that day, contact your faculty directly and let them know. 


If you have a condition that could impact your UNH experience in an ongoing way, you can also connect with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). SAS assists students with disabilities with the accommodation process (Register with SASSubmit DocumentationMeet with SAS). Accommodations often include classroom, exam, housing, and/or parking accommodations. If you are unsure if you qualify for accommodations, please reach out to SAS for more information.