Absence due to Religious Observance

UAlbany’s Academic Calendar Structure 

UAlbany’s Academic Calendar exists to best serve the academic interests of the University and its students, ensuring our students have as much instructional contact with our faculty as possible.  

It is also essential for financial aid disbursement, among other things, that each course meets the minimum instructional contact requirements outlined in federal, state and SUNY guidelines.  

UAlbany's 15-week semesters pose enormous time constraints, which is why classes are not suspended on religious holidays that are not government holidays (such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover and Easter Monday). 

In the past, suspending classes on religious holidays that weren’t government holidays made it increasingly challenging to create a calendar in which courses met instructional contact requirements; that allowed for a full, 20-day winter session; and that allowed sufficient time for grades, degrees, financial aid and other items to be properly processed before the spring semester. 

Instead of suspending classes on these days, UAlbany has instituted a Fall Recess. This recess is predictable and, when combined with the Thanksgiving Recess, does not disproportionally impact a single day of the week. Fall Recess also provides students with a wellness break. 

As structured, the current Academic Calendar ensures that classes have an equal 14 weeks of instruction, plus a week of final exams, and allow for the possibility of an unexpected cancellation while still staying within state, federal, and SUNY guidelines. 

It also allows consistent, multi-year planning — which means students, families, faculty and staff are notified of major dates, such as Commencement, years in advance. 

Religious Accommodations for Students

Every student has the right to pursue their education while practicing their faith. 

New York State law requires campuses to excuse, without penalty, individual students’ absences due to religious beliefs and to provide equivalent opportunities for makeup exams, study or work requirements missed due to such absences. 

To request a reasonable religious accommodation, contact your course instructor(s) directly and with sufficient time for them to make the accommodation. Instructors should work directly with students to accommodate religious observances.  

Whenever possible, instructors should not schedule exams, presentations or major due dates on major religious holidays. When scheduling conflicts are unavoidable, instructors must give students the opportunity for an equivalent makeup. Makeup exams must be comparable to the scheduled exam. 

If a class is held on a major religious holiday, instructors should post their lecture notes and other class materials on Blackboard. Contact ITLAL or ITS for assistance. 

Students who encounter issues when requesting a reasonable religious accommodation should contact either the Office of Undergraduate Education or the Graduate School

Religious Accommodations for Instructors

Instructors are responsible for meeting with their classes regularly and at scheduled times, according to the Academic Calendar. In the event of illness or an emergency, you must notify your department, school or college so suitable action can be taken. 

Professional and classified staff are required to charge accruals for absences due to religious observance. 

If you’ll be absent during a regular workday for religious observance or for professional reasons (such as attending a conference) while classes are in session, you must inform your department chair or dean in advance.  

Classes cannot be canceled if you will be absent due to religious observation or professional reasons. 

Instead, you must find a replacement instructor or present an alternative instructional plan (such as providing timed assignments in Blackboard, having a colleague monitor a guest speaker, providing a take-home exam or assignment, etc.) 

Alternative instructional plans must be approved in advance by your department chair or dean.  

Major Religious Holidays

The following are upcoming major religious observances practiced by our students, faculty and staff.

April 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Great Lent Orthodox Christian March 7 to April 23, 2022
Hindi New Year Hindu April 1, 2022
Ramadan Islamic April 2 to May 1, 2022
Rama Navami Hindu April 10, 2022
Palm Sunday Christian, Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 10, 2022
Maundy Thursday (Protestant), Holy Thursday (Roman Catholic) Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 14, 2022
Passover/Pesach Jewish April 15 to 23, 2022
Good Friday Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 15, 2022
Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 16, 2022
Theravada New Year Buddhist April 16, 2022
Hanuman Jayanti Hindu April 16, 2022
Easter Sunday Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 17, 2022
Palm Sunday Orthodox Christian April 17, 2022
Great and Holy Thursday Orthodox Christian April 21, 2022
Great and Holy Friday Orthodox Christian April 22, 2022
Pascha/Orthodox Easter Orthodox Christian April 24, 2022
Yom HaShoah Jewish April 27 to 28, 2022
May 2022
Holiday/Observation Faith(s) Date(s)
Ramadan Islamic April 2 to May 1, 2022
Eid al-Fitr Islamic May 2, 2022
Vaisakha Puja Day/Buddha Day Buddhist May 8, 2022
Ascension Thursday Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic May 26, 2022
June 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Ascension Thursday Orthodox Christian June 2, 2022
Shavuot Jewish June 4 to 6, 2022
Pentecost Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic June 5, 2022
Corpus Christi Orthodox Christian June 12, 2022
Corpus Christis Christian June 16, 2022
July 2022
Holiday/Observation Faith(s) Date(s)
Eid al-Adha Islamic July 9 to 10, 2022
Asalha Puja Day Buddhist July 13, 2022
August 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Tisha B'Av Jewish August 5 to 6, 2022