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.
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.
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 Brightspace, 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.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Students, faculty and staff participate in other religious holidays and observances that are not listed here.