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.

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

August 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Tisha B'Av Jewish August 6 to 7, 2022
Assumption of Mary Catholic, Orthodox Christian August 15, 2022
Janmashtami Hindu August 29, 2022
September 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Rosh Hashanah Jewish September 25 to 27, 2022
Navaratri Hindu September 26, 2022
October 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Yom Kippur Jewish October 4 to 5, 2022
Mawlid al-Nabi Islam October 7, 2022
Sukkot Jewish October 9 to 16, 2022
Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah Jewish October 16 to 18, 2022
Diwali Hindu / Sikh October 24, 2022
November 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
All Saints Day Christian November 1, 2022
All Souls Day Christian, Roman Catholic November 2, 2022
December 2022
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Feast of the Immaculate Conception Christian December 8, 2022
Hanukkah Jewish December 18 to 26, 2022
Christmas Christian December 25, 2022
January 2023
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
The Solemnity of Mary Catholic January 1, 2023
Feast of the Epiphany Christian January 6, 2023
Lunar New Year Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist January 22, 2023
Vasant Panchami Hindu January 25, 2023
Mahayana New Year Buddhist January 30, 2023
February 2023
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Maghi Sikh February 5, 2023
Tu BiShvat Jewish February 6, 2023
Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple Orthodox Christian February 15, 2023
Nirvana Day Buddhist, Hindu February 15, 2023
Laylat al-Mi'raj Islam February 17, 2023
Maha Shivaratri Hindu February 18, 2023
Ash Wednesday Catholic, Protestant February 22, 2023
Great Lent Orthodox Christian February 28 to May 25, 2023
March 2023
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Great Lent Orthodox Christian February 28 to May 25, 2023
Sunday of Orthodoxy Orthodox Christian March 5, 2023
Magha Puja Buddhist March 6, 2023
Purim Jewish March 6 to 7, 2023
Lailat al-Mi'raj Islam March 7, 2023
Holi Hindu March 7, 2023
Hola Mohalla Sikh March 8, 2023
Lailat al-Bara'ah Islam March 8, 2023
Ramadan Islam March 22 to April 21, 2023
Feast of the Annunciation Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic March 25, 2023
April 2023
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Great Lent Orthodox Christian February 28 to May 25, 2023
Ramadan Islam March 22 to April 21, 2023
Palm Sunday Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 2, 2023
Ramayana Hindu April 2 to 10, 2023
Passover / Pesach Jewish April 5 to 13, 2023
Maundy Thursday (Protestant), Holy Thursday (Catholic) Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 6, 2023
Hanuman Jayanti Hindu April 6, 2023
Great & Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian), Good Friday (Protestant, Catholic) Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 7, 2023
Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 8, 2023
Vaisakha Puja Day / Buddha Day Buddhist April 8, 2023
Pascha (Orthodox Christian), Easter Sunday (Protestant, Catholic) Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic April 9, 2023
Rama Navami Hindu April 10, 2023
Lazarus Saturday Orthodox Christian April 15, 2023
Palm Sunday Orthodox Christian April 16, 2023
Yom HaShoah Jewish April 18, 2023
Eid al-Fitr Islam April 21, 2023
May 2023
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Great Lent Orthodox Christian February 28 to May 25, 2023
Ascension Thursday Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic May 18, 2023
Ascension Thursday Orthodox Christian May 25, 2023
Shavuot Jewish May 25 to 27, 2023
Pentecost Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic May 28, 2023
June 2023
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Corpus Christi Christian June 8, 2023
Corpus Christi Orthodox Christian June 12, 2023
Eid al-Adha Islam June 28, 2023
July 2023
Holiday/Observance Faith(s) Date(s)
Asalha Puja Day Buddhist July 3, 2023
Tisha B'Av Jewish July 27, 2023