Some information on accommodating religious observances
August 23, 2021 2:02 PM

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is committed to upholding Illinois law requiring the University to reasonably accommodate its students’ religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work requirements. Whenever possible, it is best practice to plan exams, required labs, and other due dates around religious holidays. The Religious Observances Calendar is an excellent resource to bookmark for reference to find listings of the primary sacred times for many world religions by year.

When planning around such dates is impossible, instructors need to provide accommodations for students who have a religious observance as outlined in the Student Code, Article 1, Part 5 – Class Attendance and Article 1, Section 1-107 on Religious Beliefs, Observances, and Practices. Notable for unit executive officers, Section 1-107 b. allows appeals to the dean of the academic unit offering the course when a religious accommodation is not granted or a student believes that the accommodation is unreasonable. Accordingly, units should be prepared to have a process for the dean to hear such appeals or to have a committee, such as a capricious grading committee or the executive committee, that will hear appeals and act on behalf of the dean. Appeals should be rare, as instructors are expected to offer reasonable accommodations as required under Illinois law.

Information for faculty on accommodating religious observances contains helpful tips for application and best practices. Instructors who have questions may contact Stephen Bryan, Dean of Students, at 217-333-0050 or via email at

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.


Sean C. Garrick
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Andreas C. Cangellaris
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost

Danita M. Brown Young
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

This mailing approved by:
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Academic Professionals, Faculty, Graduate Students & Incoming Graduate Students
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