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Student Handbook

Request for Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Observances

Washington State University reasonably accommodates absences allowing for students to take holidays for reasons of faith or conscience or organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.  Reasonable accommodation requires the student to coordinate with the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Student Affairs on scheduling examinations or other activities necessary for course completion by submitting a request for religious accommodations using this form.  If students have questions, they should contact the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs via email at or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

Approved accommodations from absences will not adversely impact student grades.  Absence for classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who feel they have been treated unfairly in terms of this accommodation may refer to Academic Regulation 104 – Academic Complaint Procedures.


Students submit a request for an absence related to a religious observance or a request for a  religious accommodation using this form. Students requesting accommodation must submit a request within the first two weeks of the beginning of the course and include specific dates for absences.

After receipt of the request, the process that begins immediately is:

  1. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs determines if a religious accommodation is needed using the following principles:
    1. Determine if other options are available to meet the needs of a student’s religious beliefs or practices without disrupting a student’s curricular schedule
    2. Ensure equity and fairness in identifying if reasonable accommodations are needed
  2. If reasonable accommodations are warranted, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will consult the appropriate individuals to explore reasonable efforts to accommodate the student’s request. This may include:
    1. Course Directors and Component Directors
    2. Senior Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
    3. Associate Dean for Curriculum
    4. Associate Dean for Accreditation, Assessment, and Evaluation
    5. Associate Deans for Clinical Education at Everett, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver
  3. For MS1/MS2 approved requests, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will email the student, course director(s) and the offices of Curriculum and Assessment.
  4. For MS3/MS4 approved requests, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will email the student, the students ADCE and Clerkship Coordinator, the LIC or Year 4 Director, and the Offices of Curriculum and Assessment.
  5. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will document and track all decisions related to accommodations for religious beliefs and practices.

Students may appeal the decision to not provide a reasonable accommodations for religious beliefs or practice by following this process:

  1. Within 10 business days of the decision to not provide an accommodation, the student will need to submit, in writing, the intent to appeal the decision to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
  2. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs will assemble an ad hoc panel of faculty to review the appeal to:
    1. Take no action, allowing the initial decision to stand
    2. Modify the decision
    3. Make an alternate decision
  3. The student may make a final appeal to the Dean. The Dean’s decision is final.