Religious Observance Accommodation During Finals

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 12:56 p.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff KU Graduate Teaching Assistants

Dear Faculty, Staff and GTAs,

Finals week this year coincides with the conclusion of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Some scheduled exams may conflict with iftar, the fast break in the evening, as well as Eid al-Fitr, which begins at sundown Wednesday, May 12, and ends at sundown Thursday, May 13. The KU Muslim Student Association and alumni have pointed out that while KU policy allows excused absences for religious observance during regular class sessions, the policy does not offer specific guidance regarding finals. The issue was shared with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the University Senate Academic Policies and Procedures Committee for direction.

If your courses have final exams this semester, please ensure students’ religious observance requests are accommodated. AP&P recommended that to respect religious liberty of your students, ask all in your classes to let you know privately if they need a religious accommodation. Please work with those individuals to schedule a make-up examination at a mutually acceptable time. A short list of relevant dates appears below.

While FacEx noted academic integrity concerns can arise under any circumstance when the planned exam format expands, it supported AP&P’s recommendation. FacEx has also requested that the AP&P committee review the possibility of an amendment to the University Senate Rules and Regulations to include religious observances as an excusable reason to reschedule a final exam.

I appreciate this situation may affect a significant number of you and your students. If needed, the Center for Teaching Excellence ( can provide guidance to develop make-up assessment plans. You also can learn more about Ramadan at KU’s online Religious Observance calendar.

Thank you for your work and dedication this semester. Your attention to this important observation and celebration in the lives of our students and others on our campuses is one way we can continue to create a community of care.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor


Important Dates

Ramadan: Monday, April 12, through Wednesday, May 12

Stop Day: Friday, May 7

Finals Week: Monday, May 10, to Friday, May 14

Eid al-Fitr: Sunset Wednesday, May 12, to sunset Thursday, May 13

Grades Submission Deadline: Friday, May 21 (except School of Law, June 4)

For additional academic dates, please refer to the Academic Calendar online.