Class Attendance Policy

Regular and punctual class attendance is expected and is essential to optimum academic achievement. Students in lower division classes are given an “F” for any course in which they have been absent more than one-fifth of the scheduled class meetings. Attendance requirements in upper division classes are established by each Instructor of Record.

Traditional Undergraduate Program

Absences occasioned by participation in a college-approved activity (e.g. field trips, athletic contests) are governed by the following:

  • Students are responsible for initiating the process of makeup work. Work must be submitted when due whether or not the student is present.
  • Scheduled events (games, concerts, tournaments) constitute an excuse to miss class; however, practices do not.
  • Students should clear their class schedules with coaches or directors before registering for classes to minimize potential conflicts.
  • Missed classes for authorized events will count toward the one-fifth absence allowance. Student athletes and others affected by excused absences should be particularly careful not to miss other class sessions for unauthorized reasons.
  • Students shall not be penalized for missing class for authorized college activities by loss of attendance points. On the rare occasion it would be impossible to make up a missed class or lab; the student should miss the activity and not be penalized by the coach or director.

Professional Studies and Non-Traditional Education Programs

Course Attendance

Due to the concentrated scheduling and the emphasis upon participatory learning, students need to be in attendance every week. Students who miss more than one class meeting (or more than five class hours) in any given course will automatically receive a failing grade and need to retake the course to obtain a passing grade. If an instructor deems that a student’s second absence was under extremely unavoidable and unusual circumstances (i.e., an auto accident), the professor may file an academic petition on behalf of the student to the Dean. If the academic petition is approved, the student will be given a “W” (Withdrawal) in place of a failing grade. The student will still be required to retake the course.


A student may be barred from attending classes for failure to: present official transcripts certifying previous institutional work, comply with admission requirements, respond to official notices, settle unresolved financial obligations when due, or comply with the community participation standards listed earlier.

Drop Policy

Students must notify their coordinator if they knowingly desire to drop a course (the course must be then taken at a later date).  Dropping courses will have financial aid implications.  Be sure to discuss the decision with your Student Success Coordinator and a Financial Aid Counselor. Student using G.I. Benefits or Tuition Assistance Funds (TA), should consult with the University’s School Certifying Official prior to dropping a course.

Students absent from both week 1 and week 2 of class will be automatically dropped from the course with a full refund given. 

Note: All students attending at least one week of class will not be dropped automatically from class; therefore, the standard refund policy will be upheld. 

Five to Seven Week Classes                         Academic Action
Prior to 2nd Class  Meeting                                Complete drop off  record
After 2nd Class and Prior to 4th                       “W” recorded (Withdrawal)             
After 4th class meeting                                        “WF” recorded (Withdrawal Failing)                              

Eight to Ten Week Classes                         Academic Action
Prior to 2nd Class  Meeting                                 Complete drop   
After 2nd Class and Prior to 5th                       “W” recorded (Withdrawal)             
After 5th class meeting                                        “WF” recorded (Withdrawal Failing)

(Refer to the SPS Refund Schedule section for financial implications).

Students receiving a failing grade for a course must repeat the course again at their earliest convenience. The Student Success Coordinator will assist with the registration process for the repeated course. Prevailing tuition charges for the repeated course will be effective.

Non-Attendance Drop Policy (Online Courses)

Students who do not login to their online course by 11:59 P.M. (PST) of the second day of class, will be automatically dropped from the course with a full refund given. To remain in good academic standing, a written request to drop must be provided to the SPS Office before the third week of class.

Standard Drop Policy (Online Courses)

Students must contact the SPS Office in writing of their intention to drop. Unless written notification is received the student will remain officially registered in the class/classes listed on their registration form and will be financially and academically responsible. Only those courses specified in the drop request will be dropped. Students who have registered for more than one session will not be automatically dropped from the remaining sessions unless written notice is provided. If a student chooses to switch a class from one session to another, this is the same as dropping a class and the drop/refund policies will apply in this situation. The drop will be processed using the date the student’s written notification is received by the SPS Office.

Students who wish to drop must include the following information in their drop request: semester date and class/classes they wish to drop as well as their full name and contact information. Students who email their drop requests are advised to make a copy of the email with date and time stamp as well as receiver confirmation (if possible). Students should also confirm with their respective Student Success Coordinator the following VU work day, via phone, that the email request to drop was received. If the written request to drop is made via mail, the student must ensure the request is mailed in plenty of time for it to reach the Professional Studies office before the beginning of the course session. Vanguard University is not responsible for drop requests sent via email that are routed incorrectly and result in non-receipt of the request by the SPS Office.

Five to Seven Week Classes                                            Academic Action
Prior to 11:59 P.M. (PT) on Sunday before Week 2            Complete drop off  record           
After 2nd class and prior to 11:59 P.M. (PT)
on Sunday before Week 4                                                       “W” recorded (Withdrawal)           
After 11:59 P.M. (PT) on Sunday before Week 4               “WF” recorded (Withdrawal Failing)

Graduate Programs

Regular and punctual class attendance is expected. Failure to attend may result in a lower or failing course grade. See the program sections and course syllabi for more information.