The University of Chicago is home to students of all the world’s major religious traditions and, though a proudly secular institution, it prizes the rich diversity of spiritual expression and practice to be found on campus.
There are times when students and other members of the university community find themselves facing conflicts between religious observance and academic commitments. Students are advised to alert their professors in advance if a conflict will occur, so that their professors can work with them with regard to academic requirements. Where there are questions related to faculty/student expectations, the Dean of Students and/or the director of Spiritual Life may be consulted. Where a holy day occurs during the first week of the quarter, students missing the first meeting of a class because of observance related to that holy day will not be dropped from the class roster, provided that they have discussed this absence with the professor in advance.
A calendar of the major holy days of world faiths for the coming five years can be found at the Interfaith Calendar website. Only a few of these holy days typically require absence from work or class, and even within traditions, individual observance varies. It should also be noted that some Jewish students observe Shabbat as a time to refrain from regular activities every week from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, and that Muslims pause for Jumu’ah prayers for an hour at or near the noon hour on Fridays.