William & Mary

Observance of Religious Holidays


A memo from the Provost.

Full Description

Dear Colleagues:

As we start up the academic year, I thought it might be helpful to list the dates of some of the major religious holidays during the year.  What follows is not intended as an exhaustive list.  The College’s Guidelines for Religious Accommodations are listed below.

Rosh Hashanah*            Thursday, September 5 – Friday, September 6, 2013

Yom Kippur*                    Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sukkot*                              Thursday, September 19 – Wednesday, September 25, 2013                  

Ash Wednesday               Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Passover*                          Tuesday, April 15 – Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Good Friday                     Friday, April 18, 2014

 *These holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the published date of the holiday


The College of William & Mary urges its administrators, faculty members, and staff to be sensitive to the religious holidays of organized religions.  All persons should be able to participate in the essential practices of their faith without conflict with academic requirements, as long as such practices are in accordance with state and federal regulations and consistent with safety regulations of the College.  The College offers the following guidelines.

  1.  As soon as possible and no later than the end of the drop/add period, each student has the responsibility to inform his or her instructor of religious observances that are likely to conflict directly with classes and other required academic activities.  Each student has the responsibility to arrange his or her course schedule to minimize conflicts.  It is understood that when scheduling options exist for religious observances, the student has the responsibility to minimize conflicts.
  2.  Based upon prior agreement between the instructor and student, a student who misses a class meeting because of a scheduling conflict with religious observances should be allowed, whenever possible, to complete without penalty the work missed because of such absences.  A student who is absent from a test or presentation because of the observance of a religious holiday should be able to reschedule it without penalty.  Absence from a final examination requires that the examination be rescheduled through the established process for rescheduling of final examinations by the Dean of Students.  Graduate students should contact the Dean of the School or his or her designee.
  3.  If a scheduling conflict with a student’s planned absence cannot be resolved between the instructor and the student, undergraduates should inform the Dean of Students who will follow the established procedure for a class absence.  Graduate students should contact the Dean of the School or his or her designee.
  4.  Faculty members and administrators in charge of scheduling campus-wide events should avoid conflicts with religious holidays as much as possible.

 If you have any questions, please let me know.