As outlined in this letter,
Princeton University has long been committed to maintaining a competitive varsity-athletics program as part of its broad conception of undergraduate education. In keeping with that commitment, Princeton reserves the 4:30-7:30 p.m. time slot for student participation in athletics and many other extracurricular activities. The University has a long-standing policy regarding conflicts that might arise between regularly scheduled classes and varsity-athletic competitions.
Our athletics department makes every effort to schedule competitions at times that do not conflict with our students’ academic commitments. Such conflicts are sometimes unavoidable, however, because of factors beyond our control.
In those cases, our policy is not to penalize students for missed class time. (Please note that students are not permitted to miss class to attend practices.)
Students are expected to meet with their instructors at the beginning of each term to identify any class meetings they are likely to miss because of their athletic competitions and to discuss how they plan to cover the assigned material. They might, for example, review other students’ class notes (if permitted); meet with their professors in office hours to discuss the material missed; or write a short essay on the assigned reading.
In short, while the University permits students to miss classes for sanctioned varsity-athletic competitions or related travel, these absences must not compromise a student’s ability to remain in good academic standing.
In some cases, student-athletes may request an instructor’s cooperation in rescheduling academic commitments for occasional athletic competitions that fall outside of the varsity-athletics category, such as national team and Olympic competitions. We encourage instructors to make allowances in such cases, although the decision about how to handle conflicts remains the instructor’s prerogative. Instructors can consult with residential college deans and assistant deans for further information.
Please note that the Registrar manages the rescheduling of all final examinations.
The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning has additional resources that might be helpful to accommodate student needs, including recording lectures, capturing class content, and facilitating remote participation.
If you have any questions or concerns about the amount of class time that a student is missing due to varsity athletic competition, please contact the residential college deans and assistant deans, who will consult as needed with Dean Colagiuri, Princeton’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA, and with other colleagues in the athletics department.