Skip to main content

Statement on Academic Accommodations for Religious Holidays

Although Northwestern University does not as an institution observe religious holidays, the academic calendar is designed to avoid conflicts with observed holidays, such as July 4, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, and Christmas. As the diversity of our community has increased, additional religious holidays now affect a significant number of students and faculty. Consistent with our commitment of creating an academic community that is respectful of and welcoming to persons of differing backgrounds, we believe that every reasonable effort should be made to allow members of the university community to observe their religious holidays without jeopardizing the fulfillment of their religious obligations.

In particular, we believe that:

In the past, issues such as those raised in this statement have been successfully handled by informal discussions among students, faculty, and administrators, when necessary. We hope and expect that such accommodations will continue to be made in the future. In the event, however, that agreement can not be reached through informal means, the student or faculty member should bring the issue to the office of the relevant school dean or, if necessary, to the Provost's office. In the event that advice in resolving the issue is needed, the Provost may seek the counsel of a three person committee chaired by the University Chaplain and including a student nominated by the Associated Student Government and a faculty member nominated by the General Faculty Committee.

Holidays observed by many members of the university community include, but are not limited to: Rosh Hashanah; Yom Kippur; Sukkot; Passover; Shavuot; 'Id al-Fitr; 'Id al-Adha, and Good Friday. Information about these holidays and the dates of their observance is available on the web page maintained by the University Chaplain. More detailed information is also available on this web site. Please note that Jewish holidays begin at sundown the evening before the date listed.

Responsible Office: Office of the Provost

Who Needs to Know This Policy: All Northwestern community members

Contacts: If you have any questions on this Policy, contact facultyrecords@northwestern.edu.

Dated: May, 2013

Back to top