B.F.A. Performance (Acting & Musical Theatre) Attendance Policy for All Studio Classes:

The purpose of the attendance policy is to promote professionalism and to set you up for future success. Studying theatre, voice, and dance requires discipline, consistency, and commitment to a daily practice. You are expected to engage fully in each class to strengthen these values, to demonstrate growth, and to meet the learning objectives. Class activities are created with an emphasis on collaboration; partnering, group work and shared performance depend upon each student in a course being present. As a result, most classes cannot be made up at another time. The way to grow as a performer is to show up and attend to your craft. The few unexcused absences allowed per term should be regarded as an insurance policy, something to use only under extreme situations. Your commitment to your classmates’ and professor’s time and effort is of paramount importance and signals the maturity, mindset, and respect of a student eager to excel, grow, and succeed.

Excused absences are those due to:

  • Religious observances (please notify instructor in writing 48 hours prior)
  • Verifiable emergency such as
    • Illness requiring attention by a healthcare provider
    • Hospitalization, death, or serious illness of a family member
  • Required appearance in a court of law

The student is responsible for communicating with their instructors within 24 hours of the missed class, and providing documentation (e.g. doctor’s letter, Health Center receipt, court summons, obituary) unsolicited by the instructor within 48 hours of the absence if they wish it to be considered excused. Please note that it is not the instructor’s responsibility to request this material from the student.

The student is asked to notify the instructor in advance of an absence in writing whenever possible. In the case of religious observances, students should notify faculty at least 48 hours prior to an absence.

In the case of unexcused absences:

  • After two unexcused absences in a class that meets twice a week, each additional unexcused absence will lower the final grade 1/3 point (A to A-, B- to C+, etc.) 
  • After three unexcused absences in a class that meets three times a week each additional unexcused absence will lower the final grade 1/3 point (A to A-, B- to C+, etc.) 
  • After one unexcused absence in a class that meets once per week, each additional unexcused absence will lower the final grade 1/3 point (A to A-, B- to C+, etc.) 

Please note that for the 2022/23 academic year, the performance faculty has decided to increase the amount of allowable unexcused absences from one to two before grades are affected. It is hoped that this change will set more students up for success in their studio courses.


Tardiness in the theatre is unprofessional and seldom tolerated. Promptness means being in the room and ready to work by the start time of class or rehearsal.

  • If a student arrives within ten minutes of the beginning of class, the lateness will constitute:
    • 1/3 of an absence in a class meeting three times a week
    • 1/2 of an absence in a class meeting once or twice a week.
    • Arrival more than ten minutes late for a class constitutes an absence. However, the student should remain in class and participate.

Consequences of Lateness/Absences

Please see above for information on how unexcused absences and lateness affect your grade.

Although a certain number of excused absences do not lower your grade, the student will fail the course if they have incurred:

  • six or more absences, (including excused absences) in a course meeting three times per week;
  • four or more absences (including excused absences) in a course meeting twice a week;
  • two or more absences (including excused absences) in a course meeting once a week.

Consequence of Course Failure:

If a student fails any required course, the student may be discontinued from the major, as they will not be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of the degree.

Please Note: We believe in your ability to succeed. If you are a person for whom lateness or absence tends to be an issue, we encourage you to speak with your instructor and/or advisor, who can help you with strategies for success.

Hardship: In cases of extreme hardship, exceptions may be made at the discretion of the entire performance faculty. If a student is experiencing such hardship, or has accrued absences beyond the limit, they should consult with their teacher immediately. If hardship has resulted in accrued absences beyond the limit, the student must petition their degree coordinator in writing (see departmental handbook for information on petitions for appeal. INSERT LINK) In any case, the most important aspect regarding attendance is the student’s timely and proactive communication with the instructor.

The Department of Theatre and Dance Performance B.F.A. attendance policy falls within the guidelines set by the Ithaca College attendance policy. That policy may be found in the most recent Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog.