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McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Academic Standards, Policies, and Procedures

Update Course Accommodation Requests Language
CURRENT: (pages 21-22)

Course Accommodation Requests
Course accommodations are made in response to individual requests for accommodation. Information on disability issues can be found under HOOP 101 Disability Accommodation

If a student believes that he or she has a disability requiring an accommodation, they are to contact the Associate Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs at (713) 500-3591. Faculty members who receive a request for an accommodation from a student must immediately notify the Associate Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs. Faculty members may not unilaterally grant accommodations.

For additional information about the institutional Disability Accommodation policy, students can contact University Relations and Equal Opportunity at (713) 500-2255.

CHANGE TO: (move sections below to page 18 following “Course Attendance Policy”)

Leave of Absence

The purpose of a leave of absence is to provide students time away from campus for personal reasons. The authority to grant a leave of absence and permission to return from a leave of absence resides with the Associate Dean for Student, Faculty, and Community Affairs. Each leave is individualized based on the needs of the student and handled on a case-by-case basis. A leave of absence may not exceed a period one year. If a student is absent for more than one year, the student must apply for readmission to the program. For additional information, please contact the school’s Office of Academic Affairs.

Students with Disabilities and Attendance Requirements

UTHealth Houston students are expected to be present for all classes (whether in-person or online) or other forms of required class time to include labs, clinical rotations, or other school required meetings. Students are also responsible for taking quizzes and examinations in a timely manner according to the schedule for the courses and programs in which they are enrolled. It is the responsibility of each student to learn and comply with the standards set in each course’s attendance policy, as explained in the course syllabus. Students should be aware that, when a course policy allows for a specific number of absences with no penalty, that number typically includes absences for any reason (including those with documented justification). In courses with such limits, absences beyond the allowed number create a presumption that the student has not fulfilled the essential educational requirements of the course, and therefore, will receive a grade reflecting the deficiency.

Attendance is important to the academic success of a student; however, UTHealth Houston understands that there may be disability-related reasons for missed classes. A student can request an exception to a faculty member’s attendance policy through the process outlined in HOOP Policy #101 – Disability and Pregnancy Accommodation Determinations related to disability-related requests will be made on an individual basis based on a review of related medical documentation and in collaboration with the School’s 504 Coordinator, the Office of University Relations & Equal Opportunity, the student, and the faculty member responsible for teaching each impacted course.

The school is not required to grant accommodations that constitute a fundamental alteration of the program or course. Specifically, the school does not have to modify a requirement, including attendance, that is essential to the educational purpose or objective of a program or class. Decisions regarding essential requirements of a course or program will be made by a group of people who are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced in the area through a careful, thoughtful, and rational review of the academic program and its requirements. Decision-makers will consider a series of alternatives for the essential requirements, as well as whether the essential requirement(s) in question can be modified for a specific student with a disability.

It is important for the student to discuss contingency plans with their faculty before absences occur to ensure the repercussion of absences are clear and/or to develop a contingency plan. This process is not intended to allow for unlimited absences and does not alleviate the student of their responsibility to complete all assignments, quizzes, and examinations, or participate in class or related activities (if applicable).

For additional information on the disability accommodation process please see HOOP Policy 101 – Disability and Pregnancy Accommodation

A list of UTHealth Houston 504 Coordinator’s by school are found at