CSU Policy: Religious Holidays & Observances

Policy Title: Religious Holidays & Observances Category: Academic Affairs/Faculty
Owner: Provost/Executive Vice President Policy ID#: 1-1001-017
Provost/Executive Vice President
Web: http://provost.colostate.edu/
Phone: (970) 491-6614

Also Contact:
Office of Equal Opportunity
Web: http://oeo.colostate.edu/
Email: oeo@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-5836
Original Effective Date: 6/3/2014
Last Revision: 8/6/2020
Print Version: Click Here to Print


Colorado State University respects the faiths and beliefs of all members of the community and seeks to maintain an environment that is supportive and nurturing of religious practice.

The purpose of this policy is to establish practices for accommodating students when religious holidays and observances may conflict with scheduled academic events such as classes, labs and examinations, and for accommodating employees when observances may conflict with work obligations.


This policy applies to all students in attendance at CSU and to all CSU employees.


Religious Holiday or Observance: An event that, according to an established faith or belief system, encourages the observer to avoid work or learning activities for a specified period.


The University has an obligation to do its utmost to accommodate students of all faiths; the practice of a person's religion is constitutionally protected.  We recognize that, in order to observe their faith, some students must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams from time to time.  It is important that students not be penalized for participation in religious holidays and observances. Therefore, students should be allowed to make up missed work and seek alternative exam times or formats due to such absences, when doing so will not create an unreasonable burden on the instructor or the institution or result in any unfairness to others.


Accommodations for Students

  1. Accommodation will be granted for faith-based holidays or observances when reasonable. Some key principles in determining the reasonableness of the request include 1) whether the request will compromise the academic integrity of the course and/or program, 2) how equitable the accommodation will be with respect to requirements other students are held to, and 3) whether the accommodation will lead to the student missing a significant part of the regularly-scheduled course activities for the semester.
  2. Students also have responsibilities. Some of these include 1) in cases where the religious obligation is a scheduled one, students have the responsibility to notify the instructor at the beginning of the course, 2) for religious obligations that cannot be known in advance, students have the responsibility to notify the instructor as soon as practicable, 3) in cases where the religious obligation is a recurring one, students have the responsibility to sign up for courses that do not conflict with predictable and recurring observances, etc.
  3. In most cases, students should be given the opportunity to complete the work in question in another way and/or on a different day and/or at a different time.
  4. There are limits to what is reasonable. For instance, most people would find it "unreasonable" to miss one day of class or lab every week of the semester.  In such cases the course should be taken at another time and/or semester to avoid these types of conflicts.
  5. Please be aware of major religious holidays when planning events and exams. CSU maintains a calendar of many of these holidays for your reference, although it is not an exhaustive list.

Accommodations for Employees

  1. Colorado State University employees may request a religious accommodation by either notifying their supervisor or contacting the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) at (970) 491-5836.
  2. A reasonable religious accommodation is any adjustment to the work environment that will allow an employee to practice their religious tradition. Breaks, flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions or swaps, and lateral transfers are examples of such accommodations. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine whether undue hardship would result from the accommodation.
  3. Accommodations should not result in undue hardship such as extraordinary administrative costs, infringement of other employees’ job rights or benefits, or impairment of workplace safety.


Compliance with this policy is required. For assistance with interpretation or application of this policy, contact the Office of the Provost or the Office of Equal Opportunity.






Original Effective Date October 6, 1992

Revised June 3, 2014

Revision approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations on August 6, 2020


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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