Midwestern University colleges, programs, and course directors/coordinators will make a good faith effort to provide reasonable accommodations to students with sincerely held religious beliefs upon request, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the college/program.  A student’s request for reasonable religious accommodations, including requests for time off from or rescheduling of school activities, is justified when all of the following criteria are met:

  • A request MUST be submitted in advance. The student must submit a written request for a religious accommodation to a college/program administrator (specifically, the Assistant or Associate Dean of the college, or the Program Director of the College of Health Sciences or College of Graduate Studies) prior to the start of the academic year for the student’s academic program AND not less than 30 calendar days in advance of the requested absence day(s).
    • For newly admitted students only, the written request for a religious accommodation must be submitted not less than 30 days in advance of the requested absence day(s).
  • The request must be submitted on a Religious Absence Request Form, which is available from the Office of the Dean/Office of the Program Director. Text message or e-mail requests are unacceptable.
  • The request should include all of the requested dates for time off from courses or rotations for religious accommodation for the academic year.

The College/Program will protect the requesting student’s privacy in evaluating and implementing the accommodation requested to the extent possible.  However, following the receipt of the request, the College/Program will discuss the accommodation request as necessary with the student, and with the appropriate course directors/coordinators.  Following consultation with the course directors/coordinators, a decision on the request will be provided in writing by the College/Program to the requesting student typically within two weeks of receipt of the request.

Definitions

Religious accommodation
A religious accommodation is a change in work or school schedule or environment, or in the way tasks or assignments are customarily done, to enable a student to participate in the individual's religious practice or belief without causing undue hardship to the college/program faculty who are administering the course.

Religious practice or belief
A sincerely held practice or observance that includes moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right or wrong, most commonly in the context of the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.  Religion includes not only traditional, organized religions, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal religious institution, or section, or only subscribed to by a small number of people.  Social, political, or economic philosophies, as well as mere personal preferences, are not considered to be religious beliefs.

Undue hardship
An undue hardship on the college/program occurs when significant difficulty and expense arises based on the resources and circumstances of the college/program in relation to the cost or difficulty of providing an accommodation.  Undue hardship may include financial difficulty in providing an accommodation or accommodations that are unduly expensive, substantial, disruptive, or that fundamentally alter academic requirements, or the nature or operation of the how the college/program  administers the course.