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FAQs

Students FAQs

The Dean of Students staff advocates for students as they pursue academic and personal success. Our offices are in 202 Hendrix Student Center. We urge you to call for an appointment so we can have plenty of time to listen to your concern and help you develop strategies to resolve whatever problems you might be experiencing. Even if you're not sure we can help, you can still CONTACT US!


Another great student resource when you need an advocate is the university ombudsman.


When a friend or family member dies, when a parent or child has a serious injury, illness, etc., Clemson provides resources that can help you through your tough times. Some of those are listed below with contact information where available:


  1. Dean of Students Office Staff

  2. Counseling and Psychological Services Center

  3. Student Ombudsman

  4. Medical Professionals

  5. Campus Ministers

  6. Undergraduate Dean and Academic Services

  7. Graduate Dean and Academic Services

  8. College Advising Centers

  9. College Deans and Associate Deans

There are lots of people who serve as resources to students at Clemson. You can always contact a Residence Life staff member, the Dean of Students Office or the Counseling and Psychological Services department to get some advice on how to handle a concern about another student. There is also an electronic *CARING Network of professionals on campus who support students. If you or a student you know needs an adviser, counselor or Student Affairs professional to reach out to them in the upcoming week, you can use this *CARING Network to tell us about the situation.

NOTE: In case of an emergency, do not use this system. Call 911 or 864-656-2222.

When a student is injured or critically ill, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (located in 202 Hendrix Student Center) is responsible for maintaining contact with the student, the hospital and the student's family, in addition to keeping professors informed. In these circumstances, this office serves as a central point of communication. Questions, concerns and/or information to be shared should be directed to 656-0471 when assisting students with these types of situations.

In case of a student death (on or off campus), please call the Dean of Students Office at 864-656-0471. It is important that early contact with the family is established.

University Policies on class absences appear in both the Undergraduate Announcements and the Graduate Announcements. You should also review your course syllabus for the class attendance expectations of specific courses and professors.


Absence Notification — There is no such thing as a “class excuse” in college. Always notify your professor in advance if you must miss a class and be prepared to document the reason you had to miss.  To notify all of your professors and selected other university offices at once, you can use the Notification of Absence in MyCLE.


Unplanned Absences — OK, you’ve already missed the class, now what? You should still contact your professor as soon as possible. Calling your professor when you are sick to leave a voicemail message is a good idea. Follow up with an e-mail explaining the circumstances. The professor will decide whether the absence is “excused” or “unexcused.” Often the professor will require some documentation of the reason for your absence.


Documenting the Reason for an Absence — Professors expect students to be able to provide documentation of the reasons for their absences. Here are some examples of documents you could provide in cases of….

  • Minor Accident — a copy of the incident report.

  • Major Accident — a copy of the incident report, the police report, the ambulance report, or the newspaper account.

  • Minor Illness — There may be very little documentation for a minor illness other than the dent in your pillow (smile), so calling your professor when you are sick and leaving a voicemail message is a good idea. Follow up with an e-mail explaining the circumstances. The professor will decide whether the absence is “excused” or “unexcused.”

  • Major illness or hospitalization — a copy of the hospital release instructions, a letter from the attending physician, or a copy of a related bill or receipt.

  • Extended Absence Situation — If you are missing multiple classes at the very end of the semester, you might need to consider requesting “I-incomplete” grades from your professors for the courses that are being affected by your absence. Incompletes are used when there is only a small portion of the course remaining to complete, and they are given only when the student is passing the course. This option is explained in more detail in the Grading information in the Undergraduate Announcements and the Graduate Announcements.

All students can use the registration system to drop a course through the last day to "drop without record." Students with sufficient "W" hours can drop a course through the last day to "drop a class without final grades." Students with extenuating circumstances related to course drops should talk to their instructor or go to Registration Services in E-205 Martin Hall.

Sometimes illness or other life circumstances cause a student to have to drop all classes for that semester. If you think you might be headed in this direction, here are a few suggestions. At any step, you can always come talk to one of us in the Dean’s Office.


  1. Talk to your academic adviser (see Academic Advising if you don’t know who that is).

  2. Talk with a counselor in Counseling and Psychological Services in Redfern.

  3. Ask a Financial Aid counselor what impact this could have on present and future aid (Financial Aid link).

  4. Consider the tuition refund schedule for:

    • Undergraduates

    • Graduate Students

  5. If withdrawing seems to be the right answer for this semester, contact one of these offices to discuss further your options:

    • Undergraduates
      Contact Undergraduate Academic Services, E-103 Martin Hall, 864-656-3022.

    • Graduate Students
      Contact Enrolled Student Services in 104D Sikes Hall, 864-656-5339.

If you are a freshman not living in your family home, you will live in on-campus housing for at least your freshman year. On-campus housing is the best place for new students to make connections and become acquainted with the university. Even after the freshman year, research shows that Clemson students who live on campus make better grades, drink less alcohol and tend to be more engaged in learning than those who live off campus. Should you decide that living off-campus is best for you at some point, check out our Off-Campus Student Services page to find some helpful information.


Parent Frequently Asked Questions

When your student has a friend or family member who dies, when you or your student has a serious injury, illness, etc., Clemson provides resources that can help your student through their tough times. Some of those are listed below with contact information where available:


  1. Dean of Students Office Staff
  2. Counseling and Psychological Services Center
  3. Student Ombudsman
  4. Medical Professionals
  5. Campus Ministers
  6. Undergraduate Dean and Academic Services
  7. Graduate Dean and Academic Services
  8. College Advising Centers
  9. College Deans and Associate Deans

University Policies on class absences appear in both the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog. Your student should also review his/her course syllabus for the class attendance expectations of specific courses and professors.

When a student is injured or critically ill, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (located in 202 Hendrix Student Center) is responsible for maintaining contact with the student, the hospital and the student's family, in addition to keeping professors informed. In these circumstances, this office serves as a central point of communication. Questions, concerns and/or information to be shared should be directed to 656-0471 when assisting students with these types of situations.


In case of a student death (on or off campus), please call the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at 864-656-2161. It is important that early contact with the family is established.

All students can use the registration system to drop a course through the last day to "drop without record." Students with sufficient "W" hours can drop a course through the last day to "drop a class without final grades." Students with extenuating circumstances related to course drops should talk to their instructor or go to Registration Services in E-205 Martin Hall.

Sometimes illness or other life circumstances cause a student to have to drop all classes for that semester. If you think a student might be headed in this direction, here are a few suggestions.  At any step, the student can always come talk to one of us in the Dean’s Office.


  1. Talk to your academic advisor.

  2. Talk with a counselor in Counseling and Psychological Services in Redfern.

  3. Ask a Financial Aid counselor what impact this could have on present and future aid (Financial Aid link).

  4. Consider the tuition refund schedule for:

    • Undergraduates

    • Graduate Students

  5. If withdrawing seems to be the right answer for this semester, contact one of these offices to discuss further your options:

    • Undergraduates
      Contact Undergraduate Academic Services, E-103 Martin Hall, 864.656.3022.

    • Graduate Students
      Contact Enrolled Student Services in 104D Sikes Hall, 864.656.5339.

The Dean of Students staff advocates for students as they pursue academic and personal success. If a student is having a problem and they don’t know who can help, CONTACT US!

Also see: Student Distress Guide


 Suggestions for Referring Students Who Threaten to Harm Themselves or Others

  1. When a student lets you know that he/she is considering harming him/herself or others, consult with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 864-656-2451 as soon as feasible. For after-hours coverage and when the University is officially closed, access CAPS counselor on-call through CUPD 864-656-2222. If you e-mail CAPS, be sure and follow up with a phone call in urgent matters.

  2. The CAPS psychologist will advise you on possible actions to take. These may include: summon immediate emergency aid (calling 911), walk-over of student to CAPS, on-site visit by CAPS psychologist, or developing agreement for next day walk-over to CAPS. CAPS is located in Redfern Student Health Center across the street from the Hendrix Student Center.

  3. If immediate transport (911) is not indicated, you should contact the student and suggest you walk over to CAPS together at a specific time on the same day or the next morning.

  4. If CAPS walk-over does not happen:

    1. Student refuses CAPS walk-over -- Notify the Dean of Students Office at 864-656-0471 and explain the circumstances. Please do not send e-mail only. (Telling the student that the Dean will be notified if they don't show might assist in getting the student to go to CAPS voluntarily.)

    2. Student does not show up for walk-over, you should assess the need and take one of the following actions:

      1. Re-contract with the student for walk-over to CAPS,

      2. Call CUPD for welfare check (then facilitate the walk-over), or

      3. Dial 911.

    Following the action taken, please notify the Dean of Students if you believe that office should become involved.

  5. If student exhibits continued problems and/or does not follow-through on your recommendations for CAPS assistance, contact the Dean of Students Office at 864-656-0471 immediately.

  6. Note that threatening harm to oneself or others is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Threat of harm to self should be met with a referral to CAPS with confidentiality and compassion so long as the student follows your recommendation for assistance. Should the student not follow your (and CAPS) recommendations, the best course of action is to contact the Dean of Students so that the university regulations may be used to require the student to make use of university counseling and other resources for the sake of student and campus safety. Concerns that a student may be a threat to others should be addressed immediately.

Remember, making one CAPS referral does not guarantee that a student will use the services. Repeating the referral is important if there is any indication that the student's problems persist.

[Shannon Finning and Raquel Contreras, April, 2007]

If your student is a freshman not living in your family home, he/she will live in on-campus housing for at least the freshman year. On-campus housing is the best place for new students to make connections and become acquainted with the university. Even after the freshman year, research shows that Clemson students who live on campus make better grades, drink less alcohol and tend to be more engaged in learning than those who live off campus. Should you and your student decide that living off-campus is a good alternative for him/her at some point, Clemson provides an Off-Campus Student Services website for your convenience.


CARE Reports

Once a CARE Report is submitted, it is reviewed by the Dean of Students Office staff within one business day. You may be contacted for additional information or clarification as needed. Based on the incident report and other available details, a member of the CARE Network contacts the referred individual to schedule a meeting. During the meeting, the student’s situation is assessed, referrals are made to appropriate resources, and support services are provided. 

Yes, you are able to submit a CARE Report anonymously; however, we strongly discourage this practice. At times additional information is needed in order to identify the best plan of action for supporting a referred student. The Dean of Students Office may need to contact you for additional information. You may request to remain unidentified to the individual that you are referring and we will do our best to protect your privacy; however, students may request and attain access to the report. As such, it is important that the report focus on objective, observable, and factual information avoiding labels and stereotypes.  

As soon as you submit an electronic CARE Report, in your browser you will see an automated message with confirmation that the report was submitted. Not every referral source receives a follow-up contact from staff. Know that once your report is submitted, staff will address it within one business day. If you have additional questions or needs, you may contact the Dean of Students Office and staff will respond within the parameters of FERPA. If the person you are creating a report for poses a threat of harm to self or others, please do not submit an electronic report, please call Clemson University Police Department immediately at (864) 656-2222.

CARE Reports are submitted through a secure electronic system called Maxient. There are limited staff members who are a part of the CARE Network and have access to the system. The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students identifies the staff members who have access to CARE cases and grants varying levels of access to information within Maxient.


Notification of Absence

The Notification of Absence tool is a means for students to quickly notify all of their instructors of an absence prior to or following the absence. It remains the student's responsibility to follow-up with professors to discuss any work which may be missed. A professor may require documentation. As always, the professor is the one who determines if a student's absence is excused or unexcused. When a Notification of Absence is submitted by the Dean of Students Office on behalf of a student, it remains the responsibility of the student to follow up with individual professors as soon as he or she is able to do so. The Dean of Students Office includes only the details a student authorizes us to share in the notification.


Request for Verification of Attendance

When providing care and support services for students, the Dean of Students Office may contact professors and others to verify student attendance in class, completion of assignments, participation in activities, and attempt to note any possible behaviors of concern. Please respond to these requests as quickly as possible and know that the information is being used to determine appropriate next steps to help a student who may be in distress or facing academic challenges.