Excuse Notes

Syracuse University Health Services does not issue notes or medical excuses requested by patients/students.  Doing so creates an undesirable climate for health care professionals and disempowers students.  Responsibility for class attendance and completion of assignments rests primarily with the student, who assumes responsibility by communicating directly with faculty. 

In compliance with the Syracuse University Health Services Policy, Student Health Services will only provide medical excuses to students for medical conditions that meet the following conditions:

  • A Student Health Center provider is involved in the medical care.
  • The condition is deemed significant by a medical provider in Student Health Services.
  • Based on examination by a Student Health Center provider, the student is advised not to attend class.
  • The student has proof of a documented hospitalization.

In general, the following conditions will not warrant a medical excuse:

  • A request for a medical excuse from Student Health Services for verification of an illness after the illness is over.
  • A class or exam is missed for an appointment at Student Health Services.
  • A respiratory infection without significant fever.
  • Gastroenteritis (vomiting / diarrhea, unless there is fever and/or severe dehydration).
  • Musculoskeletal conditions which do not prevent ambulation (such as minor ankle injuries, wrist sprains, etc.)

Note: Students are encouraged to communicate directly with faculty regarding class attendance and/or completion of class assignments when the illness or injury does not meet the criteria outlined above.  A Syracuse University Health Services medical provider will usually offer a note at his/her discretion, if he/she deems it necessary for the student to miss class.

Medical Leave

The Health & Wellness portfolio recognizes that students may experience medical and/or psychological conditions as well as problems around substance abuse that significantlyimpact their ability to complete their academic pursuits. During such circumstances, a medical leave of absence from Syracuse University provides the student an opportunity to remain a matriculated (non-enrolled) student while also allowing time away for appropriate treatment and recovery. In order to begin the process of a medical leave of absence, please contact the Office of Student Assistance at (315) 443-4357 or studentassistance@syr.edu

Immunization Exemptions

Medical Exemption: If a licensed health care provider caring for a student certifies in writing that the student has a health condition which is a valid contraindication to receiving a specific vaccine, then a permanent or temporary (for resolvable conditions such as pregnancy) exemption may be granted. This statement must specify those immunizations which may be detrimental and the length of time they may be detrimental. Provisions need to be made to review records of temporarily exempted persons periodically to see if contraindications still exist. In the event of an outbreak, medically exempt individuals should be protected from exposure. This may include exclusion from classes or campus.

Religious Exemption: A student may be exempt from vaccination if, in the opinion of the institution, that student's genuine and sincere religious beliefs are contrary to the practice of immunization. The student requesting exemption may or may not be a member of an established religious organization. Requests for exemptions must be written and signed by the student if 18 years of age or older, or parent(s), or guardian if under the age of 18. The institution may require supporting documents. In the event of an outbreak, religious exempt individuals should be protected from exposure, which may include exclusion from classes or campus.

An exemption must be mailed or faxed prior to arrival at Syracuse University.

Medical Transportation

The use of the non-emergency medical transportation service will be limited to the following:

  • Health Services-related transports such as appointments or requests made by the Health Services staff).
  • One-time transports to a scheduled doctor's visit due to an illness or injury. (Note: This allows the student to get to their first appointment before being made responsible for arranging transportation for follow-up visits).
  • Transports to St. Joseph's Imaging for x-ray services. (Note:A van will leave SUHS every hour from 8:30AM to 4:30PM for transports to SJI).
  • Return transport from a local hospital or emergency room.

Syracuse University offers an excellent on and off campus transportation system via the Quad Shuttle and Centro busses. All bus schedules arw available from Parking & Commuter Services and can be found online or at student centers around campus.

There will be no transports to local pharmacies or the Onondaga County Health Department unless it is a referral or request from the Health Services staff.

Green authorization slips will be required for all transports.