Temporary Illness

It's not unusual for students to encounter temporary illnesses or injuries during their time at UNT. The flu, broken bones, extended hospitalizations, surgeries etc. all represent temporary conditions which may result in missed classes and other academic difficulties. Such temporary conditions do not qualify for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if they do not last more than 6 months.

Since there is no legal requirement for UNT to accommodate temporary illnesses, your professors may or may not allow you to make up missed work due to temporary illnesses or provide other adjustments.Faculty members are encouraged to make adjustments for temporary illnesses when contacted by the Dean of Students Office via email or when a student provides an absence verification slip from the Dean of Students Office.

Students may request temporary illness/disability assistance by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide the Dean of Students Office with a letter from a medical doctor, or other qualified professional, which must contain the following:
    • A diagnosis and how the diagnosis impacts your academic pursuits
    • Duration of illness, from the time it began to impact you academically and until the expected recovery
    • Documentation may also include recommendations for academic adjustments (e.g. excuse absences, tardiness leniency, extend time for tests)
  2. After receiving the medical documentation, the Dean of Students Office will send an email to your professors or provide you with an absence verification slip to take to your professors.
  3. It is your responsibility to discuss your absence with your professors and work out the details of the adjustments.
  4. Remember, your professors have no obligation to make temporary adjustments. If they decline to allow adjustments you may need to drop the course, ask for an incomplete (i) (if allowed), or repeat the class in the future.

If your illness does not improve after 6 months, you should contact the UNT Office of Disability Accommodation at (940) 565-4323 or www.unt.edu/oda to inquire about permanent accommodations.

Pregnancy also does not qualify for ADA protection provided it is of normal duration without severe complications. For more information on pregnancy guidelines please visit https://deanofstudents.unt.edu/resources#pregnant_and_parenting_students.

Michelle's Law

Michelle's Law prohibits group plans from terminating a college student's health insurance coverage based on the student taking a medically necessary leave of absence from school or changing to a part-time status. Coverage is extended for at least one year.

The key requirements are:

  • Must be Medically Necessary
  • Must have written certification by the physician recommending the leave or charge in enrollment status
  • Student must have been enrolled in the group plan before the first day leave

For more information about Michelle's Law, please refer to the Student Health & Wellness website.