Bereavement Policy

In the event that you experience the death of a family member or the loss of someone special, contact your academic dean for assistance.  If you are unable to do this yourself, you may have a friend, family member or other person contact your dean on your behalf.

Your dean can assist you in a number of ways.  They can ...

  • Notify your instructors that you have had a significant life event and may need time away from class.
  • Notify the residential life staff in your dorm (through a DukeReach report).
  • Excuse any needed absences and approve extensions on work (your Academic Dean may provide a Dean's Excuse with appropriate documentation).
  • Help find alternative arrangements for completing coursework or being evaluated in a course.
  • Allow you to withdraw from a course to reduce your workload.
  • Arrange an incomplete in one or more courses.
  • Waive semester continuation requirements.
  • Approve a personal leave of absence for the semester.
  • Approve a withdrawal from the university.

​You and your family may discuss these options with your dean, as you consider your situation and needs and what may be in your best interest academically and for your family.  Should you wish to discuss this in person, your dean will be available to you.  Your dean can assist you in making informed choices, and facilitate your communication and interaction with your instructors.

We understand that a tragic loss can have significant immediate and long-term impact for students.  We hope to help in whatever way that we can.

See also: