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Do I Need to Attend Every Class?

Advice on Class Attendance


Group of students writing in the classroom...
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Homework, required reading, networking opportunities, and other responsibilities can make it difficult to attend every class on your class schedule. But in business school, skipping class is almost never a good idea. This is especially true for students who are enrolled in programs with small class sizes. If you can't get lost in the crowd within the classroom, the professor is almost certain to notice that you are not there. And if you miss class too many times, the professor may very well think that you are not taking your education seriously and show you a grade that reflects his or her displeasure.

Other Reasons to Attend Class

The business school experience is not a carefree college experience. The whole point of enrolling in business school is to attend class with other people who are studying the same thing. If you can't make yourself go to class because of disinterest or a similar reason, business school may not be the right place for you.

Attending class is also important to ensure that you do not miss something. If you don’t get the proper amount of instruction in a specific topic, you may have difficulty writing your next case study analysis or passing your next exam. And let's face it--keeping up with the business school curriculum is difficult enough as is. There is no sense in making it any harder simply because you didn't feel like going to class.

Is It Ever Okay to Not Attend Class?

There are definitely good reasons to miss a class. If there is a death in the family or if you are incredibly ill, most professors will understand your absence and may even take time to give you a private overview of what you've missed. Other good excuses include a mandatory event at your place of employment or an opportunity that trumps the advantage of attending a single class.

What to Do if You Know You Will Be Missing a Class
  • If you know that you will be missing several classes in a row, speak to your professor.
  • Find out if you missed any handouts or other important information.
  • Try not to miss any homework assignments. Get assignments from your professor or a classmate if necessary.
  • Ask a classmate to share his or her notes with you after class.
  • Meet with your study group so that you can review any information you may have missed.

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