Do Professors Care If You Leave Early

Do Professors Care If You Leave Early

Although high school teachers wouldn’t allow students to leave during ongoing lessons, it’s not unusual to see college students leaving the lecture room predominantly without the professor’s permission.

It can be extremely unexpected to see students leave class anytime they want to if you’re fresh to college life. But do instructors really care if students leave during lectures, and are there any adverse consequences to doing so?

The truth is that most professors believe college students are adults capable of making their own decisions and taking responsibility for their actions. They presume students who leave class have their own reasons for doing so.

But while college students may have the freedom to leave class whenever they want to, they should also be ready to face the consequences. After all, not every professor likes to see students leaving class.

How Professors Feel About Students Leaving Class Early

Every professor has a different perspective on students leaving class early, but we’ll look at a few.

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Don’t Mind

College students are adults who have paid to study. So, if they choose to leave class, they must have their own reasons. Asking them why they’re leaving class would just interrupt the class further.

Most professors would just let them leave without disrupting the class. So long as the student is able to deliver in their assessments (assignments, and other tests), they are allowed to do whatever they want.

After all, professors also have a lot of work to do. They won’t consider your exit as disrespectful as they expect you to have a good enough reason for doing so.

If a student needs to leave class for any reason at all, no one is going to stop them. It also doesn’t matter whether they stay or leave as it doesn’t affect the professor’s wallet but the students who have already paid for the class.

Rude Behavior

While most professors wouldn’t care, some may consider it rude. This is especially true when they’re aware of an ongoing program that the students most likely left class to attend.

Students should be careful in such cases as the professor may simply decide to take attendance and participation. That said, most professors, at the beginning of the course, would let students know whether attendance and participation constitute a portion of their final grades.

Risking Attendance Grade

While most professors may not take attendance, there’re a few who do. Attendance and participation in class are graded and constitute a portion of students’ final grades in a course.

These professors most likely wouldn’t stop students from leaving the class but would ensure that students understood the consequences of missing their classes without permission.


Professors were once students and understand the complications of student life. They sympathize with students, especially in cases where students have little time between classes.

A typical example is a student having to run across campus to make their next class which may be ten minutes away from their current class location. Such students may leave a class early to make it in time for a good seat in their next class.

College fees are expensive and students working to pay for their tuition sometimes have schedules that may conflict with their classes. Each student has their unique situation and circumstances and the flexibility in college becomes a huge advantage.

Can You Leave Class Whenever You Want In College

Yes, college students can leave class at any point, even without alerting the professor if their attendance policy does not mandate attendance. That said, professors cannot be held responsible for missed quizzes and lecture material, or underperformance.

Although most professors would care less about students leaving their classes, some can implement measures to deter students from doing so.

They can make classes mandatory and take class attendance at the beginning and end of the lecture. This can make up a portion of students’ final grades. Even class participation may count depending on the professor.

While it may seem mean, these measures are instituted to prevent student movements from disturbing an ongoing class and ultimately ensure that students get the most out of the lessons.

If you need to leave the class for some reason, it’s advisable to inform the professor before the class or at the very least, contact the professor later to explain your reasons, in the event of an emergency.

How To Ask Professor To Leave Class Early

If you need to leave class early, you can email the professor to alert them. This is especially necessary for classes where attendance is mandated by the instructor. To avoid missing a quiz or assignment, you should:

  • Inform the professor ahead of time
  • Remind them on that day (if you informed them on a different day)
  • Sit near the door and cause little disruption when you’re leaving
  • Inform them after you know class has ended if you left because of an emergency

Template 1 – Sample Email For Leaving Class Early


Absence From Class


Dear Professor {{Last name}},

My name is {{Your name}}, from {{Class name}}. I would like to inform you that I won’t be able to attend class {{Date/day}} because of {{Reason why}}.

I’ll make sure to get the notes and the assignment from my classmates and make copies of the materials you handed out. Thank you.


{{Full name }}

Template 2 – Sample Email For Leaving Class Early


Absence From Class


Dear Professor {{Last name}},

My name is {{Full name}} and I am a {{Year}} student in your {{Class name}}. I am emailing you to let you know that I won’t be able to attend class from {{Date range}} due to {{Reason}}.

I am concerned about how my absence may affect my performance this semester and would be grateful for any advice that could assist me to make up for the classes I will be missing.

I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.


{{Full name }}

Consequences For Leaving Class Early In College

College class attendance is quite flexible. Students can either choose to skip class and face no consequence in most cases. Unfortunately, there’re times when students don’t regret missing classes.

Attendance/Participation Points

Most professors do not mandate attendance as they believe college students to be adults capable of making their own decisions. However, some professors mandate attendance.

These professors ensure that students are aware of this mandate in their classroom policy. They take attendance before and sometimes after class and may even award points for participation.

Each class you miss or partially miss means losing points that could contribute to your overall grade.


It can be annoying putting in the effort to develop lecture content only to find students missing the class or leaving during the ongoing lecture.

Some professors would start an unannounced quiz when they realize students are missing their classes. Questions in these quizzes may not be the most difficult but they get the point across to students present, those absent, and those who left early.

Missed Material

Leaving class doesn’t mean the professor also stops the lecture. They continue the lecture and students who left early end up missing some part of the lecture.

Missed Assignment

Professors sometimes wait till the end of a lecture to give out assignments. Students who leave early would miss this and unless they actively try to reach their peers to find out whether there’s an assignment, they would have no idea of the assignment.

Paid For

Whether you miss class or not, you’re still paying for each lecture and professors are getting paid. A college education is expensive and you may as well get your money’s worth from every single lecture.

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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