Important Policies

University Religious Accommodation Policy

Emory University seeks to create a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive of religious, philosophical, and nonreligious diversity. Emory’s Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, and Emory seeks to provide reasonable accommodation for the sincerely held religious beliefs and practices of employees and students, unless such accommodation would impose an undue hardship (more than a minimal burden on university operations).

Religious holidays and observances vary among religious traditions and within religious traditions. Religious observances may include attending services and may also require abstaining from work and certain other activities (such as writing, carrying things outside of the home, or the use of electronics) altogether on religious holidays and at other significant times of the year.

Faculty should familiarize themselves with the policy, but the following bullet points outline key components:

  • Each May, the Emory Office of Spiritual and Religious Life (OSRL) publishes a list of religious holidays to assist faculty and staff in planning syllabi. Designing syllabi and events to avoid these holidays reduces the need for accommodation.
  • When accommodation is necessary, students should submit requests in writing as soon as possible to their faculty members. The policy outlines this process and next steps if an individual feels their request is not satisfactorily considered.
  • Faculty should consider religious accommodations separately from other excused absences. There is no set number for approved religious accommodation absences. If a student needs to use excused absences for sickness or other emergencies, that should not subtract from possible religious accommodation absences.
  • Faculty are encouraged to include a statement about religious accommodations in all course syllabi. The policy provides a sample statement.

To view the policy, please click here

Religious Dietary Accommodations

Emory University offers a variety of halal, kosher, made without onions and garlic, vegan, and vegetarian dining options. For more information, visit Emory Campus Dining.

Religious Housing Accommodations

Emory Housing will provide reasonable accommodations for students to practice or otherwise observe sincerely held religious practices or beliefs that do not cause undue hardship to the University. For incoming students, a request must be made at the earliest possible opportunity after admission. To request a religious accommodation in housing, students must complete the accommodation request form. In order to complete this form, you must be an Emory student. You can find the form at the link below:

Religious and Philosophical Student Organization Recognition

The Emory University Office of Spiritual and Religous Life (OSRL) provides direct support for the approximately forty religious and philosophical student organizations at Emory University. Any religious or philosophical student group seeking to be chartered at Emory must begin with a review and approval process by Emory OSRL before proceeding to Student Involvement, Leadership, and Transitions (SILT), the Student Government Association (SGA), or the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) for chartering. In addition to the SGA and GSGA requirements which include nondiscrimination policies, etc., OSRL requires clarity regarding naming, nonduplication, clarity on advising, a connection with OSRL and the Inter-Religious Council or Graduate Interfaith Council, etc. Once reviewed and approved in writing by the Dean of Religious Life, an organization may procced to apply for chartering with SILT and SGA or GSGA. The leadership of SILT, SGA, and GSGA remain in close communication with Emory OSRL to support this process and to ensure the health, support, and vibrancy of Emory spiritual life. To initiate a request for review of a potential religious or philosophical student organization, please contact

Avoiding Mind-Control Groups and Groups with Cult-Like Practices

Avoiding Mind-Control Groups and Groups with Cult-Like Practices

Campus Access Policy for Religious and Philosophical Communities and Representatives

The Emory University Office of Spiritual and Religious Life (OSRL) coordinates the university’s relationships with religious and philosophical communities and representatives on and off campus. This policy ensures the wellbeing, protection, and integrity of the university community by:

  • ensuring the integration of religious and philosophical activities with the Emory University and Emory OSRL missions and with existing activities and relationships;
  • ensuring compliance with and accountability to university policies and procedures;
  • preventing the duplication of and competition for spiritual services;
  • preventing mind-control group activity on campus;
  • ensuring proper vetting and background checking of communities and individuals seeking to engage with the campus;
  • and ensuring equitable access to the university’s limited resources.

For any religious or philosophical community or representative wishing to contact the university or engage with the campus, the first and main point of contact is the Dean of OSRL. The Dean of OSRL is the first university officer that should be consulted regarding all matters—most importantly access to students—but also including access to university resources such as space and communications.

The Dean of OSRL may then contact and involve other university offices as appropriate. Religious or philosophical communities or representatives contacting the university will seek clearance from the Dean of OSRL before contacting other university offices and will keep the Dean of OSRL informed of and involved in any interactions with the university.

Emory University offices that are contacted by religious or philosophical communities or representatives should refer those contacting the university to the Dean of OSRL. If university offices need to contact or engage with religious or philosophical communities or representatives, they should consult with the Dean of OSRL in advance and keep the Dean involved in interactions. This will ensure consistency in the university’s relationships with all such communities and their representatives.

Any questions regarding this policy may be referred to the Office of the Dean of OSRL at 404.727.6226 or

Reporting Discrimination/Bias By/Against Students (Campus Life Student Conduct)

The goal of Campus Life Bias Support Services (BSS) is to ensure that there is a clear process for reporting bias incidents and for providing support for community members impacted by bias.

As a community of scholars, we are committed to an environment where open expression of ideas is valued, promoted, and encouraged. We recognize that Emory's educational process requires diverse forms of debate, dialogue, and deliberation, and we acknowledge the challenges and tensions these actions could create in our community. Emory University does not tolerate discrimination or harassment toward members of our community.

Emory University strives to provide a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus as an essential part of a community of academic excellence. We recognize that incidents of hate or bias can negatively impact members of our community. Bias Support Services (BSS) consists of two mechanisms: the Bias Review Team and the Bias Support Team.

Bias Review Team

The Bias Review Team reviews reports and other materials for potential violations of federal or state law, the University's Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment policy, or Student Conduct Code violations.

The team is comprised of staff who are trained to review bias incident reports to determine whether it meets the criteria to be investigated and/or forwarded to Emory Police Department for criminal investigation.

Bias Support Team

The Bias Support Team offers resources to create a more inclusive campus community. The support team is comprised of staff who are trained to provide trauma-informed care for students and provide advocacy and support. If needed, they can also work collaboratively to determine if additional community support is needed.

This team does not replace any of the procedures and protocols in place to resolve alleged violations of policies regarding student conduct, discrimination, sexual misconduct, or violations of criminal law. Rather, the team seeks to ensure that there is a more streamlined and effective process for responding to bias incidents, including providing support to impacted parties.

Make a report of bias

Reporting Discrimination/Bias By/Against Faculty and Staff (Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance)

Policy 1.3, Emory's Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy, covers all complaints of harassment/discrimination filed by or against faculty and staff. Section 1.3.2(B) of Policy 1.3 (Discriminatory Harassment of a Non-Sexual Nature) prohibits severe and/or pervasive discriminatory harassment of a non-sexual nature on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran's status, or any factor that is a prohibited consideration under applicable law. Section 1.3.2(C) of Policy 1.3 encourages anyone with knowledge of discrimination on campus to report such harassment to the Director of OEIC.

Section 1.3.3 of Policy 1.3 provides for investigation and resolution processes; subsection (B) describes the internal complaint process in full. An Emory community member may report the incident to OEIC, which initiates a complaint; or, he or she may report to a supervisor, who must notify OEIC of the report. Complaints of discrimination should be filed no later than 180 days after the most recent alleged conduct. Upon receipt of a complaint, OEIC assigns an investigator who conducts an investigation within 45 days. OEIC issues a final written determination of whether a policy violation occurred; it may provide a recommendation for an appropriate sanction, but OEIC has no independent authority to impose sanctions. The dean or division head decides upon the disciplinary action.

Subsection 1.3.3(C) addresses issues specific to faculty and academic freedom. Should a bona fide question arise out of an incident in which the principles of academic freedom conflict with the policy, the provost may appoint a Faculty Review Panel to review the evidence and advise OEIC as to whether there is a violation of the policy. The review panel must provide a recommendation to OEIC at the conclusion of its review, and the dean must make the final decision regarding appropriate sanctions, if any.

Make a report of bias