Your professor is 15 minutes late to class. Are you allowed to leave?


Your professor is late to class and you’re nervously watching the minute hand tick as the instructor’s absence nears the 15 minute mark. Anticipation rises as the moment of mythological freedom comes closer to fruition.

Usually, a professor will walk in the door, running late from a meeting or another class that ran long.

But what if they didn’t make it? What if the 15 minute marker passes by and there is still no sign of them? Are you allowed to leave?

“I’ve heard that saying from other people, but I’m not sure if it’s actually true, but it does sound reasonable,” Winston Cheong, graduate student in mathematics, said.

Unfortunately, that rule is just a myth.

“There is no actual policy,” Bryan Niehoff, associate provost at Kansas State, said. “It is the professor’s responsibility to be on time to class, but there is not a time limit to when students can leave.”

So if you are in class and your professor hasn’t arrived after 15 minutes, it’s best to stay seated.