Parental Accommodations Policy

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Graduate Student Parental Accommodations Policy


Full time graduate students who are anticipating the birth or adoption of their child are eligible for accommodations or extensions for academic course work and other requirements, for both the period before and following the arrival of their child. This policy is a parental accommodations policy rather than a leave of absence. A leave of absence could be arranged separately if required (see page 4 in the GSAS Faculty Rules). The parental accommodations policy is available to domestic as well as international students.


1. Before taking parental accommodations, students will:

  • A. notify their research advisor and/or graduate advisor at least three (3) months prior to the start of the parental accommodations period.
  • B. consult with their research advisor and/or graduate advisor in order to:
    • i. determine what adjustments need to be made for their short-term and long-term academic goals, including but not limited to adjustments to coursework, TA/GA work, exam schedule, and/or research projects.
    • ii. affirm their agreement to the details of their parental accommodations arrangements by signing, with their advisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies, a document summarizing the agreed-upon short-term modifications to their academic plan.

2. While taking parental accommodations, students will:

  • A. be allowed a period of eight weeks, normally commencing within two weeks of the birth or adoption, during which academic expectations are on hold and the level of participation in their program is determined by the student.
  • B. maintain continuing student status
  • C. retain health insurance coverage.
  • D. retain financial support through academic funding, including but not limited to teaching/graduate assistantships and/or fellowships.

3. After taking parental accommodations, students will:

  • A. remain enrolled and seek the previously agreed upon level of work (see 1.B.i.)
  • B. be allowed an additional year towards completion of their degree(s) with eligibility for additional funding support.

Exceptions to the above parental accommodations policy may be requested in writing for consideration by the Dean of Graduate Studies.