Academic Services

Parenting Accommodation Policy

Guiding Principles

The Parenting Accommodation Policy for Graduate Students is by no means designed to replace the communication and cooperation between student and advisor, and the good-faith efforts of both to accommodate the arrival of a new child in the home by birth, adoption, or foster placement, or the care of a child with a serious illness. It is the intention of this policy to reinforce the importance of that cooperation, and to provide support where needed to make that accommodation possible.

See also the Parenting Accommodation Policy for Employment Accommodations

Academic Accommodations

Leave of Absence Policy

A graduate student may take a family leave of absence for up to three quarters (or 12 months after the birth of a child or after adoption). Parenting leave extends time-to-degree standards up to three quarters at either pre-candidacy or post-candidacy stages of the student’s program. During this time, students may purchase the graduate student health insurance for up to two quarters assuming they were enrolled in the insurance plan in the quarter prior to their leave of absence. Given the high cost of the insurance for students during a leave of absence, this option may not be viable for some and they may choose to remain enrolled instead.

Expanded Academic Time-to-Degree Provisions for Extraordinary Parenting Demands

This policy is designed to assist graduate students who have extraordinary parenting responsibilities (see definition below) with maintaining continuing student status and facilitating a return to full participation in course work, and, where applicable, research and training.

A parent with extraordinary demands (as defined below), with primary responsibility for the child, may receive an extension of up to one extra year for passing preliminary examinations and qualifying examinations or an extension of up to one extra year between advancement and completion while in candidacy.

A doctoral student seeking parental accommodation must have substantial or extraordinary parenting responsibilities. These include childbirth, care of a newborn, newly adopted child or newly-placed foster child, the serious illness of a child, and other exceptional circumstances relating to a child.  The child may be the student’s child or that of a spouse or domestic partner.

The total extension of doctoral time-to-degree granted under this policy may not exceed two years.

Withdrawals, leaves, and delayed progress toward completion of degree may have implications for the visa status of international students. International students are urged to consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) before modifying their degree progress.