Childbirth and Adoption Accommodation for Full-time PhD Students

Effective June 26, 2014

The childbirth and adoption accommodation policy for full-time or certified full-time PhD students in good academic standing provides for extensions for academic coursework and other requirements to the primary caregiver of an infant or adopted child. It also provides for a continuation of stipend support for funded students during the accommodation period.

  • A student taking an accommodation due to the birth of a child should notify the relevant department chair (or program director) in writing no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester during which the birth is expected. In the case of adoption, notification should be made once the student becomes reasonably certain of the expected date of the adoption. The notification should indicate the start and end dates of the accommodation consistent with the allowable time frame below. The department chair (or program director) shall acknowledge receipt in writing. Forms for this purpose are available from the student’s school or college dean’s office.
  • The period of accommodation is 60 days and must end no later than the final day of the semester immediately following the semester in which the child is born or the newly adopted child is placed. The summer period between Spring and Fall Semesters will be considered a semester for the purpose of this policy. A student may elect a shorter period of accommodation, at the sole discretion of the student, and should inform the relevant department chair (or program director) in writing.
  • If both parents are eligible PhD students at Boston University, the accommodation is available to both, but the periods of accommodation may not overlap.
  • The student will remain registered as a full-time or certified full-time student during the period of accommodation.
  • The student will be excused from all course requirements during the period of accommodation, including assignments and exams. The student should make arrangements with each instructor to complete any assignments or exams missed.
  • Other requirements outside of formal coursework, such as qualifying or comprehensive examinations, should be rescheduled as appropriate to provide reasonable time for preparation and completion.
  • A student holding an appointment for which a stipend is paid, whether service or non-service, will continue to receive the stipend during the period of accommodation.
  • If the student is serving or was to serve in a teaching role during the semester of the accommodation, the student will be relieved of any responsibilities related to the course(s) during the period of accommodation. At the program’s discretion, the student may be relieved of all course responsibilities for the semester.
  • If the student is serving or was to serve as a research assistant on a funded project during the period of the accommodation, the student will be relieved of any responsibilities directly related to the project during the period of accommodation.
  • The length of a multi-year stipend commitment made at the time of admission and the total time allowed to obtain the degree will generally not be extended by the period of accommodation.