Graduate Information

Leave of Absence and Withdrawals

To receive a 100% tuition refund or credit to your account for Fall 2023, a Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form must be filed in the GRS Office before September 5, 2023. Before submitting this form, students should familiarize themselves with the GRS Policies on Leaves of Absence and Withdrawals as stated in the GRS Bulletin.

For more information, and to understand the refund dates and policies for the 2023-2024 academic year, please see the Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Schedule

Childbirth and Adoption Accommodation

Full-Time Master’s Students

Policy Details

The childbirth and adoption accommodation policy for full-time or certified full-time Master’s 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 calendar 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 graduate 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.
  • If the student is serving 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.

Notification Procedures

Please include the following information in an email with the subject: “GRS Childbirth and Adoption Accommodation” to your department Chair or Program Director, copying your Director of Graduate Studies, your department/program administrator, the GRS Director of Admissions & Financial Aid at, and if a research assistant, the Principal Investigator of the research project on which you are working:

  • Your name
  • BU ID number
  • Program
  • Expected date of birth or adoption
  • The start and end dates of the 60 calendar day accommodation period if known, or approximate dates if not

The Chair or Program Director must acknowledge receipt of this email via a reply to all parties initially included.

If you are expecting to be a Teaching Assistant during the semester in which you take the accommodation, this must be discussed with your department/program and GRS Financial Aid; if you are expecting to be a Research Assistant, the details surrounding the accommodation must be determined at the department/program level.