Parental Leave of Absence

The Parental Leave form initiates a request from a student to take a leave from their program to care for their child immediately following the birth or adoption of the child.

Graduate students in thesis-based degree programs, who have full-time student status, may be eligible to request up to eight (8) weeks of parental leave. The Parental Leave Policy is designed to assist students who are primary child-care providers immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. The policy is designed to make it possible for students to maintain full-time status in research-based degree programs while taking a leave from that program to care for their new child, and facilitate planning for continuance of their degree program.

Nothing in the Parental Leave policy can, or is intended to replace communication and cooperation between the student and his or her advisor, and the good-faith efforts of both to accommodate the birth or adoption of a child within the confines and expectations of participating in a research-active graduate degree program. It is the intent of this policy to reinforce the importance of this cooperation, and to provide a framework of support and guidance.

In order to be eligible for Parental Leave, a graduate student must:

  • be the primary child care provider;
  • have been a full-time graduate student in his/her degree program during at least the two (2), prior consecutive semesters;
  • be enrolled in a thesis-based degree program (i.e., Doctoral or thesis-based Masters);
  • be in good academic standing as defined in the Unsatisfactory Academic Performance section of the Graduate Catalog;
  • provide a letter from a physician or other health care professional stating the anticipated due date of the child, or provide appropriate documentation specifying an expected date of adoption of the child;
  • notify advisor of intent to apply for Parental Leave at least four (4) months prior to the anticipated due date or adoption date; and
  • at least two (2) months prior to the expected leave date complete, and have approved, the Request for Parental Leave Form that includes an academic Program Plan for program continuance.

Exceptions and Limitations
This Policy has been explicitly constructed with the following limitations:

  • part-time and non-thesis students are not eligible for Parental Leave. These students may, however, apply for a Leave of Absence through the regular procedure defined above;
  • if both parents are Mines graduate students who would otherwise qualify for leave under this Policy, each is entitled to a Parental Leave period immediately following the birth or adoption of a child during which he or she is the primary care provider, but the leaves may not be taken simultaneously; and
  • leaves extending beyond eight (8) weeks are not covered by this Policy. The regular Leave of Absence policy defined in the Graduate Catalog applies to these cases.

Under this Policy students will receive the following benefits and protections:

  • a one-semester extension of all academic requirements (e.g., qualifying examinations, time to degree limitations, etc.);
  • maintenance of full-time status in degree program while on Parental Leave;
  • documentation of an academic plan that specifies both how a student will continue work toward his or her degree prior to the leave period and how a student will reintegrate into a degree program after returning from leave; and
  • continuance of assistantship support during the semester in which the leave is taken.

For additional information, please see the Graduate Catalog.