Carnegie Mellon University

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Student Handbook

Student Maternity Accommodation Protocol

This protocol should be reviewed in its entirety online.

The following is a summary of the protocol:

The birth of a child is a significant life event that may require time away from academic pursuits for delivery and recovery from delivery of a newly born child. This document outlines Maternity Accommodation options available to female students who anticipate giving birth to a child.

Female students whose anticipated delivery date is during the course of a semester may need to take time away from their academic responsibilities.

Carnegie Mellon offers female students two options for Maternity Accommodation:

Short-Term Maternity Accommodation (see Section IIIA for details) – A short term absence from academic responsibilities up to a maximum of six (6) weeks. Short-Term Maternity Accommodation may be extended by two (2) weeks, for a total of eight (8) weeks, where a longer absence is medically necessary. Prior to the absence students must work with relevant university faculty and staff to adjust their course work, course schedules, research and other academic responsibilities during the period of absence. This may include extensions of time to complete assignments, incomplete grades, and/or dropping courses. Students who take a Short-Term Maternity Accommodation will remain enrolled. 

Formal Leave of Absence (see Section IIIB for details) – A formal leave of absence under the Student Leave Policy. Generally, the Student Leave Policy permits students to take a leave of absence for a full-semester, mini-semester, or for the time remaining in the semester during which the leave is taken. Students who take a Formal Leave of Absence drop all remaining courses for the semester and are unenrolled for the semester.

Carnegie Mellon also offers financial assistance to female students who give birth to a child:

Interest Free Loan (see Section IVA for details) – Any female student who gives birth to a child is eligible to apply for an interest free loan from the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. 

  • Stipend Continuation  (see Section IVB for details)– Doctoral students who receive an academic stipend funded by Carnegie Mellon are eligible to continue to receive stipend funding for up to six (6) weeks during a Short-Term Maternity Accommodation or a Formal Leave of Absence. Continued academic stipend funding may be extended by two (2) weeks, for a total of eight (8) weeks, if an absence longer than six weeks is medically necessary. 

Female students seeking any of the above Maternity Accommodations must register with the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs by following the Maternity Accommodation Process outlined in Section II below. Female students are encouraged to register ninety (90) days in advance of the anticipated delivery and should register no later than sixty (60) days in advance of the anticipated delivery. Students should also consult with their academic advisors either before or in conjunction with registering with the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

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