Pregnant & Parenting Students

Title IX makes it illegal to exclude pregnant students from an educational program.

If you are a pregnant or parenting student looking for resources, accommodations, or support, please contact the Title IX Office.

Title IX Basic Rights

  • As a pregnant student, you have equal access to classes and activities.
  • You are entitled to accommodations for both your pregnancy and childbirth, including excused absences, extra time on assignments, and other reasonable accommodations that would be provided to a student with a temporary medical condition.
  • Your school/department must excuse your absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as your doctor says is necessary. Schools/departments must also reschedule exams missed due to pregnancy or childbirth.
  • When you return, your school/department must allow you to return to the same academic and extracurricular status you had before you left. They must also give you a chance to make up missed work.
  • Your school/department cannot make you take time off if you don’t want to.
  • Your school/department cannot exclude you from a special program because you are pregnant.

Classes

  • Your school/department cannot make you change your major or degree program because you are pregnant or parenting. They also cannot force you to attend an alternate program, like an evening program.
  • If a professor doesn’t want you in class because you’re pregnant or parenting, contact the Title IX Office immediately.

School Activities

  • You can take part in activities for as long as you want. Your school/department cannot stop you from joining clubs, going to events, or participating in research unless the same rules apply for all students who have a temporary medical condition.

New Jersey Law ensures equal rights and opportunities for pregnant students in institutions of higher education.

New Jersey Law (S-1489/A-1465) protects the rights of pregnant students. The law:

  • Prohibits institutions of higher education from requiring a student to take a leave of absence, withdraw from an associate, bachelor’s or graduate program or limit her studies due to pregnancy or issues related to pregnancy.
  • Requires schools to provide pregnant students with reasonable accommodations, for example allowing students to maintain a safe distance away from hazardous materials or make up examinations missed due to pregnancy-related issues, for the successful completion of coursework and research. Institutions would be required to develop, adopt and distribute policies regarding pregnancy discrimination.
  • A graduate student who chooses to take a leave of absence because she is pregnant or recently has given birth will be allowed a minimum of 12 months to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations. The normative time to degree while in candidacy for a degree for a pregnant graduate student would be increased in an amount equal to the length of the leave of absence, unless a longer extension is medically necessary. The law also allows a graduate student who is not the birth parent to take additional time to prepare for preliminary and qualifying examinations if he or she needs to care for his or her partner or child.

A student in good academic standing who voluntarily takes a leave of absence would return to their associate, bachelors or graduate program in good academic standing under the law.

Additional Resources for Pregnant and Parenting Students

If you are a pregnant or parenting student looking for resources, accommodations, or support, please contact the Title IX Office.