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Parental Leave Policy for Graduate Students

As of 07/01/2022, the University has adopted a graduate student Parental leave policy benefiting all eligible University of Utah graduate students.  The full Policy 6-409 Graduate Student Parental Leave can be found at https://regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-409.php.

Please review the Frequency Asked Questions for graduate student parental leave for additional information. (in process)

 

Highlights of Graduate Student Parental Leave

  • A Graduate Student is eligible for a Parental Leave of Absence if the Graduate Student has been matriculated in a Graduate Degree Program for at least one semester and is otherwise in Good Standing within their degree program at the time the Parental Leave of Absence is taken
  • A Graduate Student who intends to take a Parental Leave of Absence shall notify the Graduate Student's advisor or program director at least 90-days before the anticipated birth or as soon as reasonably possible before adoption or foster placement for which the Graduate Student intends to take a Parental Leave of Absence.  This allows the department and student to plan for the student's absence and ensure a seamless transfer of responsibilities.
  • The Parental Leave of Absence is unpaid unless the Graduate Student is supported by a University Tuition Benefit Program eligible fellowship, teaching assistantship, graduate assistantship, or other research assistantship that the University administers.
  • A Graduate Student eligible for paid Parental Leave of Absence may take a single Parental Leave of Absence for each birth, adoption, or foster placement and is eligible to take up to a maximum of two paid total Parental Leaves of Absence during the duration of their Graduate Degree Program.  Alternatively, the eligible Graduate Student may choose to take a single unpaid Parental Leave of Absence for each birth, adoption, or foster placement, in lieu of, or in excess of, the above provided paid Parental Leaves of Absence.  A Graduate Student not eligible for paid Parental Leave of Absence may take a single Parental Leave of Absence for each birth, adoption, or foster placement, without limits on the number of births, adoptions, or foster placements, during the duration of their Graduate Degree Program.
  • An eligible Graduate Student may take a Parental Leave of Absence from a Graduate Degree Program for up to eight (8) consecutive weeks following a child's birth, adoption, or foster placement.
  • The Graduate Student and the Graduate Student's advisor or program director shall discuss coursework completion, rearrangement of teaching and/or research duties, and timelines for academic matters that will be affected by the Parental Leave of Absence and create a jointly signed agreement that describes how the Graduate Student will complete these requirements following the Parental Leave of Absence.  The Graduate Student shall submit the written agreement to the Graduate School as part of the Graduate Student's application for a Parental Leave of Absence.
  • The Graduate School will forward any Graduate Student Parental Leave requests to HR Absence Management Team for FMLA consideration.

 

Requesting Graduate Student Parental Leave

Request form

Completed forms should be submitted to gradstudent_parental_leave@utah.edu at least 90-days before the anticipated birth or as soon as reasonably possible before adoption or foster placement

Instructions for filling out a Request for Graduate Student Parental Leave

  1. Employee Information Section

Please fill out all the requested information on the form.

  1. Parental Leave Benefit Application Section

The Graduate Student and the Graduate Student’s advisor or program director shall discuss coursework completion, rearrangement of teaching and/or research duties, and timelines for academic matters that will be affected by the Parental Leave of Absence and create a jointly signed agreement that describes how the Graduate Student will complete these requirements following the Parental Leave of Absence. The Graduate Student and advisor or program director may consult the Office of Equal Opportunity and Center for Disabilities regarding the terms of the agreement.  Please attach a copy of this agreement with the Leave Application.

The Parental Leave of Absence is unpaid unless the Graduate Student is supported by a University Tuition benefit Program eligible fellowship, teaching assistantship, graduate assistantship, or other research assistantship that the University administers.  If supported by the University Tuition Benefit Program, please provide the name and email of your program’s Tuition Benefit Coordinator.

  1. Graduate Student Fellowship Section

Under certain circumstances, externally funded graduate fellows may require a formal notification and approval from the funding agency for an extension beyond a standard duration, as required by the terms of the fellowship award. If you have an external Fellowship, please confirm that the Fellowship allows for Parental Leave and attach a copy of the Fellowship’s Parental Leave Policy.

  1. Graduate Student Certification Section

Please sign this certification noting that you understand the statements. Note that if you are eligible for FMLA, this runs concurrently with the paid Parental Leave. At the conclusion of the paid Parental Leave you may be eligible for additional unpaid leave through FMLA. The Graduate School will forward your application for Graduate Student parental Leave to the University’s Absence Management Team for review.  The Absence Management Team will reach out you for further information.   Also note that the leave should not start sooner than two weeks prior to the expected birth, adoption, or foster placement unless deemed medically necessary and that the leave should be completed no more than 12 months following the birth, adoption, or foster placement.

  1. Graduate Student Advisor or Director of Graduate Studies Acknowledgement Section

Signatures from the Advisor or Director of Graduate Studies are required, but do not provide final approval for the leave request.

  1. Graduate School Approval and Routing Information Sections

These sections are for the Graduate School use only; do not fill these out.

 

Last Updated: 8/8/22