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Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy

This policy, V-303: Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy, applies to students currently registered in full-time graduate programs at the University of British Columbia, including those administered by faculties other than the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, who are in Good Standing and making satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree. Students must have completed at least one term of full-time study in their program. (See also On-Leave Status).

The policy makes it possible for a student to maintain full-time student status during an eight-week period surrounding the arrival of a new child, with all the benefits of such status, by standardizing a minimum level of academic accommodation during that period.

This policy does not apply to students enrolled in the Pharm.D. program and students in undergraduate programs including the M.D., J.D., and D.M.D. programs.

Students in dual degree programs (e.g., M.D./Ph.D., D.M.D./Ph.D., J.D./M.A.A.P.P.S) may be eligible, through discussion with both programs.

A graduate student with substantial parenting responsibilities for a newborn or newly adopted child under the age of six during their course of study may apply for a parental accommodation.

Parental accommodation periods must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; or, in the case of programs not administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, by their respective Dean.

An application for a parental accommodation shall be made as far in advance of the requested parental accommodation period as possible, with 30 days being the minimum notice allowed.

Students who are approved for parental accommodation will be granted a parental accommodation period.

During the parental accommodation period, the student will continue to be registered as a full-time student, and tuition and student fees must be paid as usual.

Academic deadlines and expectations are to be flexible and modified to accommodate the student's new parental responsibilities, as follows:

  • The Parental Accommodation Period needs to be tailored to fit the student's individual circumstances and timing considerations.
  • Students will be allowed to postpone completion of course assignments, examinations, and other academic requirements. Such modifications of academic expectations should be mutually agreed upon by the student and her/his supervisor or program advisor in advance of the Parental Accommodation Period.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that this consultation takes place.
  • It is the responsibility of the supervisor or advisor to be flexible in her/his expectations.

In the event that a student and his or her supervisor or program advisor cannot come to an agreement regarding the modification of an academic expectation as per above, the Dean shall make a determination on behalf of the Faculty.

Graduate programs that are structured with the regard to the sequencing and scheduling of courses and other academic requirements, such as those that are cohort based, may have particular constraints on modifications to academic scheduling, but are still expected to exercise as much flexibility as possible in supporting a student during a Parental Accommodation Period.

For graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses, normal concession policies for those courses still apply.

Modification of Time Limits

Students who are approved for parental accommodation will automatically have four months added to their maximum allowable time in program, and, for doctoral students, to their maximum allowable time to advance to candidacy.

Individual graduate programs are expected to extend any internal deadlines for the completion of academic requirements (such as comprehensive exams or coursework) by a minimum of four months.

Further extensions beyond these minimums are possible, subject to the approval of both the graduate program and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or the administering Faculty.

Graduate Awards and Fellowships

A graduate student granted a parental accommodation period retains the full value of any fellowship or other award for which the terms and conditions are established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and will experience no change in this funding during the parental accommodation period. Payments will continue on the usual schedule. There will be no change to the total amount granted or to the completion date of the scholarship.

Awards for which the terms and conditions are not established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will be paid according to the terms conditions established by the donor or granting agency.

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