Pregnancy and Parenting Information

Pregnant and Parenting Student Information

Michigan State University is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students.  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities.  This prohibition includes discriminating against or excluding a student from an education program or activity, extracurricular activity, athletic program, or other program or activity of the University, on the basis of the student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.  The University prohibits any rule concerning a student’s actual or potential parental, family, or marital status which treats students differently on the basis of sex. 

  • Pregnant and Parenting Student Accommodation Frequently Asked Questions

    What types of adjustments can I receive while pregnant?      

    The University provides reasonable and responsive adjustments to ensure a pregnant student’s access to educational programs.  Specific adjustments will vary, but may include: 

    • a larger desk
    • allowing frequent trips to the bathroom
    • permitting temporary access to elevators

    Are my absences from class due to pregnancy or childbirth excused?

    The University will excuse your absences from class for pregnancy or childbirth, for the period during which your doctor deems the absences medically necessary.  When you return to school, you will be reinstated to the status you held when you left and given the opportunity to make up missed work.  You may choose how you want to make up the missed work, including but not liited to the following alternatives:    

    • Retaking the semester
    • Taking part in an online course credit recovery program
    • Taking additional time in a program to continue at the same pace, and finish at a later date
    • Rescheduling of tests or exams

    Are my absences from class due to pregnancy or childbirth excused if my professor has a policy regarding class attendance and make-up work?   

    If your absences are medically necessary due to pregnancy or childbirth, you will be allowed to submit work after a deadline.  If your grade is based in part on class attendance or participation, you must be given the opportunity to earn back the credits you missed due to medically necessary pregnancy or childbirth absences, so that you are reinstated to the status you held before your absences.  

    What about internships, career rotations, and other off-campus elements of my program?  Do I have a right to participate in them?

    If your program requires an internship or other opportunity to “work in the field,” you cannot be denied participation based on your pregnancy. You may be required to submit a doctor’s note for continued participation, if required for all students who have other medical conditions.  

    Can I continue to be a member of a school club, interscholastic sports or other school-sponsored organization while pregnant?   

    You cannot be excluded from participating in any extracurricular activity, school club, academic society, or interscholastic sports because you are pregnant or have given birth.  This includes activities that are part of the University’s educational programs, even if the activity is not directly operated by the University.  You may be required to submit a doctor’s note if the program or activity requires students with other medical conditions to do so.  

    How do I request adjustments for pregnancy or childbirth related absences?   

    With most absences for pregnancy or childbirth, you should request adjustments directly from your professor, coach, program or activity director.  You should request adjustments as soon as you know you are pregnant.  

    For extended absences due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth (e.g., gestational diabetes, placenta previa, preeclampsia, cesarean deliveries, etc.), you will be required to register with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD).  After you are registered with RCPD, you will be eligible to receive a Verified Individualized Services and Temporary Accommodations (VISTA) for extended absences due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.    

    What if my professor refuses my requested adjustments? 

    If you are denied pregnancy or childbirth adjustments, or your medically necessary absences are not excused by your professor, you are encouraged to speak with the Department Chair or College Dean.  

    If your issue is not satisfactorily resolved by the Department Chair or College Dean or you do not feel comfortable addressing the issue with your Department Chair or College Dean, you can file a complaint with the Office of Institutional Equity.   

    The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) reviews concerns related to discrimination and harassment based on sex, which includes a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, parental or family status.  OIE accepts calls, emails, and walk-in reports regarding any matters related to discrimination and harassment.  OIE staff can help you file a report, investigate your report, and connect you with resources. 

    Office of Institutional Equity
    5 Olds Hall
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    Phone: (517) 353-3922
    Fax: (517) 884-8513
    OIE Website

    For specific questions regarding compliance with Title IX, you may contact the Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator:

    Laura Rugless
    Vice President & Title IX Coordinator
    Office for Civil Rights and Title IX
    408 W. Circle Drive, Olds Hall, Suite 105
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    Phone: (517) 355-3960
    Nicole Schmidtke
    Interim Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator
    Office of Institutional Equity
    408 W. Circle Drive, Olds Hall, Suite 5
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    Phone: (517) 353-3922

    Resources on Campus 

     Other Resources  

  • Pregnancy and Parenting Adjustment Request