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Pregnant and Parenting Students


Title IX protects the rights of pregnant and parenting students.

Title IX Basic Rights (Source: National Women’s Law Center)

  • You must have equal access to classes and activities. If your school has special services for students with temporary medical conditions, they have to offer the same services to pregnant students.
    • For instance, if your school records lectures for students who miss class because they are sick, they must do the same for students who miss class due to pregnancy.
    • Another example is if your school allows a student with a broken leg to change their seat or use a different desk, your school must do the same for pregnant students.
  • Your college must excuse your absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as your doctor says is necessary. Schools must reschedule exams missed due to pregnancy or childbirth. When you return, your college must allow you to return to the same academic and extracurricular status you had before you left. The college must also give you a chance to make up missed work.
  • Your college cannot make you to take time off if you don’t want to.
  • Your college cannot exclude you from a special program because you are pregnant or a parent.
  • If your college has a program or activity for students who are pregnant or parents, you get to decide if you want to take part in them. Your college cannot make you attend if you do not want to.
  • Your college can make you turn in medical records only if they make students with medical conditions do the same. If they do not make students with other medical conditions submit medical papers to take part in a class or activity, then it is illegal to make pregnant students do so.

School Activities

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


  • Your college cannot make you change your major or degree program because you are pregnant or a parent. They 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, tell a school official ASAP. You have a right to take whatever course you want if you meet course prerequisites. The school official should monitor the class and make sure the professor does not show bias in grading. Stick with it so you can graduate and reach your goals!
  • If students with temporary medical conditions get online classes or tutoring, students who miss class because of pregnancy or childbirth should get the same.


Lactation/Pumping Space Available

Breastfeeding students, faculty, and staff may request access to a private space on campus to express breast milk. You may reserve the room by contacting Johnie Burton at ext. 7230 or A small refrigerator reserved for the specific storage of breast milk is available. Any breast milk stored in the refrigerator must be labeled with your name and the date of expressing the breast milk. Any nonconforming products stored in the refrigerator may be disposed of. Those storing milk in the refrigerator assume all responsibility for the safety of the milk and the risk of harm for any reason, including improper storage, refrigeration, and tampering.

Federal Guidance for Pregnant and Parenting Students

OCR: Know Your Rights: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination At School

Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

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.
  • States that a student in good academic standing who takes a leave of absence would return to his or her associate, bachelor’s or graduate program in good academic standing under the law.

For more information, to request pregnancy-related accommodations, or to report pregnancy-related discrimination please contact:

Kat McGee, J.D.
Director of Title IX, ADA and Compliance Training
Office: D 104
(201) 684-7220