Parental Arrangement

 Parental Arrangements are for students with parental responsibility due to childbirth, care of a newborn, or a newly adopted child. This policy guarantees Laney Graduate School (LGS) students a minimum level of arrangements and academic modification while welcoming a new child into their family. Graduate students should develop and discuss plans with their advisors and director of graduate studies (DGS)/ program director (PD) and consult LGS Student Affairs Assistant Dean as needed. 

LGS students designated as the caregiver, having parental responsibility, may be allowed parental arrangements and academic modification(s) of graduate responsibilities for up to eight weeks after the birth or adoption of a child. Students may use four of those weeks before the anticipated birth or adoption date. Modifications, including length of time for master's students, are based on a case-by-case basis and worked out between the student, academic program advisor, and the DGS depending on the students' stage of degree progress, i.e., coursework, teaching, research, and nature of the research environment. Students are not employees and thus are not subject to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions. For detailed policies, consult the LGS Handbook. 

How to Request a Parental Arrangement:

  • Students should develop an arrangement plan guided by the policies in the LGS Handbook with their advisor, PI funder (if applicable) and DGS/ PD. When you submit a request form, you will need to attach a pdf of this plan.
  • The form for requesting a parental arrangement is in the the Laney Connect Hub, in the "Enrollment" section. Log in with your Emory credentials and follow the instructions to locate and submit the form
  • You'll receive a confirmation email when you submit the form, and your program administrator will receive a copy.
  • LGS will process your request, and let you know when the process is complete.

Parental Return Arrangement 

This guidance supports students in their return to full academic responsibilities following Parental Arrangements. Students who are new parents may require special provisions when returning to the classroom or research responsibilities. Students should ensure these provisions do not interfere with returning to complete academic duties. Students should make every effort to minimize absence from academic obligations. Requirements may vary but include lactation.


Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all students who breastfeed their child are permitted reasonable break time to express milk throughout the day for the length of time they elect to breastfeed. Therefore, the university will provide lactation rooms and private areas across its campus. These areas will be in a space other than a bathroom. These areas must be shielded from view and free from the intrusion of other individuals. These private spaces may or may not be specifically for nursing; however, they will be made available when needed and meet specific criteria set forth by federal regulations and the university as outlined in this policy.

Faculty members and Advisors must make every effort to provide a student with a reasonable break time to express milk as frequently as needed. Please speak with the student, program DGS, or LGS Student Affairs Assistant Dean if issues arise. The frequency of breaks and the duration of each interval will vary according to the individual and mother's physical needs. Faculty should remember that expressing milk is a necessity for some mothers. Such accommodation should include permitting mothers who need to express breast milk to visit lactation rooms, use a private room during class, lab, or exam times, or turn off their camera while pumping or breastfeeding. Faculty should work with students to manage their schedules.

Develop a plan

  • Students should develop a written plan when returning to full academic responsibilities with their advisors and DGS / PD with consultation from LGS Student Affairs Assistant Dean if needed.
  • Students should share their plan with any faculty member instructing a course or supervising research when provisions are needed.
  • If faculty members or students have any questions about arrangements or implementation, they may reach out to the program DGS or LGS Student Affairs Assistant Dean.