Parenting Policies

The Department of Politics seeks to be welcoming toward, and accommodating of, graduate students who are also parents.

Women and men who become parents via any means (including, but not limited to, childbirth, adoption, and surrogacy) and who also have TA responsibilities in the department, can have their TA responsibilities shifted to a later semester.  Students who wish to take this option should inform the Director of Graduate Studies as soon as they feel comfortable doing so.

The University of Virginia provides six weeks of paid leave for graduate students who give birth while enrolled as full-time students. Students who are serving as TAs may take their leave during a semester in which they are teaching; during the leave, those responsibilities will be covered by someone else. The department is committed to ensuring that this replacement be voluntary—that is, that existing TAs are not expected to take on this added responsibility as a matter of course—and fully compensated. The University’s policy is available here.

The Director of Graduate Studies will work with students and their professors to alter any upcoming deadlines. Information about taking a leave of absence is available here. Information about requesting an extension on the time limit for completion of the degree is available here.

Women who wish to pump breast milk will have access to a private room with a door that locks in the department, as well as a dedicated refrigerator for storing breast milk.

Further information about local resources for soon-to-be or new parents is available here.

The department recognizes that graduate students have many kinds of family responsibilities, some of which can be unexpected and/or time-consuming. We will aim to work with you to help you finish your degree and find a good job. If you have concerns or see other things that should be added to this list, please talk to the DGS, the Department Chair, advisor, or another member of the faculty.