Division of Student Affairs > Title IX > Pregnant & Parenting Student Rights
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex — including pregnancy, parenting and all related conditions — in education and in programs and activities that receive federal funding. If you are a pregnant or parenting student, you have the right to stay in school so you can meet your education and career goals. Below are some frequently asked questions from students in postsecondary schools regarding their Title IX rights.
Title IX requires that professors and administrators treat pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability. The university can require a pregnant student to provide a doctor’s certification of fitness to continue in an education program or activity only if the same requirement is imposed on all other students with physical or emotional conditions requiring a doctor’s care. Pregnant students must be provided the same accommodations and support services available to other students with similar medical needs. Your professors or administrators should not tell you that you have to drop out of your classes or academic program or change your educational plans due to your pregnancy. If you have a concern regarding your status as a pregnant or parenting student please email the director of Gender Equity (Title IX coordinator) or call (312) 362-8970.
Title IX requires that absences due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions be excused and cannot be treated or penalized like unexcused absences. Your professors must provide you a leave of absence for as long as it is deemed necessary by your medical doctor. At the end of your leave, you must be reinstated to the status you held prior to your leave. After returning from an excused absence, your professors must allow a reasonable amount of time to make up missed assignments and tests. The makeup assignments and tests must be reasonably equivalent to those missed, but need not be identical. If a professor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, you must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes missed due to pregnancy.
Under Title IX, pregnant students are entitled to the same benefits offered to students with other medical conditions, illness or injury.
While your professor may have a strict attendance policy, the university is bound by federal civil rights law. Title IX requires the university ensure that all faculty and staff comply with the law and do not discriminate against pregnant and parenting students. Please contact the director of Gender Equity (Title IX coordinator) if you have questions about your professor’s attendance policy as it relates to your pregnancy or parental responsibilities.
Title IX requires the university provide pregnant students with any special services we provide to students with any other type of temporary disabilities. Please contact the Center for Students with Disabilities for more information.
No. Your program must allow you to continue participating in off-campus programs. If your program provides opportunities to “work in the field,” you cannot be excluded based on your pregnancy. Your professor cannot require a doctor’s note for continued participation unless your professor requires one for all students who have a medical condition that requires treatment by a doctor. If they do ask for a note, they cannot second-guess your doctor’s decision.
Title IX requires the university prevent and address sex-based harassment, including harassment based on pregnancy. If you experience this sort of treatment, you should seek help immediately. The law prohibits anyone from retaliating against you for filing a complaint or raising a concern. You can file a complaint here.
Not necessarily. Title IX requires professors and administrators treat parenting students in the same manner and under the same policies as any other student. In other words, if your professor has a strict attendance policy, that policy can be applied to absences related to child care, provided it is similarly applied to any other absence. If you have a concern regarding your status as a pregnant or parenting student please contact the director of Gender Equity (Title IX coordinator).
DePaul’s Office of Adult, Veteran
and Commuter Student Affairs offers a number of resources and programs for pregnant
and parenting students. See the office website for more info. Please contact that office for its Resource Guide for
Students with Children.
for Students with Disabilities: Under
certain circumstances, complications related to pregnancy or childbirth may
qualify as a disability that could impact an individual's ability to
participate in an educational program. As appropriate, the Center for Students
with Disabilities can be a resource for providing services and assisting with
establishing reasonable accommodations.
DePaul offers an organization
designated for parents of small children, Parents of Little Ones (POLO). For more information on POLO, please see the Office of Adult Student Affairs DeHUB page.
Faculty, student, and staff mothers
have access to on-campus Nursing Mother rooms at the Loop and Lincoln Park
The Loop and Lincoln Park locations
offer a private and secure place for Nursing Mothers. Access is available upon
request and requires a key. Nursing moms should go to either the key request
location or the campus administrator for access.
Key Request: Student Affairs Office, Suite 1400, Lewis
Office hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Room Location: 13th Floor, Lewis Building (25 E. Jackson
Blvd.), directly across from room 1350
Request: Office of Public Relations and Communications,
Office Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Room Location: 20th Floor, 55 E. Jackson Building
Lincoln Park Campus
Key Request: Information Desk, Student Center
Office hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Room Location: Located near the Information Desk, Student
Center (2250 N. Sheffield)
following links provide information regarding scholarship opportunities for
this student population:
DePaul does not offer child care services.
Ray Meyer Fitness Center offers childcare services, during children’s hours, while the parent is on