Pregnant and Parenting Students

Rice University is committed to creating a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools. This prohibition includes discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. Students and employees may request reasonable accommodations as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.

How do I request accommodations?

Accommodation requests should be directed to the Office of Access, Equity & Equal Opportunity. A member from AEEO will discuss the pregnant or parenting individual's needs and may ask for documentation that supports the requested accommodations.

A student or employee who has a chronic medical condition as a result of pregnancy should request accommodations from the Academic Support and Access Center.

What types of accommodations may I request?

Specific accommodations will vary from person to person. Examples of accommodations may include:

  • a larger desk breaks during class/work, as needed
  • permitting temporary access to elevators
  • rescheduling tests or exams
  • excusing absences due to pregnancy or related conditions
  • submitting work after a deadline missed due to pregnancy or childbirth
  • providing alternatives to make up missed work
  • allowing excused absences for parenting students (both male and female) who need to take their children to medical appointments or to take care of their sick children

A pregnant student will be allowed to make up any work missed due to medically necessary absences for pregnancy. A student will be offered acceptable alternative arrangements to make up missed work. The student will not be required to complete makeup work until the student's medically necessary absences for pregnancy are completed.

Am I required to tell anyone about my pregnancy or parenting status?

No. Students or employees are not required to inform any member of the Rice community of their pregnancy or parenting status unless they are seeking accommodations. The university wishes to create an environment that encourages voluntary sharing of this information so that the university can provide support for the physical and mental health of the student.

What resources are available to me as a pregnant and/or parenting student?
What do I do if a student or employee tells me they're pregnant?

Ask them if they need any accommodations and support them. If you or they have any questions or if they are in need of accommodations, please contact the Office of Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity ( assistance.

How do I request accommodations for pregnancy-related complications?

In certain situations, a pregnancy-related complication may be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), entitling the student to reasonable accommodation. Accommodation requests should be directed to Disability Resource Center using the information below. The University staff member will discuss the pregnant or parenting individual’s needs and will ask for documentation that supports the requested accommodations. Disability Resource Center Location: Allen Center, Room 111Phone: (main) 713-348-5841 Fax: 713-348-5888 E-mail:

What do I do if a student tells me they need to miss class due to a pregnancy?

We excuse all medically necessary absences for pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery. This includes doctor appointments. Via the Office of Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity, faculty members should excuse those absences deemed medically necessary by the appropriate medical professional. Students should be referred to the Office of Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity for the purpose of documenting medical needs.

What do reasonable accommodations for a parenting student look like?

Reasonable accommodations for parenting students could include allowing students reasonable time for nursing and access to lactation rooms.

Can I ask a student to prove they're pregnant or provide a doctor's note?

Faculty cannot ask for doctor’s notes. Please refer the student to the Office of Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity for documentation and support.