Leaves, accommodations, and time off

Please see the pages in this section for more information about Childbirth Accommodation and Parental Accommodation; Leave for US National Service; Medical leave; and Personal leave.

The summary below helps graduate students understand their eligibility for various types of academic and employment leaves, accommodations, and other time off.

Specifically, the information below provides a high-level snapshot of this eligibility based upon appointment/funding status. Click on each appointment/funding status to view eligibility for leaves, accommodations, and other time off from academics and employment.

Note that, in some cases, eligibility is subject to certain conditions and/or requires a particular action (e.g., enrolling or applying).

Key

Eligible 
Eligible with conditions 
Not eligible

RA/TA/IG (full)

Vacation (paid): 5 days per full appointment period, maximum 15 days within 12 months. Unused days do not carry over to next appointment period.

Institute holidaysApply to academic & employment responsibilities: Bargaining unit employees observe official Institute holidays without loss of pay or benefits. During a designated holiday, employees may be required to conduct work only when determined to be necessary by their supervisor, and with advance notification. The supervisor shall discuss the necessity of such work with the employee in advance, unless such work is already specified in the appointment letter. MIT’s policy regarding student absence for religious observances also applies to bargaining unit employees. If the employee cannot make up the missed time, it must be taken as vacation time or be unpaid.

Student holidays – Apply to required academic activities: See academic calendar and MIT’s policy on academics and student religious observances.

Sick leave from RA/TA/IG duties – For employee’s own or family member’s illness/medical appt/dental appt, or leave related to domestic violence. Does not accrue: 20 hours for each appointment period, up to 40 hour cap in a 12-month period.

Excused absence from class or academic work: Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.

Personal leave of short duration for personal reasons: Employment leaves of short duration only if not otherwise covered by the CBA. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks; granted at discretion of academic advisor or employee’s supervisor. Bargaining unit members may also be eligible for academic leave.

Family & medical leave – For employee’s own or family members’s serious health condition; for bonding with new child within 6 months of event. Runs concurrently with other employment leave types: Up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period. No salary payments unless provided under another policy; tuition remission and health insurance only.

Childbirth Accommodation for birthing parent; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables: Up to 2 months (8.67 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.

Parental Accommodation for all student parents due to birth, adoption, or placement; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables. Must be taken within 6 months after event: 1 month (4.33 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.

Additional Parental Leave (Family & Medical Leave) from RA/TA/IG duties for student parent employees. Only applies after exhausting Childbirth & Parental Accommodation. All bonding leave must be taken within 6 months from birth, adoption, or placement: 4 weeks salary at MA formula rate and tuition coverage AND balance of remaining 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave (if applicable) without salary, but with tuition coverage and benefits in place.

Bereavement leave – For loss of family member defined as father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, domestic partner and their immediate family (parent or child), sister, brother, child, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, stepfamilies, or member of the household: Up to 5 business days, per loss, paid. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.

Professional development leave – For educational or professional development opportunities: Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.

Jury duty: Paid difference between any court fee received and employee’s normal base pay.

Military leave: Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable).

Immigration leave: 3 days per 12 month period, paid, for appts or hearings for employee or mother/father/child/spouse. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.

Union conference: Unpaid, may use vacation time, cannot exceed 10 consecutive days. Max 20 employees per academic year may attend union conventions, conferences, meetings, and training or to conduct other Union business.

Union leave: Unpaid, for contiguous fall/spring/summer terms for union business. 5 employees maximum per academic year.

RA/TA/IG (partial)

Vacation (paid): 5 days per full appointment period, maximum 15 days within 12 months. Unused days do not carry over to next appointment period.

Institute holidaysApply to academic & employment responsibilities: Bargaining unit employees observe official Institute holidays without loss of pay or benefits. During a designated holiday, employees may be required to conduct work only when determined to be necessary by their supervisor, and with advance notification. The supervisor shall discuss the necessity of such work with the employee in advance, unless such work is already specified in the appointment letter. MIT’s policy regarding student absence for religious observances also applies to bargaining unit employees. If the employee cannot make up the missed time, it must be taken as vacation time or be unpaid.

Student holidays – Apply to required academic activities: See academic calendar and MIT’s policy on academics and student religious observances.

Sick leave from RA/TA/IG duties – For employee’s own or family member’s illness/medical appt/dental appt, or leave related to domestic violence. Does not accrue: Prorated hours up to prorated cap in a 12 month period.

Excused absence from class or academic work: Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.

Personal leave of short duration for personal reasons: Employment leaves of short duration only if not otherwise covered by the CBA. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks; granted at discretion of academic advisor or employee’s supervisor. Bargaining unit members may also be eligible for academic leave.

Family & medical leave – For employee’s own or family members’s serious health condition; for bonding with new child within 6 months of event. Runs concurrently with other employment leave types: Up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period. No salary payments unless provided under another policy; tuition remission and health insurance only.

Childbirth Accommodation for birthing parent; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables: Up to 2 months (8.67 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.

Parental Accommodation for all student parents due to birth, adoption, or placement; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables. Must be taken within 6 months after event: 1 month (4.33 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.

Additional Parental Leave (Family & Medical Leave) from RA/TA/IG duties for student parent employees. Only applies after exhausting Childbirth & Parental Accommodation. All bonding leave must be taken within 6 months from birth, adoption, or placement: 4 weeks salary at MA formula rate and tuition coverage AND balance of remaining 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave (if applicable) without salary, but with tuition coverage and benefits in place.

Bereavement leave – For loss of family member defined as father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, domestic partner and their immediate family (parent or child), sister, brother, child, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, stepfamilies, or member of the household: Up to 5 business days, per loss, paid. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.

Professional development leave – For educational or professional development opportunities: Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.

Jury duty: Paid difference between any court fee received and employee’s normal base pay.

Military leave: Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable).

Immigration leave: 3 days per 12 month period, paid, for appts or hearings for employee or mother/father/child/spouse. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.

Union conference: Unpaid, may use vacation time, cannot exceed 10 consecutive days. Max 20 employees per academic year may attend union conventions, conferences, meetings, and training or to conduct other Union business.

Union leave: Unpaid, for contiguous fall/spring/summer terms for union business. 5 employees maximum per academic year.

Fellowship only (internal or external)

Vacation (paid): May request time away from academics consistent with policies and processes of research group and graduate program.

Institute holidaysApply to academic & employment responsibilities: Institute holidays are a break from academic research and coursework.

Student holidays – Apply to required academic activities: See academic calendar and MIT’s policy on academics and student religious observances.

Sick leave from RA/TA/IG duties – For employee’s own or family member’s illness/medical appt/dental appt, or leave related to domestic violence. Does not accrue: Not applicable.

Excused absence from class or academic work: Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.

Personal leave of short duration for personal reasons: For students not covered by the CBA, leaves of short duration for personal reasons, such as a family emergency, a brief illness, or a personal crisis, can be granted at the discretion of the faculty advisor and are to be negotiated on a case by case basis. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks.

Family & medical leave – For employee’s own or family members’s serious health condition; for bonding with new child within 6 months of event. Runs concurrently with other employment leave types: See academic medical leave policy, as well as Childbirth Accommodation and Parental Accommodation.

Childbirth Accommodation for birthing parent; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables: Up to 2 months. Stipend and/or tuition coverage if needed.

Parental Accommodation for all student parents due to birth, adoption, or placement; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables. Must be taken within 6 months after event: 1 month. Stipend and/or tuition replacement if needed.

Additional Parental Leave (Family & Medical Leave) from RA/TA/IG duties for student parent employees. Only applies after exhausting Childbirth & Parental Accommodation. All bonding leave must be taken within 6 months from birth, adoption, or placement: Not applicable.

Bereavement leave – For loss of family member defined as father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, domestic partner and their immediate family (parent or child), sister, brother, child, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, stepfamilies, or member of the household: Personal leave policy applies.

Professional development leave – For educational or professional development opportunities: Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.

Jury duty: Excused absence policy applies.

Military leave: Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable).

Immigration leave: Excused absence or personal leave policy applies.

Union conference: Not applicable.

Union leave: Not applicable.

Self-funded (out of pocket)

Vacation (paid): May request time away from academics consistent with policies and processes of research group and graduate program.

Institute holidaysApply to academic & employment responsibilities: Institute holidays are a break from academic research and coursework.

Student holidays – Apply to required academic activities: See academic calendar and MIT’s policy on academics and student religious observances.

Sick leave from RA/TA/IG duties – For employee’s own or family member’s illness/medical appt/dental appt, or leave related to domestic violence. Does not accrue: Not applicable.

Excused absence from class or academic work: Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.

Personal leave of short duration for personal reasons: For students not covered by the CBA, leaves of short duration for personal reasons, such as a family emergency, a brief illness, or a personal crisis, can be granted at the discretion of the faculty advisor and are to be negotiated on a case by case basis. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks.

Family & medical leave – For employee’s own or family members’s serious health condition; for bonding with new child within 6 months of event. Runs concurrently with other employment leave types: See academic medical leave policy, as well as Childbirth Accommodation and Parental Accommodation.

Childbirth Accommodation for birthing parent; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables: Up to 2 months.

Parental Accommodation for all student parents due to birth, adoption, or placement; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables. Must be taken within 6 months after event: 1 month.

Additional Parental Leave (Family & Medical Leave) from RA/TA/IG duties for student parent employees. Only applies after exhausting Childbirth & Parental Accommodation. All bonding leave must be taken within 6 months from birth, adoption, or placement: Not applicable.

Bereavement leave – For loss of family member defined as father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, domestic partner and their immediate family (parent or child), sister, brother, child, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, stepfamilies, or member of the household: Personal leave policy applies.

Professional development leave – For educational or professional development opportunities: Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.

Jury duty: Excused absence policy applies.

Military leave: Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable).

Immigration leave: Excused absence or personal leave policy applies.

Union conference: Not applicable.

Union leave: Not applicable.

Table: Graduate student leaves, accommodations, and time off

The same benefits listed above are shown here in a convenient table:

Eligible 
Eligible with conditions 
Not eligible
Leave or accommodation type*
RA/TA/IG (full)
RA/TA/IG (partial)
Fellowship only (internal or external)
Self-funded (out of pocket)
* In all cases involving leaves under the GSU collective bargaining agreement, the applicable CBA provisions shall govern. Also, unless stated otherwise, the terms of the CBA apply to leaves from employment obligations only.
Vacation (paid)
5 days per full appointment period, maximum 15 days within 12 months. Unused days do not carry over to next appointment period.
5 days per full appointment period, maximum 15 days within 12 months. Unused days do not carry over to next appointment period.
May request time away from academics consistent with policies and processes of research group and graduate program.
May request time away from academics consistent with policies and processes of research group and graduate program.
Institute holidays: Apply to academic & employment responsibilities
Please see also MIT's policy regarding student absence for religious holidays.
Bargaining unit employees observe official Institute holidays without loss of pay or benefits. During a designated holiday, employees may be required to conduct work only when determined to be necessary by their supervisor, and with advance notification. The supervisor shall discuss the necessity of such work with the employee in advance, unless such work is already specified in the appointment letter. MIT’s policy regarding student absence for religious observances also applies to bargaining unit employees. If the employee cannot make up the missed time, it must be taken as vacation time or be unpaid.
Bargaining unit employees observe official Institute holidays without loss of pay or benefits. During a designated holiday, employees may be required to conduct work only when determined to be necessary by their supervisor, and with advance notification. The supervisor shall discuss the necessity of such work with the employee in advance, unless such work is already specified in the appointment letter. MIT’s policy regarding student absence for religious observances also applies to bargaining unit employees. If the employee cannot make up the missed time, it must be taken as vacation time or be unpaid.
Institute holidays are a break from academic research and coursework.
Institute holidays are a break from academic research and coursework.
Student holidays: Apply to required academic activities
See academic calendar and MIT's policy on academics and student religious observances
See academic calendar and MIT's policy on academics and student religious observances
See academic calendar and MIT's policy on academics and student religious observances
See academic calendar and MIT's policy on academics and student religious observances

Sick leave from RA/TA/IG duties: For employee's own or family member's illness/medical appt/dental appt, or leave related to domestic violence. Does not accrue.

20 hours for each appointment period, up to 40 hour cap in a 12-month period
Prorated hours up to prorated cap in a 12 month period
Not applicable
Not applicable
Excused absence from class or work
Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.
Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.
Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.
Communicate with academic advisor, graduate administrator, class instructors and GradSupport as necessary. May request an excused absence.
Personal leave of short duration for personal reasons
Employment leaves of short duration only if not otherwise covered by the CBA. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks; granted at discretion of academic advisor or employee's supervisor. Bargaining unit members may also be eligible for academic leave.
Employment leaves of short duration only if not otherwise covered by the CBA. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks; granted at discretion of academic advisor or employee's supervisor. Bargaining unit members may also be eligible for academic leave.
For students not covered by the CBA, leaves of short duration for personal reasons, such as a family emergency, a brief illness, or a personal crisis, can be granted at the discretion of the faculty advisor and are to be negotiated on a case by case basis. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks.
For students not covered by the CBA, leaves of short duration for personal reasons, such as a family emergency, a brief illness, or a personal crisis, can be granted at the discretion of the faculty advisor and are to be negotiated on a case by case basis. Typically up to 2 weeks, may not exceed 4 weeks.
Family & medical leave for employee's own or family members's serious health condition; for bonding with new child within 6 months of event. Runs concurrently with other employment leave types.
Up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period. No salary payments unless provided under another policy; tuition remission and health insurance only.
Up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period. No salary payments unless provided under another policy; tuition remission and health insurance only.
See academic medical leave policy, as well as Childbirth Accommodation and Parental Accommodation.
See academic medical leave policy, as well as Childbirth Accommodation and Parental Accommodation.
Childbirth Accommodation for birthing parent; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables.
Up to 2 months (8.67 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.
Up to 2 months (8.67 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.
Up to 2 months. Stipend and/or tuition coverage if needed.
Up to 2 months
Parental Accommodation for all student parents due to birth, adoption, or placement; relief from academic and thesis research deliverables. Must be taken within 6 months after event.
1 month (4.33 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.
1 month (4.33 weeks). Salary replacement and tuition coverage.
1 month. Stipend and/or tuition replacement if needed.
1 month
Additional Parental Leave (Family & Medical Leave) from RA/TA/IG duties for student parent employees. Only applies after exhausting Childbirth & Parental Accommodation. All bonding leave must be taken within 6 months from birth, adoption, or placement.
4 weeks salary at MA formula rate and tuition coverage AND balance of remaining 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave (if applicable) without salary, but with tuition coverage and benefits in place.
4 weeks at MA formula rate and tuition coverage AND balance of remaining 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave (if applicable) without salary, but with tuition coverage and benefits in place.
Not applicable
Not applicable
Bereavement leave for loss of family member defined as: father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, domestic partner and their immediate family (parent or child), sister, brother, child, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, stepfamilies, or member of the household.
Up to 5 business days, per loss, paid. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.
Up to 5 business days, per loss, paid. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.
Personal leave policy applies
Personal leave policy applies
Professional development leave for educational or professional development opportunities
Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.
Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.
Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.
Unpaid. May require voluntary temporary withdrawal.
Jury duty
Paid difference between any court fee received and employee's normal base pay
Paid difference between any court fee received and employee's normal base pay
Excused absence policy applies
Excused absence policy applies
Military leave
Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable)
Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable)
Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable)
Permitted for US national service, up to 12 months (renewable)
Immigration leave
3 days per 12 month period, paid, for appts or hearings for employee or mother/father/child/spouse. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.
3 days per 12 month period, paid, for appts or hearings for employee or mother/father/child/spouse. Vacation time may be used for longer leaves.
Excused absence or personal leave policy applies
Excused absence or personal leave policy applies
Union conference
Unpaid, may use vacation time, cannot exceed 10 consecutive days. Max 20 employees per academic year may attend union conventions, conferences, meetings, and training or to conduct other Union business.
Unpaid, may use vacation time, cannot exceed 10 consecutive days. Max 20 employees per academic year may attend union conventions, conferences, meetings, and training or to conduct other Union business.
Not applicable
Not applicable
Union leave
Unpaid, for contiguous fall/spring/summer terms for union business. 5 employees maximum per academic year.
Unpaid, for contiguous fall/spring/summer terms for union business. 5 employees maximum per academic year.
Not applicable
Not applicable

Grad Leaves/Accommodations table