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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Getting Oriented

Important University and College Policies

In addition to the policies on academic integrity and responsible conduct of research and policies related to the Ph.D. requirements cited throughout this handbook, the following policies are important for your special attention as a new graduate student.


Carnegie Mellon University Student Health Insurance PolicyNote that you are personally responsible for maintaining health insurance and paying the related costs each year; otherwise, you may not be eligible to register, which in turn means you cannot receive a stipend.

Maternity Accommodation Protocol

Students whose anticipated delivery date is during the course of the semester may consider taking time away from their coursework and/or research responsibilities. All female students who give birth to a child while engaged in coursework or research are eligible to take either a short- term absence or formal leave of absence.

Students in course work should consider either working with their course instructor to receive incomplete grades, or elect to drop to part-time status or to take a semester leave of absence. Students engaged in research must work with their faculty to develop plans for the research for the time they are away. Students are encouraged to consult with relevant university faculty and staff as soon as possible as they begin making plans regarding time away. Students must contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to register for Maternity Accommodations. Students will complete an information form and meet with a member of the Dean’s Office staff to determine resources and procedures appropriate for the individual student. Planning for the student’s discussion with her academic contact(s) (advisor, associate dean, etc.) will be reviewed during this meeting.


Gina Casalegno, Dean of Student Affairs, x82075

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

Carnegie Mellon University Policy against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault —online training about sexual harassment prevention is required both to help you as a student and as a teaching assistant; you will be contacted by the Graduate Program Coordinator with instructions regarding online training.


Carnegie Mellon University Computing Policy — note that penalties related to inappropriate downloading include possibly losing internet access for a period of time.

Time Off, Leaves and In Absentia Status

Mellon College of Science Graduate Time Off PolicyConsult this policy before planning your time away from campus and be sure to seek approval from your advisor (or the GPC before you join a group) before planning any travel.

Carnegie Mellon University Student Leave Policyrelevant especially if you have medical or personal concerns that may cause you to consider a semester or more on leave of absence.

Carnegie Mellon University Doctoral Candidate Policies for All But Dissertation (ABD)establishes important details related to degree completion options, including the option of working in absentia after you reach ABD status.

Handling Difficult Situations

Summary of Graduate Student Appeal and Grievance Proceduressummary of the processes available to graduate students who seek review of academic and non-academic issues; please consult Rea Freeland as departmental graduate ombudsperson early in the process to understand your options in a difficult situation.