graduate student with family at grad student family event.

Student parents make up about 10% of Berkeley's graduate population.

Berkeley is committed to supporting policies, programs, and services to help student parents meet their family care obligations while they pursue their academic goals.

The Graduate Council of the Academic Senate has approved academic accommodation policies designed to be supportive of graduate students with substantial parenting responsibilities, and we’ve listed grants, resources, and programs designed to meet the needs of our student parents.

Opportunities for Student Parents

These policies govern accommodations that all faculty, departments, and academic programs must extend to graduate students. These Student Parent Policies are included in the Guide to Graduate Policy, the document governing all policies related to graduate education at UC Berkeley.

Registered graduate student parents who live with dependent children and demonstrate financial need are eligible for a grant that may be applied toward housing/living expenses, dependent health insurance, child care, and/or tuition.

  • To review the complete eligibility requirements and required application components, please visit the Parent Grant application. The 2024-2025 Student Parent Grant application will open after 7/1/2024.   Award notifications will begin in early August and continue on a rolling basis as applications are received.
  • Questions can be directed to the Graduate Division Fellowships Unit at [email protected].

International students may apply for a need-based parent grant administered by the Berkeley International Office

The Graduate Division has added a companion program to the Student Parent Grant, designed to provide assistance to graduate students who are the primary live-in caregiver for an adult individual. Examples of those eligible for this grant include graduate students who live with and serve as the primary caregiver for an elderly parent or other individual that may qualify as a dependent adult.

Read about the Graduate Student Caregiver Grant.

These grants may be applied toward housing and living expenses, dependent health insurance, and/or tuition. If funding permits, awards of up to $12,000 per year ($6,000 per academic term) will be made to eligible applicants. To be eligible for the 2024-2025 academic year, a graduate student must:

  • Live with and be the primary caregiver for a qualifying adult,
  • File a 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need,
  • Be making satisfactory progress in their academic program,
  • Be no more than two years past “normative time to degree” in 2024-2025, and
  • Remain registered during each term of funding.

Note: Students in self-supporting programs are not eligible for this program.

The 2024-2025 Student Caregiver Grant application will open after 7/1/2024.

To apply, submit your FAFSA, then complete the Student Caregiver Grant Application.

Childbirth Accommodation Funding for Doctoral Students

Doctoral students in good academic standing who hold a fellowship, a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) position, or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointment, and who expect to give birth during the semester, can be excused from regular duties for a period of eight weeks without loss of financial support. Funding will be provided to cover the student’s support or a replacement, as applicable. The student’s academic unit must submit the Petition for Childbirth Accommodation Funding for Doctoral Students (PDF) at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the leave.

Family and Childbearing Leaves for ASEs / GSRs

Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) are eligible for certain types of leave. Policies are governed by the UAW contract.

For more information, about ASE leaves, see the Leaves section of the current ASE UAW contract.

For more information about GSR leaves, see the Leaves section of the current GSR UAW contract.

Child Care Reimbursement for ASEs and GSRs

Please review the ASE & GSR Child Care Reimbursement Program Fact Sheet for a program overview, eligibility requirements, process details and frequently asked questions. Also use the Reimbursement Request Form, and submit it to your hiring department’s personnel office.

Sponsored by University Health Services, the program includes access to lactation rooms across campus and no-cost breastfeeding classes. Personal breast pumps and kits are sold at cost. For more information including room reservations and maps visit the Breastfeeding Support Program.

More Resources for Student Parents