Did you know? Approximately one in ten of Berkeley’s graduate population is a student parent. The Graduate Division and its partners are committed to supporting programs, policies, and services to help graduate student parents be devoted parents while they pursue their academic goals.

Student Parent Center

Ginelle Perez The goal of Ginelle Perez, Program Director of the Student Parent Center, is for all students with children to have equitable access to opportunities and resources for their personal growth, academic advancement, and career development. The challenge for her and her staff (all of whom are alumni and former users of the Center) is to provide such access on a schedule that works best for the life of a parent. They understand that graduate students often have additional burdens, including complicated dynamics with faculty advisors, funding that is tied to academic progress and research, and feelings of isolation within a department or program.

The Student Parent Center, located in 100 Cesar Chavez, provides a family-friendly space where student parents can bring their children as needed and connect informally with others in the community. Graduate students are welcome to schedule appointments with any of the professional staff counselors for coaching on navigating student parent resources on campus, creating an academic plan, and family planning for those students interested in starting families. The staff and volunteers also run the Student Parent Association, a community for all student parents (including alumni and expecting).

Student Parent CenterGraduate Division

The Graduate Division administers the student parent policies set forth by the Graduate Council of the Academic Senate, including provisions for extensions for academic milestones and employment accommodations. For more information on these policies, see the Student Parent Policy section on the Graduate Division website.

Student parents are also eligible for financial accommodations, including the Graduate Student Parent Grant (a need-based award), child care reimbursement, and access to the Emergency Back-Up Child Care Program. For more information on these programs, see the Graduate Division website.

Additional Resources & Communities

The Pregnant Scholar

This new website helps ensure the success of student parents and seeks to advance women’s representation in STEM fields by providing user-friendly information and resources on Title IX for pregnant students and postdocs, as well as faculty and administrators. The site includes a wide range of tools, from introductory videos to in-depth best-practice guides.

The project’s co-P.I. is Mary Ann Mason, former Dean of the Graduate Division (2000-2007) and a professor of social welfare and law at Berkeley School of Law. She is widely recognized as a national leader in policies and programs to advance the success of women in academia at every step of the pipeline from college to graduate school to the tenure-track and beyond.