Student Parents FAQ

Yes. Campus policy allows students to take a parental leave of absence due to pregnancy, childbirth, and/or to care for and bond with their newborn child or a child placed with the student for adoption or foster care for up to one academic year (two semesters). This leave must be taken no later than twelve months after the child’s birth or adoption/placement. If there is a medical reason for a longer absence, an extension of leave may be granted for a total of up to two academic years (four semesters). A student must have registered for the semester during which the leave will be taken or the semester immediately preceding the beginning of the period of leave requested. Upon return, students will be reinstated to the same student status held when the leave was taken. An international student wanting to take Parenting Leave must first consult with the Berkeley International Office (BIO) regarding implications for visa requirements. It should be noted that all 1L students who withdraw (for any reason) after the first semester of their 1L year are not eligible to return until Spring of the following year.

Yes. Please be sure to talk to Student Services about your needs, so they can work with you to communicate with your professors about missed class time and to ensure you have the opportunity to make up missed assignments. Student Services is located in 280 Simon Hall and can be reached at 510-643-2744.

This is an option for you. Please talk to Student Services to talk about the specifics of your situation because each student’s situation is unique. Student Services is located in 280 Simon Hall and can be reached at 510-643-2744.

New non-birth parents can take off a semester or more from classes. If a non-birth parent wishes to remain enrolled and miss several weeks of class rather than the whole semester, the student should first talk to Student Services about how that may impact the successful completion of classes. Student Services is located in 280 Simon Hall and can be reached at 510-643-2744.

Absences that are not medically-necessary are treated the same way as all other absences from class. Students should refer to the attendance policy in the class syllabus to understand possible academic consequences for missing class. We strongly recommend that students first meet with Student Services to determine if there might be a class schedule that would enable the student to still be enrolled full time while balancing their other needs.

The deadlines for In Progress grades are set by the professor for that class. If no deadline is set, then the student must finish those papers no later than the last day of finals of the semester they wish to graduate, unless other accommodations apply.

When students are admitted, Admissions asks them to notify their office if the student is a parent. Student parents are then placed in a parent mod and we make our best effort to have the schedule accommodate students with children. Students have a little more flexibility in Spring, when they can pick their elective classes.

The Law School has a lactation room located in 289 Simon Hall. There is a refrigerator in the Student Center or you can use cooling bags provided by the law school (please contact Student Services for more information). You can register for the campus Breastfeeding Support Program by contacting Health Matters at 510-643-4646 or by emailing

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. More information by Graduate Division Website about Support for Student Parents. Additionally, student parents are eligible for highly subsidized in-home or center-based back-up child care through the university. More information is available at the Back-Up Child Care Website. Students who work as Graduate Student Researchers may be eligible for child care expense reimbursement. Get more information on the GSR Childcare Reimbursement Form

You should talk to the Career Development Office (CDO) about how best to approach this with employers as this can vary by employer. The CDO is located in 290 Simon Hall and can be reached at 510-643-5370.

Yes, please contact Chelsea Yuan, Assistant Director for Accessible Education of Student Services to talk about your specific situation. Student Services is located in 280 Simon Hall.

If you go into labor before or during finals, please contact Chelsea Yuan, Assistant Director for Accessible Education to create a delayed finals schedule.

Students who are expecting should make an appointment with Dean Hirshen in Student Services (280 Simon Hall or 510-643-2744).

Students should talk to Chelsea Yuan, Assistant Director for Accessible Education. If you want further assistance, you can contact the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination. OPHD can be reached at or 510-642-7985.