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 Division has a complete list of Financial Support resources for student parents. Resources such as:
"After my first daughter was 2 years old (2004), I decided to attend Diablo Valley Community College. 3 years later, somewhat reluctantly, I applied to UC Berkeley, and to my surprise, since I dropped out of high school, I was admitted, enjoyed the challenge of Cal's classes, excelled in most of my classes and ultimately graduated in 2010. I knew I wanted to continue to earn my masters degree, so I applied to and attended UCB's School of Public Health studying Occupational, Environmental Health. My masters degree was entirely funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health. Upon graduation (2013), after a year long internship with UC Berkeley's EH&S Office, I was offered a full time position that has ultimately lead to my current career position at Cal as a Lab Safety Specialist. I am enjoying my work and have a work-life balance that gives me time with my wife and two daughters. I never could have imagined that here is where I would end up! "
"I am a third year PhD candidate in Molecular and Cell Biology. I picked this program because I was interested in the research that professors in the MCB Department are doing. In addition, being married prior to starting grad school, I was looking for an institution that offered housing and services for families. One thing that prospective students must consider though is the cost of living in the Bay Area. Moving to Berkeley from Chicago, we were a bit surprised by the high costs of housing and food. This can be a real struggle on a GSI/GSR salary. In addition, since working on a PhD degree takes about 5-6 years it is important to factor in personal and professional plans of your spouse. Fortunately my wife was able to find a job in her field and help contribute to our finances.
Being a new parent of a 3 month old son, I can admit that it’s tough to balance working on your thesis and taking care of an infant. At the same time however, it is good to know that we are a part of an amazing community of student parents and families both undergraduate and graduate that are extremely supportive and always willing to help each other. You will always be able to access a plethora of advice and other forms of assistance when navigating through academic life from student parents like yourself. Also, at the end of the day when you get home, there is always that sweet little smile of a child that makes everything better even after working long hours in the lab!"