Academic Services

Academic Parenting Accommodation Policies

Guiding Principles

The Parenting Accommodation Policy for Graduate Students is by no means designed to replace the communication and cooperation between student and advisor, and the good-faith efforts of both to accommodate the arrival of a new child in the home by birth, adoption, or foster placement, or the care of a child with a serious illness. It is the intention of this policy to reinforce the importance of that cooperation, and to provide support where needed to make that accommodation possible.

Academic Accommodations

Academic Leave of Absence Policy

A graduate student may take a family leave of absence for up to three quarters (or 12 months after the birth of a child or after adoption). Parenting leave extends time-to-degree standards up to three quarters at either pre-candidacy or post-candidacy stages of the student’s program. During this time, students may purchase the graduate student health insurance for up to two quarters assuming they were enrolled in the insurance plan in the quarter prior to their leave of absence.

Request for Expanded Master’s & Doctoral Time-To-Degree for Parenting Demands

This policy is designed to assist students who have parenting responsibilities (see definition below) with maintaining continuing student status by formally extending their time-to-degree to keep them in good academic standing through the extension period. 

A master’s student with parenting demands (as defined below), with 50% or more responsibility for the child, may receive an extension of up to one additional year for completing the master’s degree. The total extension of master’s time-to-degree granted under this policy is one year per child, up to a total of two years.

A doctoral student with parenting demands (as defined below), with 50% or more responsibility for the child, may receive an extension of up to one additional year for passing preliminary examinations and qualifying examinations or an extension of up to one additional year between advancement and completion while in candidacy. The total extension of doctoral time-to-degree granted under this policy is one year per child, up to a total of two years.

A student seeking parental time-to-degree accommodation must have parenting responsibilities that include one or more of the following circumstances (i) childbirth, (ii) care of a child 5 years old and younger, (iii) newly adopted child or newly-placed foster child of any age, (iv) children 6 or older who require extraordinary parenting demands, such as a child with a serious illness or other exceptional circumstances.  The child may be the student’s child or that of a spouse or domestic partner.

Withdrawals, leaves, and delayed progress toward completion of degree may have implications for the visa status of international students. International students are urged to consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) before modifying their degree progress.

Frequently Asked Questions - Expanded Time-to-Degree

How will the parenting time-to-degree extension work if I request it pre-candidacy? Post-Candidacy?
For example, if a department’s time-to-degree is 4 years to advance and 6 years to complete the program, and the parenting time-to-degree extension is granted prior to advancing to candidacy, then the time-to-degree will change to 5 years to advance and 7 years to complete the degree. If the extension is granted after you advance to candidacy, your time-to-degree will be extended to 7 years.

    Will a parenting time-to-degree extension effect my financial support?
  • Departments are not obligated to fund you beyond their original funding offer, but they may do so if funding is available.
  • You remain eligible to apply for/be nominated for Central Fellowships during the extension period (as long as you are otherwise qualified for that award).

Will a parenting time-to-degree extension effect my eligibility for IDRF?
Yes, your eligibility would be extended.

Am I allowed to request a parenting time-to-degree extension if I have more than one child? Yes, you can ask for one year of extension per child up to a maximum of 2 years.

I am an international student, will a parenting time-to-degree extension effect my visa status?
International students may need to amend their I-20s, please consult with an OISS representative.

I live in student housing, will I be allowed to stay longer if a parenting time-to-degree extension is approved?
Not necessarily. Housing contracts are not within Graduate Division’s purview, it is up to the student to request additional time in student housing via Housing’s normal channels.

If I take a parenting leave of absence, can I also be granted a parenting time-to-degree extension for the same child?

My child is 2 years old and I just started my PhD program.  Can I apply for a parenting time-to-degree extension even though it’s my first quarter at UCSB?
You can apply for the extension at any time as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

I received a parenting time-to-degree extension prior to advancing to candidacy. Am I eligible to request an additional time-to-degree extension post advancement if my child is still age 5 or younger?
No, you can only request one extension per child.

Will a parenting time-to-degree extension also extend my P2 status?
No, P2 status is based on registered quarters, and since students will remain enrolled, those enrolled quarters will count against the P2-to-P3 count

Other helpful parenting resources
Parent Resources Page

Parenting Accommodations Packet - Graduate Students