The University of Iowa

Graduate Students Who Are Parents

At the UI, we are committed to a diverse graduate student body, which includes graduate students with children. We believe that a graduate student parent has a better chance of successfully completing their degree when the student and their department are realistic and forward thinking about the challenges of pursuing an advanced degree and parenthood simultaneously.

Graduate students who are parents or anticipate becoming parents need to work closely with their advisors and departmental chairs in planning for a child to enter the home, arranging a timeline for meeting requirements, and considering particular circumstances. Students should communicate early, frequently, and clearly with their advisors about their progress and engagement in courses and research. Advisors, too, must be realistic about the rate of progress of graduate students who are parents.

Although the UI does not adjust the time-to-degree clock for graduate student parents, graduate students who are experiencing a new child entering the home and have a Teaching or Research Assistantship may be eligible for paid and unpaid leaves. The student should speak to their HR Representative (found on the student’s HR page) to discuss their options.

For more information, please consider these resources: