Students With Families

Students With Families

The UC Irvine Graduate Division recognizes that many of our graduate students have families or are considering becoming parents. We are committed to providing a supportive and family-friendly environment on campus so that students can meet both their academic and familial needs. Below is a summary of the family-related benefits available to graduate students to help balance these responsibilities. Please visit for a full list of services the university offers.

Benefits for all Graduate Students 

UCI Child Care Services promotes participation of student, staff and faculty parents in the teaching, learning, and research missions of the University. The Centers support, nurture and enhance all areas of children’s development. All children are regarded as individuals of equal worth and value who come to the centers at their own developmental level and who bring with them a unique mixture of family background, life experience, learning style and idiosyncratic ways of being in the world.

Subsidized care is available for children of UCI students at the Infant/Toddler Center, Children’s Center, and Extended Day Center.

Both on-campus graduate family housing communities, Palo Verde and Verano Place, offer free weekly playgroups.

Counseling Center
The Counseling Center is UCI’s primary counseling and mental health agency on campus. The center provides an array of services – including short-term counseling sessions, urgent care and psychological testing, and workshops – to help graduate students cope with professional and/or personal challenges. The Counseling Center also offers several support groups for students to learn from one another and work on personal problems in a helpful group setting.  The Dissertation Support Group, LGBTQ Discussion Group, Graduate Women’s Therapy Group, Men’s Group and others address some of the most pressing issues for students.

Graduate Division Academic Counselor
Phong Luong, Psy.D., is here to support graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with their academic journey. This includes additional academic support, time management skills, effective communication skills, and referrals to campus or community resources. Appointments can be made by calling (949) 824-0246 or sending an email.

Health Insurance
UC Irvine’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is a comprehensive healthcare package that offers valuable benefits and services to graduate, medical and law students. Students enrolled in the SHIP program have the option of enrolling their dependents in a separate UCI Dependent Health Insurance Plan, which offers both a PPO medical plan and an HMO dental plan.

UC Irvine offers guaranteed on-campus housing to all new Ph.D., M.F.A. and J.D. students who are admitted prior to the housing application deadline. On-campus housing provides students with a community environment while they pursue their studies. Housing offers are for one of six graduate housing communities and must be accepted prior to arrival at UCI. Eligibility for housing extends for a minimum of three years, with the possibility of lease renewal thereafter. The UCI Graduate Housing Guarantee offers the security of knowing that you will have a place to live on campus by the start of fall quarter, the convenience of living close to classes and campus resources, an opportunity to meet fellow graduate students from across the campus, and rental rates that are typically much lower than the local housing market.

Lactation Stations
There are many lactation stations available for use around campus. For more information, please visit

Leave of Absence
The Graduate Division does not count the time spent on a Leave of Absence (up to three quarters) in a student’s time to degree calculation. This essentially stops the academic clock for up to a full academic year.

Graduate students with children are welcome on the Anteater Express, a safe, reliable, and cost-conscious shuttle service to both on campus and off campus destinations.

Benefits for Graduate Students Employed as ASES (TAS) or GSRS


Childbirth Accommodation Fund
The university’s contract with the UAW provides salaried ASEs appointed for a minimum of 25% for the duration of the quarter up to six weeks paid leave for childbirth. This benefit has been extended to eligible Graduate Student Researchers appointed for a minimum of 25% for the duration of the quarter. A central childbirth accommodation fund has been established to pay the salaries of eligible ASEs and GSRs during the time they are on leave.

Childcare Reimbursement Fund
The university’s contract with the UAW also provides for a systemwide childcare reimbursement program for eligible ASEs appointed for a minimum of 25% for the duration of the quarter. A central childcare reimbursement fund has been established to pay for reimbursable childcare expenses. This benefit has been extended to eligible Graduate Student Researchers and to graduate student fellows who meet certain eligibility criteria.

Off Campus Resources

Families Forward is an organization dedicated to helping families in financial or emotional crises to be successful and self-sufficient. For more information, please visit their website or call (949) 552-2727.

Sitter City is an organization that helps parents find qualified babysitters through a screening process. Local babysitters are available. For more information, please visit their website.

The Child Care Coordination Office for the City of Irvine provides a variety of services designed to enhance and maintain the quality of child care in the community. For more information on child care resources for families, please visit their website.

For students living in Irvine and looking to enroll their children in the Irvine Unified School district, please visit the district site for information on the enrollment process.

For a list of community agencies that provide a variety of services to Orange County residents, please visit Orange County’s Social Services Agency website.