Success in graduate school is more than just reading, writing, and researching. For student parents, it is crucial to find adequate support and resources for your family in order to thrive as a scholar. Whether you already have children or are planning to start a family while in grad school, UCSB has resources, support, and benefits to help you succeed.

Click below to download the Graduate Student Parent Info Sheet (2-page summary of student parent benefits and resources) and the Graduate Student Parenting Accommodations Packet (comprehensive list of information, forms, and contacts for student parent accommodations)

Info Sheet Cover        Parenting Packet Cover (2)

The university also maintains a campus-wide website, MyFamily, with family-friendly resources for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, UCSB recently launched an initiative called CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) that is intended to provide resources/services/financial assistance for our campus' student parents. Visit their website to learn more about the program, apply for childcare financial assistance, and access information about their events and services.

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Family Student Housing

UCSB offers two family housing complexes for graduate students, featuring 1- and 2-bedroom apartments located about a mile from the center of campus. Priority is given to families with children, and it is recommended that interested students apply for the waitlist as soon as possible – even prior to admittance – to ensure their spot in these popular residences. Find out more about the Storke Family Housing complex and the West Campus Family Housing complex.

Community Housing Office

The Community Housing Office is a one-stop resource for off-campus rental housing information and dispute resolution. They keep up-to-date rental listings and provide information on cost of living, neighborhood profiles, and FAQs.


Children's Center

Our campus supports two Children's Centers – one located in the Student Resource Building and one located in West Campus – that provide childcare for student, staff, faculty, and community families. They offer tiered tuition rates as well as grants and scholarships for families with financial need. The Children's Center is heavily utilized by our community, and it can often take a year or more for graduate students to secure a spot for their children, especially infants. We recommend getting on the waitlist early (e.g. as soon as you have a due date for childbirth or a placement date for adoption) and maintaining frequent contact with the appropriate enrollment coordinator to receive updates.

Children's Resource & Referral Program of Santa Barbara County

This local non-profit offers childcare search databases, tips for finding appropriate childcare options, and referral services.


Childcare Reimbursement Program

If you are employed for a minimum of 25% time as an Academic Student Employee (i.e. Teaching Assistant, Teaching Associate, Reader, Tutor) or a Graduate Student Researcher, you are eligible to apply for reimbursement of childcare expenses up to $1,100 per quarter, including summer sessions. These expenses must be for the care of a student's dependent children 12 years and under, and the reimbursements are processed through the hiring department.

Graduate Student Association (GSA) Childcare Grant

The GSA runs a grant program to help graduate students offset the costs of childcare. Approved graduate students with single-child households will receive an award of $300; graduate students with more than one child will receive an award of $150 per additional child. Grants are limited to one award per graduate student per quarter, with a maximum of five awards allowed during a student’s academic tenure at UCSB. The application period opens on the 1st day of the quarter and closes on the last day of the quarter.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

If you are employed as an Academic Student Employee (i.e. Teaching Assistant, Teaching Associate, Reader, Tutor) or a Graduate Student Researcher, you are eligible to enroll in a flexible spending account (FSA) for dependent care expenses. The DepCare FSA allows you to pay for eligible expenses for care of your child or eligible adult dependent on a pretax basis. As a result, your salary is reduced before taxes are assessed, and you pay less in taxes.

Financial Crisis Response Team

The Financial Crisis Response Team exists to assist students who are facing a financial crisis or urgent financial need. The team works closely to evaluate, respond to, and support students in crisis in a streamlined and timely manner. In order to apply for emergency funding, email and a Financial Aid Advisor will contact you about next steps within 1-2 business days.

Campus Medical Care Assistant Fund (CMCAF)
The Campus Medical Care Assistance Fund (CMCAF) was established to provide financial assistance, in the form of a grant, to UC SHIP students and enrolled dependents who are experiencing significant out-of-pocket medical expenses due to an unforeseen medical emergency. Grants may be requested for $500 up to the student’s campus in-network individual out-of-pocket maximum ($6,600). If awarded, the student must consult a tax professional to determine if the grant award is taxable.


Academic Accommodations

The Graduate Division encourages student parents to maintain open lines of communication with their advisor and department in order to create academic solutions that work for all parties involved. In order to reinforce that cooperation and provide support to make accommodations possible, we offer options for parenting leaves of absence as well as expanded time-to-degree provisions for parenting demands.

Employment Accommodations

Graduate students who are employed as Academic Student Employees or Graduate Student Researchers are eligible for limited paid and unpaid leave options related to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Students should work with their advisor/PI, department, Academic Personnel, and the Graduate Division to find the most suitable accommodations for their particular needs.

Human Resources WorkLife Services

The university offers programs, policies, referrals and education that support faculty, staff, and student employees in the pursuit of a fully integrated life. Check out their website for more information on workshops and events, wellness resources, flex work arrangements, and more.

Rights and Accommodations for Pregnant Students

Read more from the Office of Equal Opportunity & Sexual Harassment / Title IX about accommodations for pregnant students, including non-discrimination policies, absences and leaves, confidential campus resources, and more.

Lactation Support Program

Our campus offers access to lactation rooms, breast pumps and supplies, and other types of lactation support through the Human Resources department.

National Science Foundation's Career-Life Balance Initiative

If you are an NSF Fellow, be sure to check out their comprehensive set of family-friendly policies and practices aimed at improving career-life balance for graduate students in NSF-funded fields. The initiative promotes flexible start dates for NSF awardees and no-cost extensions, as well as supplemental funding requests to allow for continued research while the primary researcher is on family leave. You can view their brochure for more information.


UCSB Graduate Students with Children Facebook Group

Connect with other UCSB grad student parents to ask questions, share resources, and plan meet-ups.

Non-Traditional Student Resource Center

The Non-Traditional Student Resource Center provides a community space for students whose life experiences may differ from traditional students, including graduate students who are over 29 years old, a domestic partnered or married student, and students with dependents. The Resource Center provides a space to study and relax, a staff person to guide you to resources, and social events to connect you with other students.

Postpartum Education for Parents (PEP)

This Santa Barbara non-profit is run by trained volunteers and offers mostly free training and support for new families. Services include expectant parent classes, new parent social groups, and a free 24-hour "warmline" that provides confidential one-on-one support. PEP’s philosophy is that there is no one right way to parent, and they offer new parents a safe environment to learn from and lean on their peers – free from judgement, soliciting, and pressure.

La Leche League of Santa Barbara (LLL)

An international non-profit organization offering mother-to-mother breastfeeding support, encouragement, information, and education. LLL organizes monthly meetings and occasional special meetings, such as Couples Meetings, Working Mothers Meetings, and Toddler Meetings.


This local support group is for new moms and babies to gain friends, information, advice, and support related to attachment-style parenting.

Santa Barbara Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

The local chapter of this international mothers support group hosts gatherings every other week for moms whose kids have not yet entered kindergarten.


UCSB Associated Students (AS) Food Bank

The AS Food Bank is an organization that provides fresh, free, and nutritious food to students in order to tackle food insecurity on our campus. They offer a food pantry (available both on campus and at mobile distribution sites around the community), life skills workshops, assistance with CalFresh applications, and more.

UCSB Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic

PCIT is an affordable and convenient resource for grad student parents who are having difficulty managing their young child’s challenging behaviors. They offer evidence-based treatment on a sliding scale backed by over 30 years of research for children ages 2 to 7. Visit their website or view their brochure for more information.

The Pregnant Scholar

Online toolkit for university students, faculty, and administrators on pregnancy and parenting.

Profile Article on UCSB Graduate Student Parents

There are as many approaches to balancing competing life priorities as there are people. Check out this GradPost profile article to find out how four of our grad student parents make it all work, what campus resources they couldn’t live without, and what makes them proud.

Family-Friendly Activities in Santa Barbara

Check out this list of family-approved activities in our local area including museums, dining options, and outdoor excursions.


Have questions or need guidance? Contact one of our Graduate Division staff members who specializes in graduate student parent issues:

shawn-headshot-croppedSHAWN WARNER

Director of Professional Development


Associate Director of Academic Services