• 1 semester during pregnancy or a semester when the child is born/adopted
  • Receive base grad assistant stipend, healthcare
  • Still contracted for 20 hours, so can still qualify for State and Federal food and daycare subsidies


Campus Resources and Support

Academic and Graduate Assistant Work Accommodations

    • Although a normal pregnancy does not qualify as a disability under ADAAA, complications associated with pregnancy (e.g. gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, etc) that significantly limit one or more major life activities may constitute a need for disability accommodations. Students who are pregnant and have a complication associated with the pregnancy should register with OSAS and work with their office to establish necessary accommodations.
    • If you have a pregnancy with complications or it has in some way caused you a disability, you should register and work with OSAS for accommodations.
    • Registration form here
    • Questions: reach out to osasfrontdesk@usc.edu. You can also ask directly for Madison Shaw at mfrisch@usc.edu
    • More information on the exact OSAS policies and expectations are forthcoming
    • Any pregnant students who do not have a medical complication or disability should contact EEO-TIX for proactive support via supportive measures (e.g., academic accommodations, referrals to support resources, professor notifications, etc.). EEO-TIX can then work with the student to identify barriers and facilitate supportive measures.
    • If you need accommodations due to caregiving responsibilities, the current policy is to reach out to the EEO-TIX office for assistance and guidance.
    • most often, they will have you work independently with each professor to create accommodations for your specific situation
    • More information about EEO-TIX can be found at their website.
    • Title IX Prevents discrimination and harassment towards pregnant and parenting students
    • EEO-TIX is working to establish a pregnant and parenting student task force with the goal of establishing more clear policies surrounding pregnant and parenting students at USC.
    • Current EEO-TIX procedures for pregnant and parenting students are handled and decided on a case by case basis.
    • Contact EEOTIX at eeotix@usc.edu or (213) 740-5086 and explain what you are seeking assistance with
    • A care manager will reach out and offer to schedule a support meeting
    • During your meeting, your care manager will get your current and upcoming status and needs, and help you learn what support is available
    • Some accommodations that can be made include: assignment extensions, notification of professors of pregnancy and due dates, Housing or parking accommodations, Workplace modifications (if student employees), Schedule modifications, Other reasonably available supportive measures
OF NOTE: There are currently proposed but not yet implemented changes to Title IX. These changes would also change the responsibilities of USC and EEO-TIX. You can read about these anticipated changes here and here.

Federal and Local Resources (non USC)

Assistance and Rights Resource Sites

Tax Credits

  • CalEITC: Earned Income Tax Credits
    • There are two EITCs: the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
    • The amount of CalEITC you get depends on your income and family size.
  • Young Child Income Tax Credit
    • The Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) provides a credit up $1,083 per tax return for Californians who qualify for CalEITC and have a child under 6 years old.

Daycare and Preschool

Parent/caregiver support and social groups: 

Food Resources

Health Insurance and Providers

Free Parenting Support and Education


Free First Aid/CPR Classes


Free or Low-Cost Enrichment and Sports Programs

Upcoming: GSWOC Resources for Dependents (beginning August 2024)

  • Childcare Fund
    • Total Fund: $400,000
    • Subsidy: $1,800 per semester, per child under 6 years old.
  • Dependent Healthcare Fund
    • Total Fund: $250,000
    • Subsidy: $2,500 per semester.
    • Includes, but not limited to, medical, dental, and vision costs
    • Unused funding will roll over to the following year.
  • For more contract details visit https://www.gswoc-usc.org/, follow them on IG
  • Attend a Know your Rights Training
  • Questions, email them at info@gswoc-usc.org 

Steps for going on parental leave

  1. Request for Parental Leave for PhD Students 
  2. a copy of the offer letter (the letter you were admitted with)
  3. primary caregiver statement 
  4. one of the following:
  • a verification of pregnancy signed by a US doctor (available at USC Student Health Center) or
  • a birth certificate for the infant child or
  • a statement of adoption from an adoption agency

 All these items get turned into the graduate school for requesting leave

 The Guidelines

PhD students who meet the following criteria are eligible for a one-semester parental leave:

  • If they are pregnant or are the primary caregiver of their newborn child or adopted child under six years of age
  • The student has completed at least one semester in their PhD program and is making good progress
  • The student was admitted with an offer letter for a 4 or 5-year "package" consisting of support through any combination of teaching assistantship, research assistantship, and fellowship

Parental leave may be taken during the semester in which the child is born or adopted, or during the semester immediately following. A student on approved parental leave receives the base graduate assistant stipend from the Graduate School for one semester. Individual schools are expected to top off the base stipend to the level of the stipend stipulated in the student's offer letter and to cover the cost of the student's USC student health insurance and student health center fee. Students should enroll in GRSC 804 to ensure continued access to health insurance and the monthly stipend. While on parental leave, students are not eligible for federal financial aid. Students with loans should consult with the Office of Financial Aid before beginning parental leave. International students should discuss the parental leave with the Office of International Services to be sure there are no unforeseen issues related to their visa status.