GA Parental Leave Program

Graduate Assistants/Associates (GA) who meets the following criteria (below), are eligible for GA parental leave for up to six weeks. GA parental leave provides continued assistantship/associateship wages, relief from regular duties, and allows for the continuation of GA benefits.


  1. Actively hired as a GA for at least one semester during the time of leave request. If requesting summer leave, a GA must have been hired for the previous spring term. This program is not available to GAs in their first semester of appointment as a GA.
  2. Ability to attest to being the primary caregiver for the newborn or newly adopted child. If both parents are graduate assistants/associates, only one leave will be available per family, which may be allocated between the parents, but not to exceed 6 weeks total leave.
  3. Good academic standing and continued enrollement in classes during the leave period to meet the continuous enrollment policy.

Important Points to Remember

  • Parental leave may be taken during the semester in which the child is born or adopted, or during the semester immediately following. 
  • Hiring units may impose restrictions during which 6-week period works to accommodate the hiring unit’s general course of business.
  • Parental leave does not constitute a break in continuous enrollment. A GA should consult with their academic advisors to determine how they will maintain full-time enrollment. 
  • Funds are limited and awarded on a first-come first-served basis so GAs should apply as early as possible. 
  • There is a limit to one paid parental leave per family during their graduate career, even if the GAs are in more than one degree program. 
  • If the GA is supported by a research assistantship/associateship funded by external sources, such as grant funding, they must adhere to the rules of the granting agency in regard to leaves from work. If the granting agency defers to University policy regarding paid parental leave, the six-week leave will be paid by the grant. If the granting agency requires suspension of payment during the leave period, they will be eligible for substitute payment from this program.

The Process

The request for parental leave form must be submitted before the leave takes place. Apply by submitting the original, fully signed Graduate College Parental Leave Request Form  to Rachel Nielsen, Manager of Business and Finance, Graduate College Administration Room 322, You and your hiring unit will be notified whether your request is approved. Please direct all questions to Rachel Nielsen.