An important query… My suspicion is that answers will vary tremendously depending on both location and institution. I’m pretty sure the query’s from the US, but I can at least comment on the UK. The body that awards funding in the UK, the AHRC, actually has an awesome maternity leave policy: Nine months at full pay (so, an additional nine months of funding for the PhD). But what about the US, readers?
I have completed all of my applications to doctoral programs in philosophy and I am waiting to hear back. Meanwhile, I just found out that my partner and I are four and a half weeks pregnant.
We are still in the decision phase about whether or not to go through with the pregnancy. I want to make an informed decision about this, so—in addition to mulling over our financial state (we’re both ‘in philosophy’ and our resources are fairly meager), our living situation, our health insurance (or lack thereof), the physical distance between us (I’m abroad on a research fellowship and my partner is still in the states)—I turn to you with the following questions: if I were to go through with the pregnancy my due date would be some time just after mid-September, I want to know how this pregnancy affects possible offers from doctoral programs.
- Would a program rescind an offer if a student is due during the first semester?
- Does a program rescind an offer if a student asks for a one-semester deferment because she wants ‘maternity leave’?
- Should a student inform programs of a change in the number of dependents before she has even been offered admission?
- Would a change in the number of dependents affect an admission decision (because it somehow affects funding?)?
- Do graduate programs offer health insurance for dependents? for spouses?
Pursuing a doctoral degree in philosophy is very important to me and it is something that I have been working towards for the last several years. In my decision-making process regarding this pregnancy, I would like to take into account how it will affect possible offers. Realistically, how do programs react toward this sort of thing?
I turn to you with the hope that perhaps you and your audience can offer some type of insight.
potential doctoral student/progenitor