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Families - Spouses, Partners & Children

If you have a spouse, partner, child/children, or other family members, we know that their happiness is important to your success. We want them to feel welcome and to become part of our community. There are many ways for them to get involved at Yale and access local resources. You will find lots of useful information below:


Yale-affiliated housing is available for students with spouses, partners and/or children. Here are two options: 
  • On-campus graduate apartments are available, but supply is limited. Apply as soon as the housing application is available in mid-April. 
  • Elm Campus Partners manages many university-owned rental units that are suitable for couples and families with children. Apply in March-April.

Non-Yale, Off-Campus Housing

There are many non-Yale-owned apartments for rent in walking distance of campus. The Yale Off-Campus Living Office, 420 Temple Street, has an apartment search website and resources to help you find a place to call home.

Health Care

  • Yale Health is the comprehensive, on-campus, full-service health center and health care plan for students and their family members. See Health & Wellness for more information about services, including support for Ph.D. students with legally married spouses or dependent children (up to age 26).
    • Yale Health members have access to primary care, mental health, 24-hour acute care, seven days per week, and worldwide emergency coverage. Yale Health offers excellent ob-gyn, pre-natal, labor and delivery care. Pediatric triage nurses are available to speak with you by phone about any health concerns regarding your child.
  • Optional Graduate and Professional Student Dental and Vision Care Plans are available for students and their spouses and partners and/or children. Enroll online by September 15, annually. Coverage begins October 1. Services are provided outside of Yale Health, and GSAS Health Award Fellowships do not pay for this coverage. 

McDougal Center Facilities and Events

Spouses, partners, and children of GSAS students are welcome to use common spaces and facilities at the Graduate Student Life (GSL) Office at the McDougal Graduate Center. We have a lactation room, baby changing tables, stroller-friendly access via elevator, and high chairs/booster seats. 
The McDougal GSL Fellows host many events for spouses/partners and families with children to enjoy throughout the year. McDougal Family Fellows plan monthly family activities and outings, such as farm trips, holiday parties, and arts programs, as well spouse date nights and arts programs. Check Yale Connect and the weekly McDougal GSL email for a full listing of events. 
Students and spouses/partners can socialize at McDougal GSL monthly First Friday at Five (FFF) Social Hours, for those 21 and over with photo ID. For legal and safety reasons, no one under 21 is allowed at FFF. Bring your own mug (BYOM). We don’t supply cups or glasses!
We hope to see you all at many of the McDougal GSL activities and events! 

For Spouses & Partners


Yale Access ID

If you are a legally married spouse or civil union partner of a Yale graduate student, you are eligible for a Yale Sponsored Identity (SI) Access Card ID Badge. Benefits of having a Yale-issued ID include: 
  • a Yale photo ID, which grants access to certain Yale buildings (on-campus apartments for students living in Yale Housing, Bass Library, the Schwarzman Center, Sterling Memorial Library, the Office for International Students and Scholars, and Woolsey Hall);
  • fitness facilities and classes at the Yale’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium, for a fee;
  • discounted tickets to the Yale Repertory Theatre and discounts at The Shops at Yale;
  • a Yale NetID.

How to Request a Yale Access ID for a Spouse

Follow the instructions on the Yale ID Center website to obtain a spousal ID card. Documentation should be sent to the Graduate School’s registrar ( At the start of the term, the verification process can take 4-6 weeks to complete.

After receiving an ID, spouses and partners can call the ITS Helpdesk to verify their identity and activate their netID and email.

Once you have an ID card and netID, you may submit a request for ID card access to McDougal Center facilities and online resources in Yale Connect.

Auditing Yale Classes

Spouses and partners may audit or sit in on Yale College and GSAS classes without charge. If you want to receive a transcript for any course you audit, you must complete an application for non-degree study and, if admitted, pay tuition fees.
  • Audit Yale College classes (undergraduate)
  • Audit Graduate School classes. Ask permission from the instructor and the relevant academic department and request “guest access” to Canvas, the online course information system. 

Privileges for Non-Married Domestic Partners

Yale offers some resources, but does not issue Yale ID Access Cards, to non-married domestic partners of graduate and professional students. Contact the offices below to access their services:
  • Yale Shuttle Bus: You are welcome to use the free Yale shuttle system. When calling for a nighttime shuttle/safe ride, you will be asked for the student’s Yale NetID.
  • Yale Gym Membership: Unmarried partners can purchase a Yale Gym membership at the same rate as student spouses. You and your spouse must visit the membership office, show the Yale student’s ID card and documentation of shared residence.
  • Yale Athletic events: You can buy discount student guest tickets for football, hockey and other home sports events.
  • Library Borrowing Privileges for Domestic Partners.


Parental Relief 

The Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ relief policy is designed to assist Ph.D. students when they become parents, and enables students to modify their academic responsibilities in the semester during or following the birth or adoption of a child. 

During your semester of parental relief:

1. Your academic clock stops, effectively adding an additional term to the total time to degree.

2. You will remain a registered full-time student; relief is not a leave of absence.

3. You will receive a standard stipend and health award.

4. In consultation with your DGS and adviser, you can modify your academic activity to suit your specific situation; all students are entitled to a minimum of eight weeks of full relief, free from any academic obligations.

This benefit is limited to two birth or adoption events over the course of a student’s doctoral program. If both parents are Ph.D. students at Yale, both may receive this benefit per birth or adoption event.

Please use this form request a semester of parental relief. If you have any questions or would like additional advising, please contact

Please note, a new birth or adoption may also qualify you for the Graduate School’s Family Support Subsidy.

Alternatively, a separate Parental Leave is also available to Masters and Ph.D students. This is a leave of absence for parental reasons, it does not convey the same privileges as parental relief. 

Ph.D. Student Family Support Policy

If you are a Ph.D. student with a child or children, the Graduate School is pleased to provide an additional financial subsidy to assist you with family expenses. For more information, read about our Ph.D. Student Family Support Policy.

Childcare Resources & Tips

Yale and the New Haven area offer a wide range of child care options: several Yale-affiliated centers, local daycares, public preschools, independent nursery schools, licensed family care providers, and in-home care. High-quality child care, especially for infants, can be expensive. However, some facilities offer sliding fee scales or scholarships based upon family income. Spaces in local and Yale-affiliated daycare centers fill quickly, especially for infants, so apply as early as possible. 
  • Yale WorkLife and Childcare has information on local child care options, as well as summer camps and private schools. 
  • Yale Babysitting Service can help you to find a Yale student to care for your child on an occasional basis. Only current Yale faculty, staff, and students may use the service.
  • Our Kin Family Child Care Provider Showcase - All Our Kin trains, supports, and sustains community child care providers to ensure that children and families have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life. The providers in the showcase have reached the highest level of family child care providers.
  • SPECIAL COVID-19 Childcare resources:
    • Summer 2020 Interim Babysitting Website – Current Yale employees can sponsor a dependent 15 years and older to provide babysitting. Faculty, staff, students can access the site, view the babysitter profiles, and contact the “sponsor” directly to arrange care. CAS access only.
    • Child Care Resources at Yale by classification – An excellent chart that can be found on the Yale COVID-19 Child Care website, classified by staff, faculty or student status.

Local Schools for Children Ages 3-18

  • New Haven Schools: Review information about the many schools in our area, including neighborhood public schools, public magnet schools, charter schools, and private (“independent”) schools.
  • Programs for children three to five years old (PreK) in certain communities may offer free or subsidized preschool and school readiness slots.

Lactation Rooms at Yale

  • Lactation Rooms at Yale offer quiet, private spaces for nursing or pumping. There is even a lactation room at the McDougal Center (135 Prospect St.) - contact  McDougal Associate Director Jennifer Mendelsohn for access.


If you have general questions about family-friendly services or resources for student spouses/partners or parents, please contact Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life, Matthew Tanico.