Motherhood and Graduate Education: 1970–2000



This study examines issues related to the fertility of graduate students over time. First, it examines changes in motherhood rates between 1970 and 2000 among women aged 20–49 who are enrolled in graduate school, both by themselves and relative to prevailing trends among women not enrolled in graduate school, and to other college educated women. Overall, women enrolled in graduate school are increasingly likely to be mothers of young children, and are increasingly similar to non-graduate students. Second, it examines the timing of these births, and finds that almost half of births occur while women are enrolled in graduate school. Third, a brief review of current maternity leave policies and childcare options available to graduate students is presented. Results are discussed in terms of institutional changes within academia, changes between cohorts that attended graduate school in these decades, and the policy needs of graduate student mothers.


Motherhood Fertility Graduate school Graduate students Higher education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and DemographyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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