Notre Dame is committed to fostering a family-friendly environment for its graduate students, one that makes it possible for students to successfully balance parenting responsibilities with academic pursuits.
Notre Dame Resources and Policies
Spouse ID Card
Spouses of degree-seeking students in the Graduate School (engineering, humanities, science, and social sciences) may request a Spouse ID Card through the Graduate School. ID cards allow spouses access to student events, RecSports facilities, and the Hesburgh Libraries, and allow spouses to purchase dining hall meal plans.
University Accomodation Policy for New Student Parents
To assist graduate students who are new parents, the University offers a supplement, not an addition, to the six week medical separation policy as outlines in the University Accommodation Policy for New Student Parents. The accommodation provides students with a semester (16 weeks) to adjust to new parenthood. It is not a leave of absence; it is an accommodation. Students maintain their standing as students and are eligible for financial support. For more information, turn to the Family Support Resources on the Graduate School website.
Pregnancy Support Advocates
For a student facing a planned or unplanned pregnancy, the physical, emotional and spiritual issues can seem overwhelming. In keeping with its mission as a Catholic university, Notre Dame is committed to life and to offering students resources that support the choice of life. Therefore, the University will make every effort to provide pregnant students with caring, non-judgmental, professional assistance and support. Assistance is also available for those affected by the pregnancy of someone close to them. Contact the University Pregnancy Support Advocates with any questions or concerns.
Childcare and Schools
Early Childhood Development Center
The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) is a nonprofit early care and education program partially funded by Saint Mary's College and the University of Notre Dame to serve their communities. ECDC operates with a tuition scholarship structure based on gross family income, and is licensed by the Indiana Department of Child Care and accredited with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The University Village has a list of early childcare, daycare, and early learning centers.
The University Village also maintains a list of some of South Bend's public and private schools on their website.
For more childcare and education resources, visit find.nd.edu.
"Family FuNDays are designed to meet the recreational needs of faculty, staff, graduate students, and their families. Family programming is an integral part of both the RecSports and University experience. With roots tied deeply to Notre Dame’s mission, family programming seeks to meet the recreational needs of Notre Dame’s families in order to help them grow stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually."
Memorial HealthWorks Kids' Museum
"HealthWorks! is the educational arm of Memorial Children’s Hospital, providing irresistible health 'edutainment' to kids of all ages."
For more kid friendly family fun options, explore our PLAY page.
Funds and Assistance for Homeowners
The Home Weatherization "program helps income eligible households reduce fuel consumption and fuel expenses by providing weatherization measures for homes at no cost to those served. These procedures include: health and safety inspection on the furnace and water heater, cellulose insulation in attics and side walls."
Energy Assistance Program
"The REAL Services’ Energy Assistance Program is a state-funded program that assists low-income households with electric and heating expenses during the winter months."
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
"The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food assistance to low and no income people and families living in the United States (U.S.). It is a federal aid program administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ."
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
"The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is a nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children eat well and stay healthy. Housed under the USDA, WIC provides nutrition education, nutritious foods, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals for income-eligible women who are pregnant or post-partum, infants, and children up to age 5. The program is nationally recognized as an effective way to improve access to nutritious foods, promoting healthier eating habits and lifestyle choices."
Family and Social Services Administration
"Family and Social Services Administration is a health care and social service funding agency. Ninety-four percent (94%) of the agency's total budget is paid to thousands of service providers ranging from major medical centers to a physical therapist working with a child or adult with a developmental disability. The five care divisions in FSSA administer services to over one million Hoosiers."
The Shirt Charity Fund
The Shirt Charity Fund assists Notre Dame students with extraordinary medical conditions who have demonstrated financial need which requires payment beyond their means. Applications can be submitted for medical reimbursement relating to the aforementioned extraordinary medical condition (medical supplies, hospital bills, surgery bills, prescriptions, etc.). . . .
For more financial information, please visit the Finance page.
Family Health and Wellness Resources
Notre Dame Wellness Center
The Notre Dame Wellness Center team includes a physician, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, registered nurses, and other medical support personnel. The center provides services to University staff, faculty, and student dependents.
If you want your spouse and/or dependent children to have access to the Notre Dame Wellness Center, please complete the Graduate Student Family Verification Form and return it to the Graduate School for verification.
Hoosier Healthwise Program
"Hoosier Healthwise is a health insurance program for Indiana children, pregnant women, and low income parents/caretakers. Health care is provided at little or no cost to Indiana families enrolled in the program. The enrolled member chooses a doctor to get regular checkups and health care for illnesses. Other health needs such as prescriptions, dental care, vision care, family planning services, and mental health services are also available as part of the Hoosier Healthwise program."
Marital Therapy and Research Clinic
"The Marital Therapy and Research Clinic provides psychological services for individuals and married and unmarried couples. Service are provided free of charge to Notre Dame students and for a nominal fee to non-student spouses. If you have been feeling depressed, anxious or are experiencing problems in your relationship, therapists at the clinic will work with you to relieve you from distress and help you develop self-confidence to live a more empowered life. They use proven techniques to improve well-being, and provide the best care in a confidential and supportive setting."
"The mission of Family First is simple; to serve the family. We take a creative and digital approach to our mission. As a 501c3 national non-profit organization, our goal is to use modern technology and offline events to strengthen the family by establishing “family” as a top priority in people’s lives. We do this by promoting and advocating principles for building marriages and parenting today’s children. We take a multi-tiered approach; one that fits every family right where they are. We serve fathers through our program All Pro Dad. We serve mothers through our program iMOM. We serve the family as a whole through our radio broadcast The Family Minute with Mark Merrill."
University Village maintains a list of Health and Social Services for families.