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Benefits for Graduate Students and Graduate Assistants

GradMAP benefits

The University of Illinois offers several benefits and services to graduate students and graduate assistants. These benefits help support students as they pursue advanced degrees while balancing academic, employment, and personal goals. The information below list several benefits and provides links to additional information and details.

Benefits for Graduate Students

Benefits for students may vary based on the number of hours enrolled.

Graduate students in degree-seeking programs who will not enroll for a semester can request a leave of absence. For details, see the Graduate College Handbook.
Alternative Registration Options 
Students in advanced stages of their degree program or who will be studying or conducting research more than 50 miles always may wish to utilize one of the following registration options: Research Credit or Zero Credit, in absentia, or GC 599. Note that some of these option have reduced service benefits. International students and students with fellowships or assistantships should check eligibility. Compare these alternative registration options.

Family Friendly Benefits

Health Care for Dependents
Graduate students have the option of adding dependents to Student Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, and Vision Insurance plans and can purchase coverage for spouses at McKinley Health Center.
The State of Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS 260/1) and the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) provide working mothers with reasonable break time during normal business hours to express breast milk.
The Women's Resources Center webpage lists available lactation spaces across the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.
Students who, in addition to engaging in academic pursuit, are committed to providing and caring for children have a unique set of needs and experiences, joys and stressors. The Student-Parents website provides information about campus and community resources to support student-parents in their educational journey.
Located at the University of Illinois, CCRS is an agency that works to support the well-being of children and families by promoting the availability of quality child care services in the area.

Benefits for Graduate Assistants

There are four types of assistantships: Research Assistant, Pre-Professional Graduate Assistant, Teaching Assistant, and Administrative Graduate Assistant. See the Illinois Human Resources website for definitions and additional details.
This slide presentation provides and overview of benefits for graduate assistants.
This downloadable spreadsheet outlines employee benefits, including Insurance and Health Care, Workers' Compensation, Employee Tuition Waivers, Holiday, Vacation, and Leaves.


Eligible assistants are entitled to up to six (6) weeks of paid parental leave following the birth of a child, or upon either the initial placement or legal adoption of a child under 18 years of age. Eligible assistants are those who have an active appointment at the time the parental leave is taken. The same conditions apply as for other academic staff