Program Details

University of California, Santa Cruz (Astronomy/Astrophysics)

How many tenure-track or tenured faculty -- male/female?


How many graduate students-- male/female?


How many post doctoral associates - male/female?


Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

Family accommodation policies for childbearing and childbearing responsibilities are fundamental to an equitable and productive academic environment. The University of California's family accommodation policies and programs strive to assist graduate students in balancing the needs of work and family through a variety of paid and/or unpaid leave options and scheduling flexibility, depending on an individual student's particular status and situation.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

The health insurance policy that is included in the stipend covers pregnancy costs for a
female student. Coverage for additional family members (including the baby) is
available at extra charge.

Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

We are female-friendly because: 1) we have good gender balance at
all levels---roughly half of our grad students and postdocs are women;
2) of five women faculty, four are very senior with national
and international visibility, who set a tone of female-friendliness
for the entire department; the fifth is a junior faculty member
who was just recently hired for her (somewhat non-traditional) instrumental
skills; 3) because of their high visibility, our women faculty
collectively send the strong message that women can be successful
astronomers; 4) three of our four senior women have families and children,
which sends the second strong message that it is possible to blend
family and career and that it is desirable to do so; 5) our program
tends to attract grad students who are self-motivated rather than
competitive, which creates a more supportive and collegial atmosphere
than found in many departments--this is a valued tradition at Santa
Cruz; 6) there is no gender discrimination in class or in access to
research opportunities or faculty; 7) we are flexible in meeting the
leave and travel needs of partnered or married students; 8) to quote a
female graduate student who responded to your questionnaire, we have
an "unusally cooperative, supportive, and collaborative atmosphere at
all levels."

Has the institution had a Climate for Women in Physics Site Visit or Gender Equity Conversation?


Updated: September 02, 2009

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