For Graduate Students

The Basic Needs Center is committed to supporting our graduate student community. The resources below provide urgent relief for graduate student basic needs, but are not exhaustive.

If you have further questions, or know of a resource that could be added below, please email us at basicneedscenter@berkeley.edu.

Food

  • CalFresh: Also known as SNAP/EBT, is a long term food assistance program that awards eligible students up to $204 per month for groceries
    • Graduate students, similar to undergraduates, must meet certain guidelines in order to qualify for CalFresh. For graduate students, the most likely to qualify those who:
      • Have been approved for work study
      • Work 20 hours/week or an average of 80 hours/month
      • Have dependents under the age of 12
      • Receive services from the Disabled Students Program (DSP)
    • Must be a US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to apply. If not, please apply for the Food Assistance Program (listed below) instead
    • Food Justice Project serves students who have been denied CalFresh benefits and can assist with the appeals process
  • Food Assistance Program: Short term financial award for non-CalFresh eligible students with financial need
  • Food Pantry: Emergency food relief supply offering nonperishable foods, fresh produce, and more; available to anyone with a Cal1 ID
    • The Bear Pantry: Emergency food relief for students living in University Village Departments with dependents
    • Food Now: Find food pantries or soup kitchens near you, or call the Emergency Food Helpline at 510-635-3663

Housing

  • Emergency Housing: short-term emergency housing for students facing imminent loss of housing or currently unhoused
  • Housing Security Deposit Award: Financial support for students facing severe housing insecurity and need assistance in paying security deposits to secure off- or on-campus housing
  • Emergency Rental Assistance: Short term assistance with one month's rent
  • Housing Guide: The Graduate Assembly's list of best practices for finding housing in the Bay area

Finances

Grants & Fellowships:

Employment:

Health Care

  • Health Opportunity Fund: Up to $130 to use for services at the Tang Center. Available for:
    • Graduate students who have filed a FAFSA for the current year and have Pell Grant equivalent eligibility, or
    • Actively registered students in the Disabled Students Program
  • International Student Need-Based Medical Fund: Medical fund for international students with unanticipated medical costs 
  • Orion Fund: Grants for students in health crises to fund health costs, medical technology, and other living expenses. Available for:
    • California college students under the age of 30 confronted with a health crisis

Mental Wellness

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS):CAP hosts graduate specific programming including:
    • Graduate Counseling: Has many groups open to both grad and undergrad, and also grad-specific groups. Covered under SHIP

  • CAPS career counseling: Stressed about graduating and entering the workforce? Unsure about your direction? Sign up to meet with a career counselor to talk about entering this new stage of your life. Covered under SHIP.

  • The Graduate Wellness Center:A satellite office for CAPS. The Wellness Center provides graduate-focused wellness and mental health services, including individual, couples, and group counseling, and virtual workshops specific to graduate students

    • Make a telephone counseling appointment by calling Dr. Amy Honigman at: (510) 664-5117

Students with Dependents

Transportation

  • AC Transit:Public buses operating in the East Bay. Learn more about free unlimited AC Transit rides for students through EasyPass

    • The following are excluded from the Easy Pass:

      • MICS - Master of Information and Cybersecurity

      • MIDS - Master of Information and Data Science

      • MASIC - Master of Advanced Study in Integrated Circuits

      • OOMPH - Online Master of Public Health

      • Hybrid-LLM - Master of Laws 

      • MSSE -  Master of Molecular Science and Software

More Support/Advising @ The Graduate Division

Appointments with the Director of Graduate Student Life: For assistance navigating resources, sign up for a 15-minute virtual appointment with Graduate Student Life Director Larissa Charnsangavej at https://calendly.com/larissa-charn/graduate-life or emailgradlife@berkeley.edu

More Support @ The Graduate Assembly

The Graduate Assembly is the official representative body of the graduate and professional students at the University of California, Berkeley. For a list of resources, please visit https://ga.berkeley.edu/resources/