Do American universities typically help male professors transition into fatherhood by offering (paid) paternity leave? If so, what is the standard amount of paid time off that is offered?

Feel free to compare with maternity leave benefits for female professors, but my question is mainly on the availability of paternity leave.

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    “Because it belongs elsewhere” is not a good reason for closure. The crucial question is why the question does not belong here, not where else it may fit.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Feb 20, 2017 at 13:00
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    I thought that in the US, neither fathers nor mothers get paid parental leave.
    – gerrit
    Feb 20, 2017 at 13:36
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    US Federal law (FMLA - Family and Medical Leave Act) specifies the conditions under which unpaid leave is required to be offered. Companies (and universities) may exceed the Federal requirements. One would have to check the HR policies of your particular institution.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 20, 2017 at 14:20
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    @FuzzyLeapfrog Besides the fact that leave for a woman is called maternity leave? Yes, a company or university could have paid maternity leave, but not have paid paternity leave.
    – mkennedy
    Feb 20, 2017 at 19:38
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    I semi-randomly chose two universities. Ohio State has 6 weeks maternity and 3 weeks paternity leave for 75% or more contracts. Standard has maternity leave, and a "baby bonding leave". The latter I think is actually a California-specific program also know as "paid family leave". So it's going to vary.
    – mkennedy
    Feb 20, 2017 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


The answer varies wildly across university to university, even within the same class of university. This can go from the mandatory FMLA minimum of 12 weeks (unpaid) to 12 months, with some pay. I've attached a comparison table from a 2009 survey by Robert Drago and Kelly Davis, Parental Leave and Modified Duties Policies across the Big Ten.

enter image description here

I found this from the AAUP's page on family leave, which is fairly useful: https://www.aaup.org/issues/balancing-family-academic-work/leave-policies

In addition to the formal leave offered, there can also be varieties of teaching relief and tenure clock stoppage for both mothers and fathers. All of this seems to vary from place to place, and probably some details could be negotiated at the time of a job offer.


As AJK said, there's no "standard." I can't vouch for the reliability of this source but fairygodboss.com states that the average paid paternity leave for colleges and universities in the U.S. is two weeks.

  • Just FYI, I didn't downvote you, and I appreciate your answer :)
    – User001
    Feb 21, 2017 at 10:16

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