Doctoral Mom Incorporated is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that was created to provide support to mothers in doctorate programs. Originating on Facebook in 2019, the Doctoral Mom Group now assists 10,000+ students and graduates by providing online programs, scholarships, and support groups. Doctoral Moms represent 100+ colleges and universities and are located in 100+ countries.
To help mothers in successfully complete their doctorate program by reducing economic, social, and political barriers.
1 out of 4 female students are mothers
Source: IWPR analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Spring 2001 through Spring 2017, Fall Enrollment component.
To give future generations access to academic, career, and entrepreneurial opportunities by empowering their mothers.
1 of 2 student parents are single and work full-time with fewer financial resources to fund their education.
Source: Staff, S. I. (2019, October 11). Student parents in the US: 5 facts & figures about them. Study International. https://www.studyinternational.com/news/student-parents/.
Our Doctoral Moms represent 100 + colleges and 100 + countries. In 2 years, our membership has grown 4,500 + individuals.
2 of 3 student parents are People of Color (Approximately 30% African American, 20% Hispanic, 10% Asian).
Source: 8 Things You May Not Have Realized About Student Parents. National University. (2020, November 30). https://www.nu.edu/resources/8-things-you-may-not-have-realized-about-student-parents/.
— Dorothy's Way Fund Recipient
I am an international Ph.D. student with two children in the Language and Literacy program at Georgia State University. At the age of 35, I decided to study abroad to pursue my master's degree after working as an English educator for 12 years in China. And I started the Ph.D. program at the age of 38. My son was 15-month old when I first came to the United States and my daughter was born when I was working on the Ed.S. degree and applying for the doctoral program. It was not easy for being a doctoral mom, however, it is even harder for being an international student from a traditional patriarchal Chinese family. The primary challenge I am facing every day is the questioning from my parents, parents-in-law, and relatives who believe that women should do a stable job and take care of their children, husband, and parents once they get married. For many people around me, I am too old and rebellious to study abroad and pursue a doctoral degree. Thus, I feel social isolation and disconnect from my roots.
The second stress is the financial constraints. As an international student, there are limited working choices because of visa requirements. My husband is not allowed to work as a student’s spouse. Therefore, our four people’s income is my stipend working as a graduate assistant (GA), which is between $500 to $1,500 per month. In addition, I need to pay for the student fees, mandatory insurance, and textbooks. I am lucky that I can do breastfeeding, otherwise, I am not able to afford powdered milk. The financial stress is also from the uncertainty of GA positions since the funding opportunity is not assured. As a doctoral student in the field of education instead of STEM or computer science, we have limited funding resources. So the challenge is to find funding and GA positions every semester. Therefore, the Doctoral Mom could not be more helpful for the summer that I have no funding resources at all.
The third stress is to reach out to peers and professors during the pandemic as a newcomer. I need to conquer language and cultural barriers to fit into the environment and meet the academic requirements in a short time. As a result, it requires a higher level of persistence and resilience to deal with multiple tasks, such as babysitting, assignments, jobs, research projects and doing house chores. I am lucky that my husband is supportive and he shared many family responsibilities. However, I know that I need to be strong to support him emotionally.
I also met many wonderful people, especially professors, who support and guide me in the past years. Because of their motivation and encouragement, I utilized my previous teaching experience in my current research. I have presented my works at national and international conferences, such as the National Social Science Association (NSSA), American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Georgia Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (GATESOL), and American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). I also served as a board member at the AERA Women and Educator SIG to advocate for female educators, a board member at a local dual-language charter school to contribute my profession and knowledge in both Chinese and English. To support other international students and scholars, I offered free webinars and consultations to people who have questions and need guidance in school application and research. Currently, my research lies at the intersection of language learning/teaching and intercultural competence. I mainly focus on preparing linguistic and culturally competent students and teachers from a global perspective.
Georgia State University
Dr. Brittne Martin
CEO and Founder
Marketing Leader with expertise in Business Development, Career Advising, Higher Education, and Personal Branding
Proud Mother of 3 Toddlers - Mathias, Legacy, and Icon
I started Doctoral Mom Incorporated to assist my peers with navigating the doctorate process. Moreover, we face a number of unique needs by balancing school, work, motherhood, and relationships. I was a first-generation, minority, low-income student and now I am creating opportunities to women across the globe. I welcome you to support this incredible mission by volunteering or donating.