Graduate and Professional Students

Continuing to Strengthen the Graduate and Professional Student Experience

In Fall 2021, Indiana University enrolled nearly 11,000 graduate and professional students. The experience of these students differs by discipline, school, career objective, and program level. IU strives to deliver a top quality graduate and professional education that prepares our alumni for success in their chosen professions. Toward that objective, faculty members, departments, and campus and university leaders have a long history of working with students to ensure the highest quality education and student experience. Some of the ways the different schools work with graduate students, including some recent innovations, new services, and programs, are outlined below

* For more than a quarter century, the Graduate and Professional Student Government has served as the elected representative student government for graduate and professional students across all schools and departments at IU Bloomington. Their consultation, advocacy, and partnership with faculty, campus, and university leaders has led to many changes over time. Initiatives that involved GPSG are denoted below with an asterisk.


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Regular Consultations with Graduate Students

New Graduate Student Services

Decreases in Graduate Student Fees

Other Developments for Graduate Students

SAA Stipend Increases

SAA Health Insurance Changes

Regular Consultations with Graduate Students

IU and IU Bloomington

* On behalf of IU Bloomington campus leadership, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education meets every two weeks with GPSG leadership at a regular, standing meeting.

* GPSG representatives serve on a number of university and campus-wide committees, including search committees for deans and other campus leaders, ad hoc committees, task forces, and standing committees. This includes the Bloomington Faculty Council—the elected faculty body that has legislative and consultative authority on critical issues facing IU Bloomington.

In Spring 2022, the Provost, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Dean of the Graduate School, and academic school deans arranged 15 meetings with graduate students to talk about their student experiences.

The Office of International Services meets regularly with the International Student Leadership Council (composed of presidents of each international student association), which provides feedback and input on OIS services. OIS also conducts an international student survey of current students and applicants every two years.

The College and Schools

The following are school, college, or discipline-specific examples and are not meant to represent all variations of support for graduate study.

Associate Deans for Graduate Studies and Directors of Graduate Studies meet regularly with graduate student representatives. A few examples of these consultative opportunities:

The College Associate Dean for Graduate Education meets regularly with graduate student representatives from all College departments.

The Kelley School of Business doctoral program chair regularly meets with doctoral student association representatives.

At the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the Dean meets with Ph.D. student representatives every 6-8 weeks.

The Director of Graduate Studies at The Media School holds regular meetings with the Media School Graduate Student Association leadership.

The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering Associate Dean for Graduate Studies meets with graduate students in the school once a semester.

The Maurer School of Law Graduate Legal Studies Program Director meets regularly with graduate students, who are almost all foreign lawyers or law professors from other countries, and who are earning either an LL.M., MCL, or S.J.D. degree. Graduate degree students also serve on the Dean's Student Advisory Council, and participate in a range of other student organizations and meetings with senior administrators. 

The School of Optometry has an annual meeting with its Graduate Student Association.

The School of Public Health begins each fall semester with an all-graduate student meeting with the deans and school leadership.

The Eskenazi School meets regularly with graduate students and has a Student Advisory Council which has graduate student representatives.

New Graduate Student Services and Programs

IU and IU Bloomington

In the past three years, new staff positions have been created to support graduate students.

* A new graduate career coach was added at the Walter Career Center in 2022.

* A new Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Student Development was hired in 2021.

* An additional peer consultant was added at the Grad Grants Center in 2021. These are just a few examples of new resources available to graduate students.

* GPSG representatives are currently working with Dr. Aaron Carroll’s Mental Health Task Force to identify needed improvements in mental health and counseling services for graduate students.

The College and Schools

All graduate students have access to professional development, career counseling, and support services.

The following are school, college, or discipline-specific examples and are not meant to represent all variations of support for graduate study.

In 2020, the College funded a new career counselor position dedicated to graduate students who are interested in non-academic careers. Fifteen departments in the College fund special workshop programs and/or courses focused on professionalization in their discipline. Twelve College departments offer dedicated courses and/or programs for graduate students on "teaching the teacher,” which provides pedagogical development.

The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design has worked with the Walter Career Center for career development, work opportunities, and job search advice/opportunities for its graduate students. A new summer 2022 residency program was established through the Center on Rural Engagement for six graduate students to engage directly in regional communities through their art practice.

Starting in Fall 2021, the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering launched new Associate Instructor fellowships offering the opportunity to participate in a pedagogical learning community with an instructional expert, with the goal of preparing them to be more effective in supporting a class (as lab instructor, discussion instructor, grader, etc.). In 2022-23, the Luddy School is piloting a new program for future faculty that will support four advanced doctoral students in enhancing their teaching portfolios by co-teaching a class with an experienced faculty member and developing their own syllabus with assistance from an instructional expert to offer an elective in their area of research.

In 2019-20, the School of Public Health began providing Professional Staff Academic Advising for Master of Public Health students. Beginning in Fall 2021, new laptops were provided for all incoming doctoral students in the school.

The Division of Student Affairs added a professional development program for its Graduate Assistants and provided opportunities for GAs to attend professional conferences to supplement their formal and practical training.

In 2021, the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies purchased tablets, laptops, software, and other new technologies for graduate student use. HLS also funded new career coaching support for master’s students in international affairs.

For students in the Graduate Legal Studies Program, the Maurer School of Law increased support for dissertation and academic legal writing; grew individualized program offerings for international students and scholars; launched a new professional development program, including workshops, peer advising, and career advising; and expanded access to financial resources for international students experiencing financial hardship.

In 2021, the School of Optometry increased its Career Development Series to three times each semester; the topics are chosen by graduate students.

In Fall of 2020, the O'Neill School added a new course on “Grantwriting and Other Skills for Ph.D. Research.” The course is already proving successful with several fall 2020 students having since received large fellowship grants (>$100,000) based on proposals they developed in the course.

Decreases in Student Fees

 The following are school-specific examples and are not meant to represent all variations of support for graduate study.

* In Fall 2016, the Luddy School of Informatics eliminated the school’s unremittable fee; the same action was adopted in the College, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design, Media School, School of Public Health, and School of Optometry, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, all in 2020; in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the School of Education in 2021; and in the Jacobs School of Music, effective July 1, 2022.

* In the College, Eskenazi, and the Media School, this was a reduction of $1,100 in fees and was a direct result of the 2019 College Task Force on Graduate Student Funding.

Other Developments

Policy Changes

  * In 2022, a campuswide policy will take effect that provides flexibility for graduate students in using tuition waivers for courses anywhere on campus that are part of an approved graduate program of study.

* Under development in 2022, the Graduate Faculty Council and GPSG are working on a policy for Paid Leave in all schools for graduate students.

* In 2021, the minimum stipend was increased to15K.

* A 2019 mental health task force recommended changes in accepted insurance carriers for graduate student health insurance. These changes were implemented in 2020.

*In 2017, GPSG worked with the IU President, IU Government Relations, and the University Graduate School to voice opposition to a federal bill that would have made fee remissions taxable. In part because of this effort by IU, other higher education institutions, and graduate advocacy organizations, the bill did not pass.

Space Planning

The following are school, college, or discipline-specific examples and are not meant to represent all variations of support for graduate study.

The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design is in discussions around space improvements for SAAs, including a new student gallery.

In response to student requests, the School of Optometry is converting office spaces into a graduate student lounge with kitchenette, couch, and TV.

The Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies is developing plans for new spaces that provide private meeting opportunities for SAAs in East Asian Languages and Cultures.

The School of Education is using feedback from SAAS to develop plans for improved  workspaces.

*IU Libraries worked closely with GPSG to design the Grad Commons at Wells Library (opened in 2013).

Travel funding

The following are school, college, or discipline-specific examples and are not meant to represent all variations of support for graduate study. Several schools offer travel funding for their graduate students to attend professional conferences and seminars, including:

  • A $20,000 annual fund, created in Fall 2020 by the Media School, for graduate student conference travel
  • $750 per student conference travel support for doctoral students in the Kelley School of Business
  • $3,000 travel awards for doctoral students in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
  • The School of Optometry provides partial support for travel to one scientific meeting a year
  • $1000 in annual travel support for doctoral students in the School of Social Work
  • Graduate students in the O’Neill Public Affairs program receive travel support for two conference trips up to $600/trip
  • The Eskenazi School as a Student Special Projects fund that can support graduate students for travel and projects

SAA Stipend Increases

IU and IU Bloomington

In 2020, one-third of SAA stipends were below an $18,000 rate for .50FTE 10-month positions. By fall 2022, 100% of SAA stipends will be at or above $18,000 rate for .50FTE 10-month positions. Beginning FY23, IU will give a 5% increase for all SAAs.

The College and Schools

Graduate student packages of financial support vary depending upon discipline standards, peer institution benchmarking, the financial circumstances of a school, and each school’s recruitment process. The total package for each student differs and could include a combination of: SAA stipends, fellowships, tuition remission, health insurance, travel funds, and other forms of assistance. For example, the SAA stipends noted below represent minimums. Many units offer other forms of support not outlined here; thus, SAA stipends alone do not capture the full measure of support.

Stipends have increased at schools across the IU Bloomington campus. The following are school- or college-specific examples and are not meant to represent all variations of support for graduate study.

SchoolYearChange in StipendNotes
The College2021Increased to $18,000 
Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design2022Increasing to $18,000 Strong fellowship support for M. Arch students 
The Media School2022Increased to $18,000 Students receive a minimum top-off of $1,000 
Kelley School of Business2022Increased to a minimum of $18,030 
School of Education2021Increasing to minimum $16,200 Based on .45 FTE/10 Month 
Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering2022Increasing to $23,000 
School of Optometry2022Increased to $27,500 
School of Public Health2021Increased to $20,000 for 10 months and $24,000 for 12 months 
School of Social Work2021Increased to $18,000 Will receive an additional 5% increase next year. 
O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs2021Increased to $19,000 for Public Affairs PhDs; Increased to $25,000 for Enviro. Sciences PhDs Majority of students receive at least partial summer support in addition to stipends. 
Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies2021Increased to $18,000