Student Experience

Your graduate student experience

We have a tradition of close collaboration between faculty and students. Our graduate students actively participate in faculty research projects and regularly appear as co-authors on articles.

Each graduate student member of the Sociology department has a unique experience of their years pursuing the advanced degree. Attending to the business of graduate school—meeting course requirements, considering funding opportunities, teaching and studying—are the balance of the job, with academics providing its main focus.

Gain teaching experience

Teaching is also a high priority in our department. Sociology was one of the first IU departments to implement a specialized program called “Preparing Future Faculty” (PFF). This program encourages the development of professional socialization at all levels with an emphasis on teaching.

If you choose to do so, participation in a sequence of three courses and various colloquia and workshops will lead to a certification in college pedagogy. Regardless of whether you participate in the PFF program, you will likely have various opportunities to teach at IU. Beginning in the third year, our students are expected to work as associate instructors (AIs) if they do not have alternative sources of funding. AIs are given complete responsibility for preparing and teaching an introductory or advanced undergraduate sociology class. Most of our students teach at least one year before finishing the program.

Group activities

Our students have a variety of opportunities to work and relax together. Many choose to work daily in the departmental graduate computing labs, either at the Schuessler Institute for Social Research or in the Weatherly Lounge. From there, groups frequently form their lunch breaks and/or make plans for happy hours or movies. Throughout the year, there are numerous parties, cook-outs, and other social events, including a departmental wide picnic at the end of each year, where professors and graduate students can get together informally.

There are many opportunities to get together for informal or organized intramural sports. In the past few years, the department has fielded teams in women’s flag football and basketball, men’s basketball, and co-ed softball, flag football, basketball and volleyball. Some students work out, swim, or run together, or take yoga or other exercise classes—these are all opportunities both on and off campus.

IU has a large, state-of-the-art exercise and recreational center and other sports facilities on campus, including an outdoor pool. A rich sports culture includes Hoosier events in football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and other events.

Diversity & Inclusion

As a community, we recognize that we comprise a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students, and we embrace and value the diversity of our members. We promote respect for all community members regardless of age, culture, disabilities, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, marital status, nationality, citizenship, race, religion, sexual orientation, first-generation status, and socioeconomic status—as well as other dimensions of difference not explicitly covered in this list.

Read our full diversity + inclusion statement