Why Graduate School at IU
When considering a graduate school, your primary concern is the department and the faculty. But there are other significant factors to be considered – such as the choice of setting for your graduate education, the university itself, and the city where you'll live. IU/Bloomington offers graduate students an intriguing variety of tangible and intangible advantages.
IU welcomes, with open arms, students and faculty from around the world. We have grocery stores with a half-dozen different brands of Kim Che. You can hear tabla rhythms or bagpipe drones in a public park. Afghan and Tibetan restaurants are within a couple blocks of Indian and Cajun restaurants. Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Jews serve on local comittees together. Neo-punk noise bands are seen in the same venue as country crooners. Gays and Evangelicals are active in local politics. You can look at a great collection of Japanese woodblock prints on the same day you eat a deep-fried funnel cake.
Bloomington may be the world leader in symphony orchestras per capita. Many original plays are premiered here every year. The nightlife is richly varied from trip-hop to gospel to samba to bluegrass banjo. There's a thriving art scene. Broadway touring shows make frequent stops at IU. There's a lot of dancing going on. Lots of bands. Performance. Poetry. Film. It's not the sort of place you think of when you think of a small midwestern town, population 69,000. There's just about always too much to do.
The Faculty and Your Fellow Students
As you might imagine, this sort of setting has attracted an innovative, intelligent and collaborative group of scholars. Check your department of choice for examples.
There are 191 masters, doctoral and professional degree programs at IU ranging from finance to fine arts so graduate students are a difficult group to characterize. The total number of graduate and professional students is over 8,500. 40% of doctoral candidates in the sciences are women. IU grad students hail from 130 countries. Financial aid to graduate and professional students totalled over $285 million in the 2006-07 school year. It's a wide-ranging and diverse lot.
The IU Campus
IU is beautiful – it's been called one of the five most beautiful college campuses in the United States. The heart of campus is quadrangle surrounding a small forest. This borders on Bloomington's downtown district, making IU/Bloomington a good walking city. The University and city bus systems provide regular transportation around campus and the city.
IU's libraries have over 7.5 million books and subscriptions to 43,000 journals. The I.M Pei designed art museum is outstanding. The Jacobs School of Music, one of the largest and most prestigeous in the world, has many top-notch performance spaces. IU has two supercomputers, everywhere connectivity and a massive data storage system.
Housing is available both on and off campus. Housing costs and cost-of-living in general are moderate. With good schools, a vibrant downtown and lots of non-campus arts facilities, Bloomington is a very agreeable place to live.
Outdoor resources are just as impressive – Bloomington is surrounded by state parks, golf courses, nature preserves, a national forest, and is 10 minutes from a 10,000 acre (43 square-kilometer) lake with beaches, water skiing, swimming and sailing.
IU is just 50 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport and 4 hours by car from Chicago, so getting to and from the rest of the world is fairly straightforward.
The Cost of Living at IU/Bloomington is:
People to Talk to
84% of University of Wisconsin, Madison
75% of Cornell, Syracuse, NY
74% of Duke, Durham, NC
72% of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
65% of University of Chicago
56% of University of California, Berkeley
53% of Harvard in Boston
46% of Stanford, San Francisco
42% of Columbia, New York
These cost comparisons were supplied by Cityrating.com. Actual campus areas were unavailable for calculation in some cases. Nearest major cities were substituted.
The People in and around IU/Bloomington
Lastly, at the most intangible level, IU/Bloomington is a friendly place. There is a level of politeness and caring that makes visitors feel welcome and residents feel at ease. There's not a lot of cutting in lines. When a hundred cars are leaving a parking lot, drivers usually take turns. Crime is low, the air is clean and people volunteer to help each other.
For a great many people, this has been one of the best decisions of their life.