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Welcome letter from the President of the Graduate Student Association
Indiana University Sociology Website


Jane McLeod, PhD
Professor and
Director of Graduate Studies

Ballantine Hall 753
1020 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103
(812) 856-4583; (812) 855-2924 (Offices)
(812) 855-0781 (Fax)

August 11, 2011

Dear Prospective Graduate Student,

Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in Sociology at Indiana University. We believe that the graduate training we provide ranks among the best in the country. We have consistently been able to place virtually all of our new PhDs in jobs, most of them in academic settings. Our graduate students have also won numerous paper awards from the American Sociological Association, The Society for the Study of Social Problems, and various regional associations. Such success is one measure of the fine reputation of Indiana Sociology.

Our reputation rests ultimately on the quality of our faculty. We have assembled in Bloomington an outstanding and congenial group of researchers and teachers, each with a national reputation in his or her specialty. We are also a diverse faculty:  my colleagues examine a wide range of sociological problems, using a variety of theoretical and methodological orientations. No matter what research interests you have, you are likely to find someone on the Indiana faculty who shares and can help guide you in those interests.

We have a tradition of close collaboration between faculty and students. If you look at recent issues of major sociology journals, you will see that many of our students co-author articles with faculty members. At Indiana, students do not just learn sociology through formal coursework, but also through active participation in research with one another and with faculty. Moreover, our graduate students are well prepared for careers in teaching as well as research. Most begin working as teaching assistants for faculty members and then are trained to teach their own courses. Our outstanding preparation of future teachers has been recognized by the American Sociological Association, which awarded us an Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching. We are the only top-ranked research department to receive this prestigious teaching award.

During the first year of graduate study, students typically take six courses, many of them required for the PhD. During the Fall semester, most students will take S558 (Research Methods) and either S540 (Sociological Theory) or S530 (Introduction to Social Psychology). During the Spring semester, most will take S554 (Statistical Techniques in Sociology I) and S510 (Introduction to Social Organization), and will participate in the Sociological Research Practicum – which offers an opportunity to work hands-on with a faculty member on a continuing research project early in your graduate career. Students also typically select other courses in their areas of interest during the first year. Entering students who have already earned their M.A. degree will pursue a slightly different program of study, depending upon their previous coursework.

We provide financial support for virtually all of our full-time students. Almost all of our students receive full fee remissions which cover tuition costs. In addition, most students receive awards that cover a substantial portion of living expenses. Most first-year students assist a faculty member with an undergraduate class, as a “graduate assistant.”  Although it is too early to know the GA stipend for 2011- 2012, the stipend for the 2010-11 academic year (two semesters) is $11,078. Some outstanding applicants might qualify for university fellowship support (including the Chancellor’s Minority Fellowship or the McNair Fellowship), which provides a fee remission and a “top-off” amount that is added to the stipend. In recent years, our advanced graduate students have competed successfully for a number of university fellowships. Please note:  all entering students awarded graduate assistantships or university fellowships are also provided financial support in the summer after their first year of residence, as part of their participation in the Sociological Research Practicum. Additional financial support for graduate students in Sociology comes from a variety of other sources, both inside and outside the University. Most of these provide stipends of over $13,000 per year in addition to fee scholarships.

Indiana University is renowned for its extensive offerings in international studies and interdisciplinary programs. Specifically, IU has several outstanding area studies programs, including African Studies, East Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Polish Studies, the Russian and East European Institute, Central Eurasian Studies, and West European Studies. These programs are wonderful resources for students interested in comparative sociology, and many offer fellowships for students to take language classes. If you are interested in applying for a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, you should contact the appropriate department for application materials; the phone numbers are listed on the back page of the application packet. Because these programs have deadlines in February or March, you need to apply for FLAS fellowships as soon as you find out about your admission to the Sociology Department. In addition, sociology graduate students with strong backgrounds in German language and culture may compete for a fellowship offered by the Department of Germanic Studies. If you believe you might qualify for this fellowship, please indicate your background in German in the personal statement of goals that is part of the application materials.

Extramural support for graduate study has also been abundant. During recent academic years, we have had graduate students supported by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Program, the Spencer Foundation, The American Educational Research Association, The American Association of University Women, and the Sloan Foundation. Advanced students are also provided financial assistance by faculty members’ research grants; during the past few years, students have been supported by grants from the American Sociological Association, NIMH, National Institutes of Aging, National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and others. Our faculty’s reputation for outstanding sociological research makes it likely that these (or other) external sources of funding for graduate students will continue in the years ahead.

We restrict admissions to students with strong academic records. In recent years, about 150 applicants have competed for 10 to 12 openings in the first-year cohort. As a very rough rule of thumb, the chances of admission are improved if: (1) your undergraduate grade point average is at least a 3.3 on a 4.0 scale; (2) your GRE scores are above the 60th percentile; (3) your letters of recommendation indicate a strong aptitude for graduate study in sociology; (4) your personal statement suggests an awareness of the professional demands and rewards of a career in sociology. Please bear in mind that we examine each application carefully and idiosyncratic or unusual circumstances are taken into consideration.

The enclosed packet includes informational materials that pertain to our. We ask that if at all possible, when you are applying to the program, you use our on-line application system. This is located at: If for some reason you are unable to apply on-line, you may contact the Graduate Sociology office and request that we send you the paper version of the application. If you have completed some or all of your post-secondary education (college or university) outside the U.S., please let us know so that we may provide an additional form that must be included in your application materials. This form only applies to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. If you are an international applicant, let the Graduate Sociology office know as there is a different application all together.

A copy of the Indiana University Graduate Bulletin is available via the internet at: 

We are now accepting applications for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The deadline for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is JANUARY 15, 2011. In order to be considered for admission and financial aid, your completed application (including GRE scores) must be received by this deadline. If you wait until December to take the GRE, your official scores will probably not be reported to us before the January 15th deadline. TOEFL scores are required for students for whom English is not the native language, and these are also required by January 15, 2011. If your application is not completed by January 15, 2011, you might still be considered for admission to the graduate program, but your chances for financial aid are greatly diminished.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, please send all application materials to:

Graduate Secretary
Department of Sociology
Ballantine Hall 747 
Indiana University
1020 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

The deadline for international students is DECEMBER 1, 2010. In order to be considered for admission and for financial aid, your completed application (including GRE and TOEFL scores) must be received by this deadline. TOEFL scores are required for all international students for whom English is not their native language. You must take the GRE and TOEFL examinations no later than October 2009 in order for the scores to be reported to us by December 1, 2010. If your application is not completed by December 1, 2010, you might still be considered for admission to the graduate program, but your chances for financial aid are greatly diminished.

If you are an international applicant, please send all application materials to:

Office of International Admission
Indiana University
300 North Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-1106

If you need additional information or have any questions during the application, feel free to contact either our graduate secretary at or me at or (812) 856-4583.


Jane McLeod
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies