Graduate Experience


Bloomington is a progressive, engaging city surrounded by state and national forests and state parks offering diverse opportunities for recreation.  The city hosts strong international communities, and we enjoy high-quality, affordable restaurants.  IU’s outstanding Jacobs School of Music hosts many free concerts every month. Public transportation is excellent, and the cost of living is relatively low.  And our campus is among the most beautiful in the world!

Learn more about Bloomington

A welcoming culture

We are a small, friendly department where students get personalized attention and close interaction with faculty.  We respect and support a wide range of career objectives for our students.


Our students are guaranteed financial support as long as they are making good academic progress.  The department offers travel support for observing and conferences, and students can get teaching experience to prepare for academic careers.  Our professional development seminars help students learn the skills needed for success beyond grad school.


Our program emphasizes research on galaxies, stellar populations, the structure of the Milky Way, and the chemical evolution of stars and stellar systems.  Astronomy graduate students hold weekly computational, stellar and extragalactic research groups, and present current research summaries during weekly AstroCoffee gatherings keep us up to date on new research publications.  


IU astronomers observe on the WIYN (Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO) 3.5-m and 0.9-m telescopes at Kitt Peak, and students can propose for telescope time in their own names. 


IU is a leader in high performance computing, with free access to IU’s outstanding computing, visualization, and data storage facilities and professional staff.