Student Experience

Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG)

GPSG is the official university-sponsored student government for all IUB graduate and professional students, and provides advocacy, academic support, community building, and access to resources.

Entirely student-run and student-driven, GPSG has been serving graduate students for more than 35 years. It provides a valuable avenue for graduate and professional students to make an impact at a campus-wide level.

GPSG advocates for an inclusive and empowered graduate student community.

Visit the GPSG website

Learn more about diversity in our department

Guidelines for Advisor-Graduate Student Interactions in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University

The success of every graduate student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences depends in part upon the interaction of the student and their advisor. The research advisor(s) and the student together develop, revise and update plans for the graduate student's research, work to identify and remove obstacles to success, and to provide the student with opportunities to develop professional experience. Many of these interactions are informal. To facilitate interactions that are as productive as possible, the Department offers these guidelines.

These guidelines embody common practices used by other institutions* and are intended to provide a basis for establishing an effective and productive advisor-student relationship that relies on trust, courtesy, clear communications, and shared expectations. These guidelines provide a general framework for interactions. These guidelines supplement the IU Student Code, which addresses primarily formal academic matters, by attending to the faculty's role in the student's research process. For our graduate training mission statement, please see the department website graduate section:

Faculty Research Advisors should:

  • promote an environment that is intellectually stimulating;
  • be supportive, equitable, accessible, encouraging, and respectful;
  • recognize and respect the cultural backgrounds of students;
  • be sensitive to the power imbalance in the student–advisor relationship;
  • set clear expectations and goals for students regarding their academic performance, research activities and progress;
  • discuss policies and expectations for work, including work hours and practices, university breaks, vacation time, and health contingencies;
  • establish mutually agreed upon expectations for frequency and format of communication that will provide students with regular, clear feedback on research activities, performance, and progress;
  • promote and manage productive and collaborative relationships for students working in large research groups and collaborations;
  • provide students with training and oversight in relevant aspects of research, including  the design of research projects, the development of necessary skills, and the use of rigorous research techniques or procedures;
  • provide and discuss clear criteria for authorship at the beginning of all collaborative projects and revisit authorship throughout project development as contributions may change;
  • comply with occupational health and safety guidelines, and foster a safe work environment by discussing and mitigating potential hazards associated         with a student's research activities;
    • promote a work environment that is free of harassment;
    • encourage participation in professional meetings and discuss funding for such  activities;
    • guide students to receive training in the skills needed in their discipline(s) for a successful degree completion, including oral and written communication and grant preparation as appropriate;
    • recognize that some students will pursue careers outside of academia and/or outside their research discipline and encourage them to learn about their career options;
    • be a role model by acting in an ethical, professional, and courteous manner toward  students, staff, and faculty.

Graduate Students should:

    • recognize that they bear the primary responsibility for the successful completion of their degree;
    • complete all tasks assigned by the department, including teaching, grading, and other assistantship responsibilities;
    • know the policies governing graduate studies in the department and the graduate school and take responsibility for meeting departmental and graduate school deadlines;
    • be proactive in communicating with the advisor and research committee about progress and challenges associated with research and program trajectory;
    • recognize that in addition to their role as a student, they have rights and responsibilities as employees of the university, and expect that these are clearly conveyed to them by the university;
    • clearly communicate with their advisor(s) regarding their career preferences and any changes to them during the course of their program;
    • be proactive about improving research skills, including written and oral presentation;
    • be proactive about teaching professionalization and preparation through exploring workshops and training opportunities;
    • seek out appropriate professional service opportunities and take advantage of career planning support in the Walter Center for Career Achievement;
    • participate actively in departmental, area, and lab activities such as colloquia, brown-bags, reading  groups, lab meetings, etc.;
    • seek mentoring and support resources beyond their faculty advisor(s), including other faculty members and peers as well as individuals external to the university;
    • inform faculty advisors or other appropriate person of possible and/or existing conflicts and work toward their resolution, following departmental guidelines;
    • obtain outside help from people including an ombudsperson, director of graduate studies, department chairs, or other faculty if conflicts arise with their advisor;
    • be aware that if they feel compelled to change advisors or research direction, they have options and should consult with their advisor, other mentors, or department officers, recognizing that such options may include changing or leaving programs;
    • always act in an ethical, professional, and courteous manner toward students, staff, and faculty, respecting the value of their time and responsibilities.

The Department will:

    • provide students with up-to-date information that includes policies, practices, resources, degree requirements, and expectations for progress;
    • proactively monitor graduate student progress toward their degrees and professional development, including mentoring meetings, committee meetings, exam completions, and other benchmarks toward the degree. Opportunities should be provided to examine the effectiveness of the student-advisor relationship and offer advice on addressing issues that arise;
    • provide students and faculty with contacts, resources, and a clear process for potential conflict resolution (e.g., ombudsperson, director of graduate studies, or department head). PBS will coordinate with any other departments and programs that students are in.
    • assist students who wish to change advisors or research groups in identifying new advisors within the department or program who are receptive to accepting the student, and advising the student on options, including leaving or changing programs, should no placement be found;
    • provide appropriate infrastructure to allow students to complete their education and research in a timely and productive manner;
    • provide information and/or opportunities for professional development that will be relevant to students  seeking careers outside academia and/or their research discipline;
    • promote an environment that is intellectually stimulating, safe, and free of harassment;
    • provide students with contacts for campus resources that promote health and wellness;


Graduate Mentoring Center

Graduate students can benefit from the mentorship programs, events, and relationships offered by the Graduate Mentoring Center. Its vision is to develop and help graduate an intentional community of scholars who are culturally diverse and competent, mindful, and who consistently produce innovative research and creative works that have viable and sustainable impact on their communities.

Learn more about the Graduate Mentoring Center

Graduate Student Career Coaching

The College of Arts and Sciences Walter Center for Career Achievement offers individual career coaching for graduate students. They can help you navigate through choosing a career in industry or academia. Learn to market yourself to employers, translate your academic skills to industry, and much more.

Learn more about the Walter Center

Office of International Services

The Office of International Services (OIS) is available to guide international students every step of the way when applying to IUB, attending school, and keeping in touch while overseas.

Visit the OIS website