For Graduate Students

CLAS and UI resources

As a comprehensive liberal arts college at the heart of a major research university, CLAS offers plentiful opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration in research and creative production, as well as opportunities for developing teaching skills.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the academic home of approximately 1,900 graduate students at the University of Iowa. As the largest of the 10 UI colleges offering advanced degrees through the Graduate College, CLAS supports cutting-edge research, scholarship, and creative work through nearly 50 graduate and professional degree programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Graduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the research support and many opportunities for professional development offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Graduate College, International Programs, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. See the links at left.

Meet Graduate Student Researchers in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Sam BrensingerSam Brensinger, Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences

Three of the fundamental forces in physics are best described under the framework of quantum mechanics, but physicists have yet to accept a quantum field theory for the fourth force – gravity. The current description of gravity, Einstein’s general theory of relativity, uses an older framework of physics and does not offer concrete connections to quantum physics. One young mathematician wants to bridge this theoretical divide.

The Graduate College has awarded Samuel Brensinger the 2020 D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering. Brensinger, a doctoral graduate of the Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences program, completed his PhD in 2020 after defending his thesis, Projective Gauge Gravity. Read more . . .

Alaine Reschke-HernándezAlaine Reschke-Hernández, Music Therapy

People with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) face a range of issues related to changes in memory and thinking. These may limit their functionality in many other aspects of life. While there is no magic cure to reverse cognitive decline, one treatment option has the potential to facilitate social engagement and emotion regulation in these patients: music therapy.

Alaine Reschke-Hernández has been recognized with the Graduate College’s 2020 D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize in the Social Sciences. She focused her time at Iowa on research establishing an effective model of music therapy for patients with ADRD. Read more. . .

Brett BahleBrett Bahle, Psychology

As the old saying goes, many people see the eyes as windows to the soul. One young scholar in psychology, however, views them as windows to the brain.

Dr. Brett Bahle’s research examines how we focus our attention on objects within the visual field. The eyes are one of the primary ways we gather sensory information about the world – we move them about three times per second on average – so understanding the factors behind eye movements could provide more knowledge on sensory processing and attention.

“Some of the most important tasks that can be life or death in our society are actually visual search tasks,” says Bahle. “You can think of radiologists looking for dangerous things like cancer in medical images – that’s a visual search task. If we can better understand how people natively conduct visual search tasks and their visual search behavior in general, then we can use that information to better train them in catching mistakes.” Read more . . .