Question: If I'm pursuing studies at/in the XYZ department, what is the correct preposition for the following sentence?

I'm a student [at / in / from / of] the XYZ department

There are related questions here on ELL, but they are mostly about whether I'm studying "at" an university, not a department from an university. Googling I could find all of these prepositions being used by students in leading English speaking universities.


  • 1
    You are studying at a university. The use of a or an depends on the pronunciation of the letter that follows, not of the letter itself. We don't use an when the following u is pronounced you. So we speak of a uniform but an unfortunate incident. Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 21:16
  • @RonaldSole Thank you! I initially wrote "a university", but edited right afterwards. Good to know this!
    – flen
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


If the question is:

What department are you in?

The answer could be:

  • I’m a student at the Computer Science Department.

Meaning: this answers the question exactly by quoting the name of the department. The asker gets his answer and is now assured that there is indeed a Department in your college with the name "Computer Science".


  • I'm a student in Computer Science.

Meaning: this tells about the stream of learning. There could be multiple departments under this stream. It's a generic answer. The asker gets a general understanding about what your department is all about. But he doesn't yet know what exactly the name of the department is.


  • I'm a student in the ComputerScience department.

The role of in/at changes with the context.

  • Thank you! But would it also be correct to say "I'm a student in the Computer Science department"?
    – flen
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 22:12
  • 2
    It certainly would be correct, and what most people would be likely to say. Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 23:03
  • @flen yes,thts also correct. Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 5:05
  • @AdityaPatnaik could you please edit your answer to include this? Then I can mark it as the answer to my question
    – flen
    Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 14:45
  • done @flen, hope the answer helped you. Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 15:09

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