GSAS Graduate Student Professional Development

We promote an intentional approach to professional development, one that begins with the first year of your PhD and continues to evolve as you build knowledge and shape your scholarly and professional identity. Being intentional about your pathway through the PhD allows you to recognize your own agency in the process and to periodically assess where you are, noticing gaps and new interests, and getting targeted training. Spending time on your professional development will make you more successful during graduate school and better prepared for the job search. We encourage you to think about diverse career outcomes and to see professional development training as useful across many possible jobs, inside and outside of the academy.

As you chart your course, take advantage of the resources Yale has to offer.  Join a workshop series on leadership, communication, or project management; develop mentoring skills; or prepare for the job market through workshops on scholarly profile, job market materials, and interviewing skills. Search for professional development and career strategy workshops.  Consider having a one-on-one consultation about your professional development and job search readiness.


Internships that fit into your PhD schedule are a good way to explore alternative academic paths and careers outside the academy. These internships are designed to be low-intensive experiences; they take 5-7 hours per week, helping you to hone your professional skills and build networks.

GSAS Professional Experience (GPE) Fellowship

The GPE Fellowship is designed to help you strengthen your professional skills and broaden career exposure by working with experienced administrators outside of your academic programs. Host offices across Yale offer mentored experiences that help you develop your skills in strategic planning, research, project management, program design, communications, data analysis, and more. 

Learn more about the GPE.

Yale Graduate Impact (YGI) Fellowship

The YGI Fellowship is open to humanities PhD students who wish to pursue external work experiences related to their academic research at organizations outside of Yale. As a YGI fellow, you will develop key professional skills and gain work experience while furthering your scholarly goals. The program provides funding for positions that would otherwise be unpaid. You design your own position in conversation with outside organizations, such as museums, presses, and nonprofits.

Learn more about the YGI.

3-Minute Thesis Competition

The 3MT competition gives graduate students from across the disciplines the chance to practice their public communication skills and share their research with the university audience.  Preliminary rounds are divided by 5 divisions, while 2 winners from each division go to the final event, which is broadcast live.  Practice your communication skills and compete for cash prizes!

Learn more about 3MT.

Want to become a McDougal Fellow in Professional Development? Learn more here: McDougal Fellows.