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Duke University Graduate School
2127 Campus Drive
Box 90065
Durham, NC 27708 USA

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Career & Professional Development


Professional development encompasses many elements of your graduate school experience; your coursework, research, presentations, and publications form just one component. Professional development also includes elements of personal development such as career development, self-awareness (your understanding of your strengths and opportunities for development), leadership, and professional adaptability (your ability to apply skills learned in one context in a new environment, sometimes called critical thinking).

Because professional development is an iterative process, much like research, it should occur at every stage of your graduate career. All students should seek professional development opportunities that complement their research training and augment their transferable skills. Development opportunities are available to Duke graduate students to advance their communication and teaching skills as well as their leadership, self-awareness, and professional adaptability to prepare them for success in their chosen career paths. Graduate students who develop a broad range of transferable skills often have greater flexibility as they seek professional employment.

Professional development opportunities sponsored by The Graduate School are provided by both the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. These units work in partnership with the Duke Career Center and the Office of Postdoctoral Services to assess and serve graduate students' needs. Professional development opportunities are planned in a two-year cycle to comprehensively address the professional development needs of graduate students at each stage of their graduate career, with topics appropriate to their discipline, across the five major career sectors: academia, business, entrepreneurship, government, and nonprofit.

Professional development opportunities available through The Graduate School include one-time events, workshop series, peer-to-peer mentoring, formal coursework, and certificate programs. This variety of offerings is designed to allow students to develop a broad array of transferable skills as well as provide the chance to focus on particular skill sets of interest throughout the three stages of their graduate careers.

We work with a variety of other departments and groups at Duke to provide resources to students, including the Center for Instructional Technology and the Office of Research Support, other schools at Duke, the Graduate and Professional Student Council, and graduate student groups or organizations.  In addition, the English for International Students program provides ongoing support to our large international student population.