Skip to main content

Teaching and Professional Development


Teaching Assistantships are an essential step towards gaining professional expertise. Ph.D. students are trained in pedagogical theories and methods, and they refine their skills while teaching German language at the undergraduate level. Advanced students may also serve as TAs in undergraduate seminars or lecture classes within and beyond the department, where they gain first-hand experience in effective lecturing, leading discussions, designing exams and syllabi, and grading undergraduate papers.

Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching (CFT) offers a variety of ways in which you can develop your teaching methodologies and interests further. Throughout the school year, the Center organizes Teaching Workshops on a variety of topics. If you are interested in a more programmatic approach to develop your teaching practices further, the Center also offers a Teaching Certificate Program. This program has been designed to help graduate students to develop and refine their teaching skills. The CFT also provides a wide range of consultation services to individuals for developmental and formative purposes, such as syllabus and course design consultations, teaching observations, small group analyses, teaching portfolio and grant consultations, and technology consultations.

Conference Experience

Graduate students are encouraged to attend and present their work at regional, national, and international conferences in order to gain experience in one of academia's primary venues for intellectual exchange. To facilitate this exposure, the graduate school, as well as the department, offer financial support for travel and accommodation.

Placement and Career Development

The Graduate Development Network (GDN) is an informal network of faculty, administrators, and students at Vanderbilt University that seeks to facilitate the awareness and use of the many programs that can help students become productive and well-rounded scholars. Their website offers a variety of resources that support graduate student development in a number of ways.