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Professional Development

The graduate program is oriented towards producing highly-qualified scholars in academic careers. The program is carefully designed to train graduate students in all of the skills and objectives of academic research and higher education. This page lists many of these structures and resources, as well as some representative examples of student successes.

Research & Publications

As research assistants, students receive mentoring in the processes of publishing social science research. developing puzzles, theories, research designs, and executed analyses. Many actively collaborate with the faculty on joint research. Our students have published in the top political science journals during their time in the program including solo and co-authored articles in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Students regularly receive support for travel to professional conferences and summer training institutes. Travel and other professional funding opportunities can be found here.

Teaching Training

As teaching assistants, students assist in and learn about the pedagogy of undergraduate instruction. Graduate students spend about half of their semesters as teaching assistants. The Center for Teaching offers excellent programs and teacher training seminars, and helps students to consider their own pedagogies and develop syllabi for job applications.

Workshops and Speaker Series

The department and its associated research centers sponsor several speaker series and workshops that run throughout the academic year. Speakers from a wide variety of academic programs and perspectives visit the Department to present their research and meet with graduate students. There are also workshops where graduate students and faculty share drafts of unpublished research with one another to garner feedback and improve their manuscripts for publication.

For more information on these series, visit the Political Science Events Calendar.

Professionalization Seminar

The graduate program hosts a monthly professionalization seminar where faculty present on topics related to academic careers that are not necessarily covered in courses. This is a chance for different faculty to share insights and experiences with graduate students and for students to ask questions in a supportive environment.

For details on the professionalization seminar, visit the Political Science Events Calendar.

For students seeking assistance outside of the department with their careers and professionalization issues as well as work/life balance, make an appointment with the Graduate Life Coach.

Support for Under-Represented Students

Please see our Student Support and Inclusion page to learn about our approach to diversity and inclusion, as well as a long list of resources in the department and on campus.