Professional Development

Dal GradPD is your go-to place to learn about professional development designed for your specific needs as a graduate student. Together with partners across the university and external providers, the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) assembles an ongoing schedule of free workshops and events aimed to help you prepare for your career, whether you’re pursuing a professional life in or outside of academia.

Dal GradPD is based on the skills our grad students report they want most and that our alumni and employers say are essential for life after grad school. Guided by survey feedback and best practices, we developed the four pillars of the Dal GradPD program dedicated to building skills in Communication, Career Intelligence, Health and Wellbeing, and Leadership. Workshops are designed specifically for your needs and offered exclusively to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Upcoming Dal GradPD workshops and experiential learning

Date Time (all times Atlantic) Workshop/webinar Partner Pillar(s)
June 24 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Tackling your to-do list: Set SMART goals Studying for Success Health and Wellbeing (Workshop)
July 5 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Design your life: Reframing networking and informational interviews for career success Faculty of Graduate Studies Career Intelligence (Workshop)
July 8 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Launch your career: Discover government funding programs to help you land work after graduation Government of Nova Scotia Career Intelligence (Workshop)

Dal GradPD certificate option

To help you navigate your PD journey, we’ve created a free certificate program to recognize your efforts and help you identify the opportunities to take you where you want to go. Check out our Dal News story for more information on the certificate program, including a Q-and-A with Dal GradPD designer Dr. Mabel Ho.

The certificate consists of four parts:

  • Individualized development plan workshop: In this session, you’ll zero in on the skills and experiences you need to achieve your professional goals and map your plan to get there. IDP workshops will be held every month, so don't worry if you missed an earlier session. Asynchronous videos of IDP workshops will also be available in Brightspace.
  • Pillars workshops: Participate in two hours of workshops from each of the Dal GradPD pillars: Communication, Career Intelligence, Health and Wellbeing, and Leadership. You can select from options provided by Dal GradPD partners or find other opportunities you think will best suit your goals. 
  • Experiential learning: Take on four hours of hands-on experience from each pillar. Write a blog, go to a networking event, practice a time management strategy, organize an event – the possibilities are vast and the experiences priceless. 
  • Professional identity workshop: Wrap up the certificate with this session that will empower you to articulate the value of the skills you've gained at graduate school to prospective academic or non-academic employers. 

Any workshops or experiential learning you've undertaken since September 2020 can be used toward the certificate with the submission of a written reflection. Workshops covering multiple pillars will count toward one pillar of your choosing.

When the program is complete, you’ll receive a certificate signed by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and recognition on your transcripts. More importantly, you’ll have developed a plan for where you want to go with your career and assembled the professional and personal skills you need to get there.

Have a question about Dal GradPD or its certificate program? Email