Professional Development

Graduate Professional Development Certificate Program

The Office of Graduate Studies is excited to announce a new Graduate Professional Development Certificate Program. Beginning fall 2020, USF graduate students will have the opportunity to earn a non-credit certificate in professional development. Sign up today!


The Graduate Professional Development Certificate Program is designed to help graduate students be successful in their academic program at USF and beyond. The program will provide graduate students with a variety of professional development opportunities centered around three areas: Academic & Research Development, Building Transferable Skills, and Career Exploration & Planning. The goal of the program is provide a platform for USF graduate students to enhance their knowledge and skills as they prepare for their future careers.

Why participate?

  • Learn about and engage in opportunities to further your academic, professional and career development
  • Track your involvement with professional development activities
  • Customize your development path to match your professional goals.
  • Reflect on your skills and experiences and connect them to potential career paths
  • Enhance your resume or CV with a certificate
  • Share your certificate online with a Graduate Professional Development Badge, which can be added to LinkedIn, ePortfolios, Social Media, and Handshake
  • It's FREE for USF graduate students!

Professional Development Areas

  1. Academic & Research Development
    1. Learn to navigate academia and graduate school
    2. Develop research and scholarship skills, academic writing skills, and grantsmanship
    3. Foster and manage relationships with faculty and advisors
  2. Career Exploration and Planning
    1. Understand and explore career options
    2. Develop job search skills
    3. Build and maintain a network
  3. Transferable Skills
    1. Communication – Refine written, visual, and oral communication skills for a variety of audiences and mediums
    2. Teaching & Mentoring – Understand and apply principles of teaching and mentoring
    3. Leadership & Management – Understand and develop leadership and management skills; foster entrepreneurial thinking
    4. Wellness & Resilience – Promote self-care, health, and wellness; cultivate life skills

Professional Development opportunities will be offered in two formats:

  • LEARN Opportunities – Workshops, trainings, and seminars
  • ACT Opportunities – Experiential opportunities and extensive trainings (ex. Participate in the Graduate Student Research Symposium, Have your resume reviewed with Career Services)


Students that complete requirements will receive a professional development certificate (non-credit) from the Office of Graduate Studies. Students will also earn a Professional Development Badge that they can share with employers on their LinkedIn profile or ePortfolio. 

Certificate Requirements

  • Participate in workshops, events, and development opportunities accruing a total of 10 professional development (PD) points.
    • LEARN Opportunities – Workshops, trainings, and seminars – 1 PD point
    • ACT Opportunities – Experiential opportunities, extensive trainings – 2 PD points
  • After each professional development opportunity (workshop or activity), complete the corresponding assignment in Canvas to receive points towards the certificate.
  • Upon completing the 10 points, students will be asked to submit a final reflection assignment to complete the certificate requirements.
  • Student must complete the requirements of the certificate between August 23, 2021 – August 19, 2022 to be awarded a certificate for the 2021-2022 academic year.

How to get started

  1. Join the Graduate Professional Development Certificate Program by signing up via an online form.
  2. Enroll in the Canvas course to facilitate tracking of professional development activities. A link to enroll will be sent to your email.
  3. Explore the Graduate Professional Development Canvas Site to view list of workshops, events, and activities at are eligible to count towards the certificate. Students can select opportunities that align with their interests and are relevant to their stage of graduate study.
  4. Attend the workshop or event, or complete the development activity.
  5. Complete the assignment associated with the workshop or activity to receive PD point(s).
  6. After accruing 10 PD points, complete and submit final reflection assignment by August 19, 2022.


The Graduate Professional Development Certificate Program is an Office of Graduate Studies and USF Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) joint initiative.

For questions, contact