About Us


Professional development is an essential part of your graduate education at Princeton. The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School developed GradFUTURES®, a campus-wide professional development initiative, to empower you with the professional competencies and connections you need to chart your future with clarity and confidence.  

In collaboration with academic departments, campus offices, centers, student organizations, alumni and industry partners throughout the University community, GradFUTURES provides you with a framework to build competencies and skills that support your scholarly and research goals while preparing you for professional success within your chosen field of endeavor.

“While many of our graduate alumni go on to have careers in academia, an almost equal number go on to make spectacular contributions across the entire spectrum of career possibilities. We need to ensure that our graduate students feel fully prepared and supported as they explore the complete array of options before them.”

--Sarah-Jane Leslie, dean of the Graduate School and Class of 1943 Professor of Philosophy

For decades, academia was considered the career path for Ph.D. students. Recognizing that today nearly half of Princeton’s doctoral students pursue opportunities in a diverse array of fields beyond academia, the Graduate School has made professional development one of its central priorities. 

In the fall of 2019, the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School launched GradFUTURES ®, a campus-wide professional development initiative designed to empower graduate students with professional competencies and help them envision their future with clarity and confidence. This collaborative effort will deepen existing partnerships between the Graduate School, academic departments, centers, student organizations, alumni and industry — and furthers our shared mission to support graduate student professional development. 

Professional development involves the learning and acquisition of competencies and skills that will position graduate students well for a broad range of future professional pursuits. GradFUTURES includes a learning framework organized according to six core competencies: Research & Data Analysis; Leadership & Collaboration; Written & Verbal Communication Skills; Teaching & Mentoring; Career Management; and Personal Well-being & Effectiveness. These competency categories were chosen based on labor market insights provided by Burning Glass Technologies, qualitative data from graduate alumni surveys, literature reviews and benchmarking. Each competency category represents professional skills that augment students' academic and research training and prepare them with a foundation for success within academia, and the public and private sectors.

We invite all graduate students to explore the many professional development programs, resources, and opportunities offered on and off-campus during their time at Princeton--and to connect with the GradFUTURES team for assistance in navigating the campus ecosystem of support as they seek to enhance their personal and professional growth.