The Graduate College

Graduate Student Core Competencies for Academic and Career Success

By the end of your graduate studies, you should be a well-rounded scholar and professional, ready to take your life and career to the next level. To help you get to that point, the Graduate College provides you with a holistic framework for professional development that focuses on Core Competencies (listed below). By developing skills across these Core Competency areas, you will ensure that you are prepared for life after graduate school. Various activities, workshops, and resources relating to these Core Competency areas will be available to you each semester. Additionally, you can track your goals and accomplishments in these areas with an online portfolio system.

Core Competency Areas:

  • Career Development: Preparing yourself for the job market; understanding how to position yourself for success; understanding how to market yourself to potential employers
  • Communication: Developing skills in oral and written communication; strengthening communication skills across informal and formal settings.
  • Disciplinary Expertise & Interdisciplinary Connections: Gaining command of the core content of your discipline; understanding how disciplines relate to one another (including potential opportunities for collaborative research).
  • Entrepreneurship: Learning how to turn your interests/knowledge into new entrepreneurial ventures. 
  • Global Awareness & Cultural Sensitivity: Seeing the big picture, on a global scale; understanding political and economic trends and their impact on your field/career; learning to understand and respect cultural differences.
  • Leadership & Management: Honing your ability to effectively lead others to perform at their best; developing skills in managing teams and breaking down complex tasks.
  • Personal Development: Finding balance between school/work and home life; learning more about yourself (your personality/nature); developing coping mechanisms and strategies for being your best self.
  • Research: Understanding the best practices and ethical implications of advanced research. 
  • Teaching: Developing skills in relaying knowledge/information to others; understanding how people learn; using assessment tools to track successful learning.