Career & Professional Development

professional development - cover photo

Professional Development Opportunities

The Graduate School offers a variety of professional development opportunities to help prepare you for your research endeavors and future careers. Professional development opportunities help foster a sense of community and provide opportunities for collaboration within which grad students learn from UNH faculty and staff, guest lecturers and researchers and each other. The links below explore these opportunities in more depth.

While doctoral students receive training in the process and requirements of original research, many are under-prepared for the teaching and service requirements they'll face as new faculty members. The Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program is a national initiative that transforms the way doctoral programs prepare aspiring faculty members for their careers. It emphasizes an education informed by the kinds of responsibilities faculty members actually have at a variety of institutions and how they balance research, teaching and service demands.

During the tenure process, evidence shows that research productivity may fail to meet expectations due to the time demands of service and course preparation placed on new faculty members. The PFF program seeks to help students succeed as researchers and teachers.

PFF Programming and Events

In addition to the formal academic program, various presentations, workshops and guest lectures are held throughout the academic year that focus on the development of graduate students interested in working in higher education as a faculty or staff member. The core goals of the PFF program include collaborating and partnering with professional organizations to increase the knowledge of graduate students, gain professional development experiences in order to balance research, teaching and service demands, and emphasizing the roles and responsibilities for faculty. These workshops occur several times per semester with dinner provided. Examples of PFF workshops include Job Interview Skills, the Search for Funding, Hiring in Academia, Fulbright Faculty Information, Leadership Skills as a Faculty Member, etc.

National Preparing Future Faculty Program

The national PFF Program began in 1993 as a cooperative effort of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts. With the broad goal of improving graduate and undergraduate education, 17 clusters of institutions received financial support from AAC&U and CGS to develop specific programs based on the strengths and interests of particular universities.

In phase two of this project, 10 of the original institutions and five additional universities (including the University of New Hampshire), received financial support. These programs were chosen to take PFF from a pilot project to a more national and institutionalized approach. All participating universities are encouraged to share their PFF best practices with other institutions that could benefit from the program.

How to Participate

Cognate in College Teaching Program

Doctoral students have the opportunity to add the 12-credit Cognate in College Teaching program to their graduate degree program. The program develops classroom teaching skills in your specific field or discipline to prepare you for your future career as a faculty member. If you're interested in participating, you're encouraged to apply to the Cognate in College Teaching program and read on for additional information.

Additional Details

The Graduate School and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning co-sponsor the annual Cognate in College Teaching summer program. This program features both on-campus courses and electronic, asynchronous courses designed to prepare doctoral students for academic teaching positions. Students learn about strategies for teaching and evaluating performance, about the academic environment and about the role of academic citizenship. All courses emphasize the transfer and relationship of theory and research into instructional practice. Scheduled course offerings are available on the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning website.


The Graduate School hosts various Preparing Future Professionals (PFP) workshops throughout the academic year. PFP workshops are open to graduate students in Master's, Ph.D. and certificate programs. PFP workshops focus on increasing knowledge and providing information to students to improve their learning, teaching, mentoring, professional development skills and education. The lunch sessions occur various times per semester. Examples of PFP workshop themes include Life Beyond Academia in STEM fields, Social Justice Workshop, Presentation Skills, Working with Difficult People, Bystander Responsibility and Affirmative Action, LinkedIn and Social Media, Thesis/Dissertation tips, Grant Writing, etc.

Register for upcoming events using our online form to reserve your seat.



Physical, mental and emotional well-being are central to being able to perform up to your ability in graduate studies. To support our students' wellness, the Graduate School is dedicated to raising awareness about issues related to health and wellness through workshops, student panels and other events of interest to grad students. Topics and workshops have included Stress Management, Financial Well-being, Yoga, and more.



In addition to our professional development workshops, the Graduate School provides students with social and networking opportunities. Many of these opportunities are featured as part of our Dinner and a Movie/Lecture series, in which students are invited to attend an educational lecture or movie held on campus and are then treated to dinner at Holloway Commons courtesy of the Graduate School. Other examples of social programming include the Doris Kearns Goodwin Presidential Historian Lecture, the New England Astronomy Festival, Dr. Amos’s Leverage Freedom Chair Projection and discounted tickets to UNH sporting events.

Dinner and a Movie/Lecture Series

The Dinner and a Movie/Lecture event series is a way for graduate students to network, meet new students across disciplines and engage in a social learning experience outside of their daily routine. The Graduate School finds a variety of events on campus or in the local area to take graduate students to with the addition of dinner at Holloway Commons. We're always interested in graduate student input for these events, so if you see something that may be of interest to you or other graduate students, send us an email and let us know!



The Graduate School provides a number of opportunities for graduate students to hone their professional writing skills, including thesis/dissertation workshops, write-ins and assistance with graduate aid applications. Visit our Calender of Events to learn about upcoming writing workshops and register for these and any of our professional development events on our Graduate School registration page.

Thesis and Dissertation Workshops

The Graduate School holds regular information sessions on the rules and process required to format and submit final theses and dissertations. Check for an upcoming workshop on the Grad School's Events page.

Thesis and Dissertation Manual

The Thesis and Dissertation Manual (PDF) is an online document that explains the procedures for formatting and filing theses and dissertations. Thesis and dissertation writers are strongly advised to plan ahead by reading this manual early and allowing time for resolving any questions. Students whose theses or dissertations involve non-textual materials (photographs, charts, etc.) should consult the manual during the planning stage of such projects to understand and comply with Graduate School guidelines and requirements.

Write-In Sessions

Write-ins aim to help students learn to write more productively. These sessions help students identify writing goals and deadlines and then work towards accomplishing the goals in a supportive writing environment with other graduate students. Staff from the UNH Writing Center attend some of the sessions to assist students with their writing.

Writing Workshops for Dissertation Year Fellowships (DYF) and Summer Teaching Assistant Fellowships (STAF) Application

Every year the UNH Graduate School offers Dissertation Year Fellowships (DYF) to graduate students in their final year of doctoral work, and Summer Teaching Assistant Fellowships (STAF) to outstanding TAs seeking to continue their research over the summer. More information about both of these awards can be found on our Forms and Policies page. To improve students' chances in receiving an award, the Grad School hosts several DYF and STAF workshops throughout the year for students on The Application Process, Application-specific Writing Tips, How to Prepare a Great Application and others. These workshops give grad students the opportunity to ask questions, learn strategies for submitting a strong application and engage peer review of their work.

The UNH-sponsored Speech, Language, Hearing Center is the premier diagnostic and treatment center in New Hampshire and the Seacoast community in particular. The Center provides services to both children and adults with speech-language-hearing disorders and differences. Through its integration with the UNH Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program, the Center offers state-of-the-art, best practices intervention provided by graduate student clinicians and guided by a collaborative team approach with experienced faculty. Students in the graduate program gain real-world clinical experience and are supervised by clinical faculty who are state-licensed and nationally-certified speech language pathologists and audiologists.

UNH Law and UNH Grad students can now request a more professional looking Wildcats email address based on their own name. This interim address will function for at least 18 months after the student has left the university, allowing sufficient time to establish a more permanent professional email identity.

Review the Guidelines for more information.

Additional Resources
  • Aurora by Beyond the Professoriate: An eLearning Platform with on-demand, self-paced learning modules that allow PhDs and Postdocs to explore career options and discover ways to apply the skills acquired through their education.
  • Handshake: An online platform to search and apply for jobs and internships; login with your UNH email to find discipline-specific as well as more broad opportunities.
  • Wildcat Connections: An exclusive online community for UNH, Wildcat Connections is the home for current students and alumni to come together to ask questions, seek guidance, coach, inspire, and share professional success. Connections lead to opportunities, and this community is designed to facilitate growth for the UNH network.
  • UNH Career & Professional Success (CaPS) provides professional success events, from career fairs, resume review days, and college-specific programs, as well as online tools for graduate students.