Professional Development

Mason offers resources to help graduate students develop skills and make connections beneficial to their professional careers. Check with your academic department or Career Services for information about professional organizations in specific fields.

Office of Graduate Student Life

The Office of Graduate Student Life offers professional and career development programs specifically tailored to Mason graduate students in collaboration with partners such as the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning and University Career Services. Past workshops have focused on interviewing and salary negotiation for academic and industry jobs, career switching, and public speaking skills. To learn about upcoming events, visit the Grad Life Events page.

Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning offers a variety of professional development programs for graduate students, covering everything from teaching techniques to career preparation. The flagship program is the PROV 701 Preparing for Careers in the Academy seminar, a year-long program for advanced doctoral and MFA students who are considering academic careers. Additionally, the Stearns Center offers workshops on a host of topics, ranging from creating teaching philosophies to preparing for the academic job market and more. Finally, all teaching programs (consultations, observations, etc.) are available to graduate students as well as faculty.


Graduate fellowships provide support to Master’s and Doctoral students for research, writing, fieldwork, language study, professional development, or independent projects undertaken in conjunction with a degree program. The office offers a variety of services including info sessions, workshops on funding and writing strong applications, one-on-one coaching, and fellowship advising.

Career Services

Serves students by providing career assessment, coaching, counseling, resources and employment listings to advance the achievement of career-related goals. The staff offer a variety of programs including workshops, online education, career fairs, on-campus interviews, and employer information sessions.   Graduate students enrolled in the following schools may also use career development services located within their individual school:  Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, School of LawSchool of Business, and Schar School of Policy and Government.

Research Development

Offers support to faculty, students and staff in identifying and seeking funding to increase George Mason’s funded research base.

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a tool used by graduate students for intentionally planning professional development experiences during their graduate education. Using an IDP will encourage you to assess your current strengths and areas of growth, to develop specific goals and outcomes for professional development, and to engage in ongoing communication with your faculty and mentors about your plans.

To learn more about the IDP process, view Creating a Professional Development Plan workshop slides below. You can access the self-assessment and IDP form as fillable PDFs. For additional information and support, contact Graduate Student Life.

Creating a Professional Development Plan workshop slides (from Gradstravaganza 2020)

Individual Development Plan Self-Assessment (Fillable PDF)

Individual Development Plan Form (Fillable PDF)

Enhancing your Technical Skills

Information Technology Services provides an array of information technology resources, services, tools, and training the the University community so that technology can be used in teaching, learning, and research.

Centers & Institutes

A comprehensive listing of Mason centers and institutes

Lectures, Seminars, Thesis & Dissertation Defenses

Faculty lectures, Colloquia Series, brown bag seminars and the like can be informative and helpful in a student’s professional development. Attend thesis and dissertation defenses in or out of your field. Check college or school websites for a list of upcoming defenses.