Foundations of Successful Career Planning and Development Course

Course Description

The course provides foundational training in career planning and professional development. Key skills that graduate students and postdocs build are:

  • Increasing your capacity for self-directed career development
  • Fostering life-long career management habits
  • Maximizing your scholarly training success
  • Shaping positive career outcomes

Students will engage in experiential learning, small-group discussions, and peer mentoring. These different approaches enable individually relevant and self-constructed understandings of career development, consistent with expectations of independence in scholarly activities. Areas for discussion include: self-assessments, exploration of different career options, how to set goals, career adaptability, and other topics identified by students. 

Nature cited the University of Pittsburgh for being among the first universities to offer a credit-bearing, graduate-level career development course.

(Initially listed under a different course name), Nature 489, 593; 2012


This course spans a consecutive Fall and Spring term, and students must attend for the entire academic year for a total of two graduate course credits.  

Class meets for two hours over lunch every other week. Brown bag lunch encouraged. Multiple class sections are offered so that you may select the one most convenient for your schedule. You will remain in the selected class for both semesters. Switching classes is not possible due to class size limitations.

Selection Options

  • Tuesdays 11am-1pm, Hybrid
    MSMPHL 3340-1040 (23109)
  • Wednesdays 12pm-2pm, Hybrid
    MSMPHL 3340-1140 (23110)

Required Fees

MBTI assessment and book: $25 


All Schools and Programs Welcome  

  • Postdoctoral Scholars and Associates: Permission number required;
    Postdoc tuition benefits apply
  • Graduate students in Doctoral Program: Permission number required
  • Graduate students in Master’s Program: Permission number required
Please discuss with your graduate/program director before registering. Contact the course instructor for the permission number or to be added to the waitlist.

How to Apply

Click here to access the application. 

Education Benefits

Description of Postdoctoral Education Benefits: View Benefits

Breakdown of financial responsibility for a 1.0-credit graduate course after tuition benefits are applied: View PDF

Postdocs are encouraged to ask their faculty mentors to reimburse their out-of-pocket expenses for graduate credit courses.

Postdoc Tuition Payment Instructions for Administrators


Course Director: Steven K. Wendell, PhD, PC


Course References

Additional Information