20 On-Demand Professional Development Workshops for Grad Students

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Updated: February 28, 2024, Reading time: 18 minutes

On-Demand Professional Development Workshops for Grad Students - featured image

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Graduate students must navigate the overwhelming and often daunting life as they pursue an advanced degree.

Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities for them to easily transition to graduate school and support them throughout their progress in their chosen program. It is often in the form of resources, mentoring, events, courses, and workshops designed to guide them through professional development. 

Taking part in professional development workshops will allow them to explore academic excellence and gain valuable industry experience, whether it is learning how to network with academics, writing and communication, and technical competencies like Python Deep Learning, Python Machine Learning Fundamentals, and Research and Data Analysis. 

Some universities offer workshops in a series. Others are available as stand-alone workshops. The workshops are often offered online, in-person, or on-demand.

Additional Resources:

Generally, interested graduate students may register on a certain date to be able to join the workshops. There are some, however, that can still be accessed long after the workshop or event is over. 

If you want to broaden your career perspectives, develop core competencies, and enhance your potential as a professional in your chosen field, then the following workshops will work well for your prospects. 

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Thesis and Dissertation Workshops

Thesis and Dissertation Workshops

Offered by Ohio University, the Thesis and Dissertation Workshops can be accessed through TAD Services along with a host of graduate student resources. It is designed to guide students in preparing and filing theses and dissertations.

Students will be able to access video guides to most techniques demonstrated in Microsoft Word. They are also available as online training programs for both Mac and PC users for those who will not be able to attend the workshop. 

Part of the workshop covers how students can create a schedule that allows them to complete their thesis or dissertation within a particular timeframe. Students can expect to see sample schedules for certain timelines. The presenter, if time allows, may also be able to assist attendees in creating their planning process. 

To register for this workshop, students will need to email and provide the workshop title and date during the email registration. 

Career & Self-Development Workshops

North Carolina State University’s Graduate School aims to prepare students for career readiness by offering an array of professional development workshops and series categorized by competencies. One of the workshop series on offer tackles career and self-development. 

In this workshop, students will be able to gain competency that allows them to acquire self-awareness, equipping them with insights about themselves by helping them understand how their talents and skills can be utilized in a variety of career paths. Students will also be able to learn how to apply their skills in different positions. 

The workshops in the series include Career Readiness Programs: Career Exploration, Emotional Intelligence: A Tool for Teaching, How to Write a Cover Letter, Career Readiness Programs: Job Search Strategies, and more. 

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning

The University of California Berkeley, under the Graduate Student Instructor Teaching & Resource Center, offers workshops for graduate students that cover a wide range of topics in relation to university teaching and GSI experience. It is designed for students who wish to learn more about teaching and gain opportunities for hands-on learning. 

The series of workshops are offered via Zoom. Some of them include Developing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, Teaching Portfolio, and Universal Design for Learning. The latter is meant to deepen one’s knowledge of inclusive teaching practices through the exploration of the Universal Design for Learning framework. 

Selected workshops make handouts and videos available on-demand online. Students are also encouraged to email the GSI Center should they want to request a workshop on a particular topic. 

Finding and Using Public Data in Research

Aiming to help graduate students develop professional skills in their careers, the University of North Texas offers plenty of workshop opportunities designed for career development. Based on the PREP model, the workshops embody four areas that are essential for students’ success, including Planning, Resilience, Engagement, and Professionalism. 

One of the workshops on offer is called Finding and Using Public Data in Research. It is going to be hosted by Willis Library. The workshop teaches students how to incorporate data in their thesis or dissertation as a way to provide persuasive evidence for a hypothesis. Students will tackle the different methods used to identify appropriate public data resources and understand the limitations of such public data. 

The workshop is going to be presented by Deborah Yun Caldwell, data services librarian at the Research Support Services Department. 

Conflict Management and De-Escalation Workshop

Conflict Management and De-Escalation Workshop

The Graduate School at Colorado State University offers professional development workshops and events designed for graduate students. One of them is the Conflict Management and De-Escalation Workshop. 

This workshop will teach participants about their communication and conflict styles. They will also explore various approaches to conflict as well as communication techniques to de-escalate tense situations. 

To be led by Dr. Gardiner Tucker, a faculty member in Higher Education & Student Affairs Leadership, the workshop will be a good starting point for those who want to acquire knowledge and skills in conflict management.

Bootcamp: How Master’s Students Can Lead Jobs and Gain Work Experience

Duke University offers the Graduate School Workshop Series for master’s students to help them support their Career and professional development. The Bootcamp: How Master’s Students Can Lead Jobs and Gain Work Experience is part of that workshop series. This is designed for students who feel overwhelmed by the process of applying for internships or jobs, allowing them to gain a competitive edge and stand out from a saturated job market. 

The workshop is available online. It is primarily concerned with equipping students with knowledge in navigating the often complex internship or job search process with confidence. In this webinar, they will learn essential job search tools, strategies, and techniques to help them identify career opportunities. 

The webinar is made up of a series of lectures, including going beyond LinkedIn and Indeed, navigating career fairs, networking, and writing resumes that will be read by hiring managers.

VR for Human Anatomy

VR for Human Anatomy

At the University of Minnesota, the Graduate School struck a partnership with departments across the university to deliver workshops and provide opportunities for students to gain transferrable skills essential to professional development. One of the workshops on offer is the VR for Human Anatomy. 

This workshop makes learning anatomy so much easier with the utilization of virtual reality tools. They will learn how to use the app called Primal VR to study anatomy at home. Students with glasses or contact lenses should use one to help them gain a better experience with virtual reality. 

Project Management Workshop

The University of Wisconsin Madison offers the Project Management Workshop. This is designed to help graduate students manage projects while developing people’s potential. In this workshop, they will gain a better understanding of systematic approach methods, evaluation, and how to use resources effectively. 

In collaboration with the Office of Quality Improvement, the Graduate School hosts this one-day workshop for students who need to learn the essential skills for successful project management. Graduate students will be able to enhance their capability to lead a project to completion, whether it comes to a dissertation, capstone project, or fieldwork. 

Students are expected to learn how to apply proven and practical project management techniques used by professional project managers while enhancing their management, teamwork, collaboration, and leadership skills. 

Productivity Workshop: Personalize Your Productivity Practice

Productivity Workshop - Personalize Your Productivity Practice

The University at Buffalo Graduate School recognizes the importance of preparing students for professional development by offering workshops and seminars to its graduate students. One of the available workshops on offer is the Productivity Workshop: How to Personalize Your Productivity Practice. 

This series of workshops dedicated to productivity is a collaboration between the Graduate School, Graduate Student Association, and Office of Postdoctoral Scholars. It is presented by Dr. Kate Henry, a productivity coach who specializes in sustainable and well-being-oriented productivity. 

Students can expect to be guided in developing actionable and achievable productivity and time management practices integral to achieving short-term and long-term goals without feeling overwhelmed. They will also be able to reflect on the ways productivity utilizes finite personal resources and understand what it means to be productive by identifying “behind-the-scenes labor.” 

Mentoring Workshops

Northwestern University offers the Mentoring Workshops. It is a joint effort of the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Training and Development in the Graduate School. This quarterly workshop is designed for Ph.D. students across all disciplines who wish to learn the best practices that will help them establish effective and productive mentoring relationships with their mentees and with their mentors, where applicable. 

The workshop is divided into three training sessions based on the Entering Mentoring curriculum of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Students who complete this workshop series can obtain receive a certificate from the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Training and Development.

The series includes Maintaining Communication and Aligning Expectations, Enacting Equity and Inclusion, Building Self-Efficacy, and Developing Professionally. 

Creating Accessible Teaching and Research Documents in STEM

Creating Accessible Teaching and Research Documents in STEM

The Graduate School of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill continually holds a wide range of professional development events, which are focused on mentoring, skills development, research, job search, and other relevant areas.

Creating Accessible Teaching and Research Documents in STEM is one such workshop scheduled for this month. This is a two-part workshop designed to enable students to make their teaching and research documents more accessible, particularly to individuals with disabilities and to neurodiverse individuals. The workshop will give special focus to materials that contain complex mathematical characters and equations and include discussions on various content formats and useful tools. 

The workshop is online and is delivered by guest instructors from Cornell University. Those interested can register through this link or check out other events in the UNC Graduate School Calendar.

Industry/Nonprofit Job Search Essentials

As part of its efforts aimed at nurturing and capacitating its graduate students in their Career and professional development, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Graduate College is offering a career development basics workshop that is designed to prepare students new for the entire job search process. 

This short workshop covers the basics & essentials of job hunting. It covers preparing application materials, the ins and outs of interviews, offers and negotiations, and more. The scheduled workshop is around 90 minutes long.

This workshop is open to all and will be held on campus, although there is also a simultaneous online broadcast of the event. Students interested can email and check out the Graduate College calendar for upcoming events.

Navigating the PhD Session - Managing Time and Academic Relationships

Michigan State University, through its Graduate School, will be offering the first of a series of Navigating the Ph.D. workshops that are meant to prepare incoming Ph.D. students for doctorate academic work.

Working on a PhD is frequently stressful and rigorous, and this workshop session focuses on effective time management, which is crucial in keeping up with academic timelines, and includes discussion on useful habits and technologies that they can use, stress management, and strategies to overcome writer’s block. The workshop also includes discussions on effectively working and communicating with faculty and committee members. 

The workshop is around three hours in length and will be delivered both in-person and online. It is open to students of MSU, and they can register through this link

UNL Graduate Student Workshops Series

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Graduate Studies regularly holds various events designed to prepare students with the right tools and habits to make their graduate school experience more productive and enjoyable.

One of their ongoing events is the Be a More Productive Scholar webinar series, which takes a deep dive into the routines of successful scholars and researchers and how their work-life balance enables them to thrive and keep on top of all their scholarly work and various other commitments. 

Each session in the Be a More Productive Scholar series lasts about one hour and is hosted for free by Lumivero. Students can register for the upcoming session, Successfully Balance Time for Work and Life, via this link.

Mississippi State University ORED Seminars & Programs

Mississippi State University ORED Seminars & Programs

The Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) of Mississippi State University holds a range of seminars on various topics throughout the year. A lot of these are also held as digital seminars.

The current season is winding down, but ORED has two more in-person activities lined up: a Symposium on Autonomous Systems: Inspiring Innovation Across Land, Air, and Sea, and a Seminar entitled Defending a Nation: An Overview of Modern National Security Challenges and Research Opportunities. Both events serve as pointers for the state of the art in their specific area and for possible avenues to explore with graduate research. 

The MSU ORED also maintains an archive of previously held seminars, again on a wide range of topics, accessible through their online archive, which goes back to 2017. Various presentations and materials from the seminar are also open and accessible for download.  

Stony Brook University DoIT Events

Stony Brook University regularly holds a series of on-campus events for all its students that are part of its larger DoIT series of training workshops. DoIT Events are held online or on campus and revolve around the central themes of information security awareness, experiential learning, and digital literacy. 

The are a number of DoIT events scheduled for the latter end of this year, with some slated for this month alone. These seminars cover various topics, from the basics, such as resume building and Microsoft Excel, to introductions to specialized software and processes such as MATLAB and JavaScript. 

Interested Students can check Stony Brook University’s calendar of DoIT events through this link hosted by CampusLabs.

Boston University PDPA Workshops

Boston University PDPA Workshops

The Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs (PDPA) office at Boston University regularly holds a variety of events geared toward developing and guiding the university’s doctoral students in terms of their career development. These events include workshops, panels, and other events.

One of the interesting upcoming events in the BU PDPA events calendar is the workshop entitled Using ChatGPT as a Writing Tool. This 1-hour workshop is designed to get doctoral students up to speed on the ubiquitous AI-based assistance tool, focusing on its benefits & limitations and ethical considerations on its use as it relates to intellectual property and plagiarism. The workshop will also feature a hands-on component and also cover integration and proper citation of ChatGPT output.

Those interested can also keep up to date with Boston University PDPA’s upcoming activities via their Twitter/X and Instagram accounts. 

Michigan Ross Digital Course Offerings

The Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan offers its top-ranked Executive Education series of courses designed for those in leadership positions in the field of business. Typically spanning a few weeks each in length, these professional development courses are longer than the typical 1-day workshop but provide in-depth and comprehensive coverage of key leadership areas.

Michigan Ross Executive Education courses cover a wide range of topics. One of these courses, People Driven Thinking, equips leaders to manage team dynamics better to achieve success. Analytical Thinking, meanwhile, centers on Finance and Accounting and develops skills in interpreting and working with financial data for better financial decisions.

These courses are offered online and feature live sessions with professors, learning assessments, and interaction with peers. The weeks-long courses typically require a daily commitment of around 45 minutes throughout its duration.

Successful and Replicable Programs for Promoting Inclusive Excellence in STEM

Successful and Replicable Programs for Promoting Inclusive Excellence in STEM

As part of its initiatives aimed at graduate-level professional development, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Graduate School holds a series of regular workshops, write-ins, and student orientation sessions throughout the academic year. 

One such scheduled event is a seminar entitled Successful and Replicable Programs for Inclusive Excellence in STEM, to be given by Professor Mike Summers of the University of Maryland. This seminar takes a look at efforts to retain and develop students from underrepresented minorities in STEM programs, in particular, the successes of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, its replications in other universities, and important lessons in the area.

The event is scheduled for the latter half of 2024, so there is a lot of time to plan. In the meantime, CU Boulder Graduate School’s calendar of events is full of other events that are highly beneficial for graduate students and their academic work.

R You Aware? Introduction to Creating Visualizations using the R Language

The University of South Carolina’s Graduate School holds a number of recurring and special professional development events throughout the academic year, covering topics that range from preparatory work for students’ scholarly output as well as skills development on a variety of tools and techniques.

One such upcoming workshop is R You Aware. It is an online workshop designed to provide an overview of data visualization capabilities in R, a programming language used in general data visualization and analysis within and outside academia. This event falls under the umbrella of the university’s SHARPGrads program (Skills, Habits, and Research Program for Graduate Students), which is focused on providing training on digital scholarship, computing, and library research. 

This online workshop is free, although interested participants are expected to have a basic familiarity with R and R Studio. Students can register via this link or check out other upcoming events on the graduate school calendar. The UofSC Graduate School also runs its own YouTube channel, where past seminars and workshops are posted and available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Professional Workshops

I’m not a student of a particular university, and I can’t access a particular workshop that they have announced online. What are my alternatives?

Unfortunately, some workshops and seminars are exclusive to students and staff of particular universities. Some of these workshops are ultimately interesting, and it wouldn’t hurt to inquire with universities directly about your options, whether they have similar offerings that are open to non-students, or whether they may be willing to make exceptions or special arrangements.

In the extreme, there are other professional development opportunities also offered outside university settings, such as in popular online course providers. Alternatively, if you’re working in a particular industry or field, industry-specific events are also worth checking out. 

How do these professional development workshops, seminars, or other events benefit me?

Within university settings, these events serve to polish and update students’ basic scholarly skill sets (writing, communication, analytical thinking, time management, etc.), as well as introduce them to potentially new knowledge. Taking a bigger picture view, it is a matter of course that professionals and students continuously strive toward self-improvement, and these events serve as an engaging and readily accessible source of knowledge. 

Are these workshops, seminars, and other professional development opportunities for free?

It depends. Many of these opportunities offered by universities exclusively for their students are part of university life, and they may have paid for these indirectly through their tuition. Still, others are accessible to non-students either as direct participants or they can revisit them at a later date through accessible recordings and other relevant materials. There are a few, meanwhile, that are offered as more serious short courses (such as Executive Education programs) that fall short of being full-blown degrees. 

On-Demand Professional Development Workshops for Grad Students - fact


Professional development is an integrated part of US universities and is part of their overall goal of producing well-rounded professionals and scholars. These professional development initiatives take the form of workshops, seminars, courses, and other events. 

As a student, these professional development initiatives are important venues not only for skills building in specific areas but also to brush up on their fundamental life skills in areas such as writing and communication, leadership, and overall marketability as professionals. These initiatives also open students up to new skills and areas of interest and also serve as venues to link up with other professionals and potential partners. 

While many professional development initiatives, such as workshops, are limited to students of particular universities, some are accessible to all in a variety of formats. Even better, some of these professional development opportunities are found in venues outside academia.

The immediate availability of these opportunities means students and professionals have little excuse to miss out, given the benefit these can potentially contribute to their development.

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.