Study Here, Work Anywhere

Congratulations! You have carefully weighed all your options and chosen a graduate program in the College of Arts and Sciences to develop expertise in your field. Surveys of employers, however, have shown field expertise is not enough to be successful in today’s workforce. Graduates must also successfully demonstrate professional skills such as teamwork and collaboration, creativity, written and oral communication, analysis and synthesis of data, and planning and organization.

According to a 2012 report by the Council of Graduate Schools, these high-level transferable skills will always be needed across a wide range of occupations. Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate strong leadership, professionalism and work ethic, project management and critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In this increasingly fast-paced and changing world, students entering the workforce must be prepared to constantly innovate and communicate their solutions to a wide audience. The AU Career Center launched the career skills initiative to prepare AU students for the new economy. 

With that in mind, we encourage CAS graduate students to take advantage of the CAS professional development program. The “Study Here/Work Anywhere” resource guide will shepherd you through the academic, professional and life skills that we encourage you to build during your time at American University. Take advantage of all the University has to offer you!

We have identified a set of core skills that masters and doctoral students will need to thrive in graduate school and their future career, including:

  • Academic Skills: Writing and quantitative skills, working with your advisor, academic planning, funding and publishing your research;
  • Career Skills: Identifying your career goals, internship and job search strategies, effective networking, interview skills, resume and cover letter writing; and
  • Life Skills: Financial planning, time management, physical well-being.

Choose the stage of your graduate career below to see what resources are available to help you become proficient at the skills needed for success. Early program indicates the first year and late program indicates the last year (Masters) or last two years (PhD) of your program.

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Early Program

Academic Planning

AU Eagle Service: Student Planning
Learn how to manage your academic plan in AU’s Student Planning tool in Eagle Service.

Quantitative Skills

AU Statistical Consulting Center
Provides assistance with statistics-related problems in a variety research arenas.

AU Research Commons
AU resources for all your research needs.

Writing for Academia

AU Writing Center
Graduate students can schedule one-on-one consultations.

Purdue Online Writing Lab
Provides a wide variety of online instructional materials for a variety of writing projects.

Yale Graduate Writing Lab
Provides a wide variety of online instructional materials for a variety of writing projects.

Time Management

Mid Program

Funding Your Research

Office of Graduate Studies: Funding Your Research
Internal Competitions sponsored by the Office of Graduate Studies.

College of Arts and Sciences: Student Research and Travel Support
Internal Competitions sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Office of Merit Awards
Learn about nationally-competitive, merit-based scholarship programs.

Office of Merit Awards: National Scholarship Directory

National Science Foundation: Special Programs for Graduate Students
Funding programs for graduate students sponsored by the NSF or NSF-awardee institution.

Stress management

  • Counseling Center
    Resources and one-on-one appointments.
  • Health Promotion and Advocacy Center
    AU’s Health Promotion and Advocacy Center offers workshops, outreach activities, and one-on-one consultations with students on a variety of issues including alcohol and drug use, sleep patterns, and healthy relationships.

Late Program

  • Defending and submitting your dissertation/thesis/capstone

    Office of Graduate Studies: Theses and Dissertation Submission
    Templates, due dates and instructions for submitting your theses and dissertations.

    Dissertation Support Group
    First Tuesday of Every Month, 4:00-6:00pm
    Battelle Tompkins 228
    This group is a support group in which fellow PhD students from across disciplines could meet to combat the sense of isolation and anxiety that sometimes comes from the dissertation writing process; it could also have monthly themes with guest speakers on common issues facing dissertators, such as procrastination, time management, and work/life balance.

  • Publishing your research

    Office of Graduate Studies: High Impact Research
    Tips for promoting your research through social media and other non-academic channels.

Financial planning for your early career

  • GradSense.Org
    The Council of Graduate Schools presents an online education platform to help students better understand a variety of issues, including transitioning to life after graduate school.