Professional Development Requirement

The Professional Development Requirement consists of 2 parts: the the Individual Development Plan and Professional Development. Completion of this requirement is mandatory for all students registered in a Graduate Program as of September 2016.

Individual Development Plan

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a downloadable workbook to be used as a career planning tool.

Upon completion of the IDP, students must receive sign-off/approval from their supervisor. In Economics, for Masters students, the supervisor is the Grad Chair of the department. For Doctoral students, they will choose a supervisor after successfully completing their comprehensive exams. The supervisor can sign off on the IDP. PhD students are to review the IDP with their supervisor on an annual basis.

Masters students are required to complete the IDP portion of the Professional Development requirement by the end of Spring Reading Week in their first year. Doctoral students are required to complete the IDP portion of the Professional Development requirement by the end of Fall Reading Week in their second year.

Professional Development Hours

A professional development activity fulfills the University of Alberta Professional Development Requirement if it contributes to the acquisition of skills, knowledge or mindset and includes all of these three components:

  • comprises of formal training or active learning with an assessment component (self-assessment, reflection, quiz, write-pair-share, evidence of knowledge application)
  • falls outside of research methods training, capstone project, thesis or equivalent, and required practicum
  • supports the career goals and/or seven skills/competencies identified in the individual development plan

The Professional Development requirement consists of 8 hours towards professional development. This can be achieved by attending sessions or workshops or taking training related to:

  • Professional practice
  • Career development (including attending part 2 & 3 of the IDP sesssions)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Teaching
  • Skills training
  • Mentorship
  • Internship
  • Volunteering

With the exception of Internship, students are limited to 4 hours in each category.

Professional Development credits can be obtained via courses on Linkedin and My Grad Skills ( and attending sessions during Graduate Teaching and Learning or Professional Development weeks. Students are responsible for tracking Professional Development hours and providing completion certificates to the Department.

As a graduate student, you are automatically signed up for the Professional Development bulletin sent out every Friday by FGSR. This is where you will find information regarding Professional Development opportunities. Opportunities are also available during the Graduate Teaching and Learning weeks held in August/September & January and Professional Development weeks held in May and July/August.

The following DO NOT count towards the Professional Development requirement:

  • Ethics sessions
  • Attending research conferences
  • Presenting research papers
  • Attending information sessions