Professional Development Requirement

All Graduate students in our programs are required to complete a Professional Development Requirement which consists of 2 parts: the the Individual Development Plan and 8 hours of approved Professional Development.

Individual Development Plan

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a workbook aimed at helping students set goals, identify strengths and areas for growth, and prepare for their future careers. 

Upon completion of the IDP, students must receive sign-off/approval from their academic supervisor.   PhD students are to review the IDP with their supervisor on an annual basis.

MA students are expected to complete the IDP portion of the Professional Development requirement by the end of Spring Reading Week in their first year.  The IDP must be completed for a student to be eligible to convocate.

Doctoral students are expected required to complete the IDP portion of the Professional Development requirement by the end of Fall Reading Week in their second year. The IDP must be completed for a student to progress to candidacy.

Professional Development Hours

Students must complete 8 hours of approved professional development activities. 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

Professional Development hours can be accumulated byattending 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

Economics students may fulfill their PD requirement by completing approved online coding courses in languages not included in their coursework.  Such courses must be approved by the Director of Graduate ProgramsProfessional Development credits can be obtained via courses on Linkedin,Campus Bridge 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 weekly by FGSR. This is where you will find information regarding Professional Development opportunities. 

The following DO NOT count towards the Professional Development requirement:

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

For more information refer to Professional Development Activities at FGSR.