Professional Development Requirement

Eight Hours of Professional Development Activities


As students complete the Individual Development Plan (IDP) self-assessment of their skills and attributes in the IDP package, they should be able to identify their career goals and skill gaps. Students are encouraged to find the professional development activities that align with their individual career interests and develop non-disciplinary skills not included in their programs to fulfill the eight hour requirement. 

Students should ensure these eight hours of activities are captured in the Individual Development Plan & Professional Development Completion form, which must be submitted to their graduate coordinator or graduate chair prior to convocation. The PD activities, which should be approved by each student's department,  must be completed within the first three years for most doctoral students and time of completion for master’s students. Forms to help keep track of these hours include a record of activities and a declaration of attendance

FGSR, the U of A Career Centre, individual departments, and various other on and off campus units offer hundreds of professional development opportunities every year from workshops to internships. For student's convenience FGSR has also purchased online seminars through and Mitacs.  Please consult the professional development opportunities guide for more information and obtain departmental approval from graduate coordinators or graduate chairs for PD activities. Please also see the eight hours of professional development activities guide for a document with the information on this page.

Students will receive no more than four hours of credit from any single category listed below including attending sessions or completing online courses that relate to:

  • Career Development
    This category includes topics related to life as a first year academic, teaching and researching at post-secondary institutions, resumes writing, career forums, mentoring and preparing for a job interview.
  • Entrepreneurship
    This category includes topics related to starting up a business, self-employment, and entrepreneur training campus.  In addition to the on campus resources listed above, ABCampus, TEC Edmonton and Mitacs are resources. 
  • Internships
    Students can fulfil the eight hour requirement by participating in a registered internship program and identifying skills and attributes gained during this experience.  Some available programs include Mitacs Accelerate, Sustainability Scholars and the Graduate Student Internship Program.
  • Mentorship
    Only formal mentorship programs, with graduate students as mentees, such as the U of A Career Mentoring Program, UAlberta Venture Mentoring, and MentorUP fulfill the requirement. Mentorship training sessions can also apply.
  • Professional Practice
    This category includes topics such as time management, project management, intercultural communication, being an effective team member, receiving feedback and criticism, using strategic thinking skills and promoting creative thinking skills. 
  • Skills Training
    This category includes training for safety sessions, learning additional software tools, attending workshops for skills outside the domain of research.
  • Teaching
    This category includes topics related to teaching and includes FGSR’s Graduate Teaching and Learning Program.