Academic & Intellectual Programs Navigating the Academy

Our Academic and Intellectual programs seek to help graduate students be successful in all aspects of their graduate work, with a focus on academic and professional skill building, intellectual engagement, and a better understanding of the graduate school experience. 

GAPSA formal logo

The Grad Center's Navigating the Academy programs are funded in part through a generous grant from GAPSA, and are cosponsored with partners across the university. 

Programs and Workshops

We collaborate with partners across the university to offer programs and workshops to encourage interdisciplinary exchange and connection on a range of topics related to intellectual life and professional development - to help you be more successful at Penn and beyond. 

Highlighted programs include: 

  • Professional Development Workshops
    Skills-based workshops designed to help graduate & professional students gain skills and preparation for careers in and beyond academia. Recent topics include publishing, individual development plans (IDP), and conference presentations. 
  • Decoding the Hidden Curriculum
    Workshops and information sessions on help students understand the implicit norms, ideas, and patterns or codes of behavior often learned through informal interactions within the academy and similar cultural and social institutions.

  • Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)
    Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition for doctoral and research students to develop and showcase their research communication skills through brief, 3-minute presentations. 


See all upcoming workshops and events


We collaborate with a number of partners across campus to provide our Navigating the Academy programming, including Career Services, the Science Outreach Initiative, and more. 

Academic Policies and Support

Academic Policies and Requirements 
Students should familiarize themselves with the university policies and handbooks set forth in the Pennbook, as well as the policies and rules of their schools and academic programs. 

Penn Resources and Support 
Penn offers a wide variety of resources, offices, and programs for graduate students to support them in all aspects of their Penn experience. Be sure to check out our list of university resources to help you make steady progress and be successful throughout your graduate experience.

Research and Writing Support
The Grad Center provides a wealth of resources, workshops, and support to help you get started, make steady progress, and complete your thesis or dissertation on time. Check out our Thesis and Dissertation page to learn more. 

Highlighted programs include:

  • Dissertation Boot Camp 
    Two-week writers' retreat designed to help students progress through the difficult writing stages of the dissertation process. 
  • Publishing Workshop Series 
    Curious about publishing but not sure where to start? Join the library staff and the Graduate Student Center for workshops on different aspects of the publishing process!
External Fellowships and Grants

The Grad Center is committed to helping students find the tools they need to be successful in each stage of their program, including applying for external fellowships and grants. We collaborate with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) to offer programs on graduate fellowships and provide resources and guidance to help you understand the options and opportunities available to help you fund your graduate education and advance your career through merit-based grants and fellowships. 

Teaching & Mentoring

The Graduate Center collaborates with partners across campus to help graduate students become more effective teachers and mentors in the classroom and beyond. We cosponsor a series of workshops with the Center for Teaching and Learning and provide a variety of helpful resources for students interested in learning more and improving their teaching skills. We also provide resources for students who wish to strengthen their relationships with their own mentors and advisors. 

Slideshow Cover for Academic Programs
Events from 2017-18 & 2018-19