UGA Grad Studies proudly sponsors and/or offers a variety of professional development programs and resources for students. For more information about each one, please refer to the following resources:


Professional Development Seminars
Experiential Professional Development

Find resources related to graduate student career development in industry, government, and non-profit career fields.

Graduate Student Financial Education
Emerging Leaders Program

Raising the bar…

The Emerging Leaders Program is an invited leadership program sponsored by the Graduate School. This  program helps you learn from experts and fellow graduate students what it means to challenge yourself to be the best leader you can be. During the two and half day fall workshop, you’ll attend sessions about professional development and leadership skills necessary for entering a workplace characterized by a diversity of people, career opportunities, and ever increasing responsibilities. Participants will develop action projects on campus and in the community during the spring semester.

Enhancing your skills…

The workshop, held off-campus during Fall Break, will assist participants with not only understanding professional goals and leadership styles, but also with gaining personal insights. Through personality inventories that provide information about leadership preferences and interactive sessions, you will leave the workshop with practical knowledge about yourself and your abilities to lead. Following the fall workshop, participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills through planning and implementing an action project. Whether you plan to pursue a career in academe, corporate, or non-profit worlds, learning more about yourself will strengthen the skills you already possess and help you bring into focus what you want out of life after commencement.

Making new friends…

During the intensive fall workshop, you’ll meet fellow graduate students from all disciplines on campus. Networking with your future professional peers will give you built-in contacts when you leave UGA. And you may just make some friends for life! Learning from others, teaching others, and looking to the next stage in your life – the Graduate School Emerging Leaders Program provides all this, and much, much more. Apply for this program and start preparing for your personal and professional futures today!

Read the program description.

Apply to the Emerging Leaders Program

Application deadline for the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program is 5 p.m. on Friday, September 20, 2019. Application materials should be submitted to your graduate coordinator who completes and submits the nomination packet. All nomination packets must be submitted online by 5 p.m. on September 20, 2019.

The nomination packet must include all of the following in this order:

1.      Completed application information, first page of the application form

2.     Essay (two-page maximum) from nominee, pages 2-3 of the application form

3.     Letter of recommendation from advisor or graduate coordinator that provides a candid evaluation of the nominee’s qualifications, skills, and potential for leadership

4.     Curriculum vitae or resume of nominee

5.     Verification of expected date of degree completion from advisor (information may be included in letter from professor or graduate coordinator)

The graduate coordinator should save the complete nomination packet in one Adobe Acrobat .pdf file, name it with the last name of student_department (e.g., milton_grad), and submit it as an email attachment to no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, September 20, 2019.

For additional information, please contact Judy Milton,

From admissions to graduation, the Graduate School promotes excellence in graduate education in all disciplines at the University of Georgia. By offering professional development programs and funding opportunities, the Graduate School enhances learning environments and inspires scholarly endeavors.

Teaching Portfolio
Fall Semester Submission Deadline: September 6, 2019

The Graduate School sponsors the Graduate School Teaching Portfolio Program to encourage graduate students to document their teaching experiences at UGA in order to reflect upon and improve their teaching and to be prepared to present their teaching accomplishments on the job market. Many graduate students have found that preparing a teaching portfolio well before they begin their academic job searches has greatly helped them during the application process. Some credit a teaching portfolio for helping them get their jobs!

Students who have taught for at least two semesters at UGA should consider participating in the Teaching Portfolio program.

Every fall and spring semester, the Graduate School considers teaching portfolios for certification. Teaching Portfolios should be professionally presented and must be no longer than twelve single-sided pages, not including the letter of nomination or cover page. Portfolios may be created in paper or digital format. The 12-page limit applies to both formats.

A submitted portfolio should include a letter of nomination from the faculty mentor and examples/samples of the individual’s work in each the 8 components listed below.

  • Letter of nomination from a faculty member in the department or discipline
  • Teaching philosophy statement
  • Description of courses taughtEvaluation of teaching
  • Sample teaching materials
  • Sample of assessment of student work
  • Innovative teaching projects and roles
  • List of professional activities related to teaching (activities you have done which demonstrate your knowledge of and skills related to teaching)
  • List of special training or teaching related experiences (activities you have undertaken to learn about and improve your teaching skills)

Each portfolio should distinctly represent the individual and the discipline, so no two portfolios will be the same.

Additional information about the portfolio is available on the Center for Teaching and Learning website:

Participants in the portfolio program receive Graduate School recognition for their portfolios, with feedback from faculty members on their individual portfolios. You may contact Judy Milton in the Graduate School for additional information about the program.

For Fall 2019, the Graduate School’s submission deadline for the Graduate School Teaching Portfolio program is September 6. Portfolios should be submitted to the Graduate School through our Online Submission Site by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 6, 2019.

Additionally, the teaching portfolio is the cornerstone for the Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching. For more information on the teaching certificate, visit the Graduate School’s website at: 

Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching

For additional information about preparing the portfolio, please contact Judy Milton at the Graduate School.

Three Minute Thesis Competition

3MT competition 2019

“The 3MT competition gives us the opportunity to explain our scientific research in a creative way. It forces us to think outside the box for analogies or relatable real-world examples to explain our hyper-focused thesis work. It allowed me to use my non-scientific interests to better explain my research, bridging two topics I am passionate about.” Kelsey Briggs, 2019 First Prize Winner

2019 Competition: April 10, 2019

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of students’ capacities to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. Master’s and doctoral students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis or dissertation topic and its significance. 3MT™ is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

2012 Results | 2013 Results | 2014 Results | 2015 Results | 2016 Results | 2017 Results | 2018 Results | 2019 Results

2019 Three Minute Thesis Competition Results

Congratulations to UGA’s 2019 Three Minute Thesis Award Winners:
  • Grand Prize: Kelsey Briggs
  • Runner-up: Ladonya Jackson
  • People’s Choice: Samantha Spellicy


Currently enrolled master’s and doctoral students at the University of Georgia will be eligible to participate in 3MT™. Graduates are not eligible. Students must present on the research that will culminate in either their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Previous winners of the 3MT competition are not eligible to participate.


  • Winner: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $750
  • People’s Choice: $500


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension & Content
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Engagement & Communication
  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

Interested in learning more about how to make the most of your 3 minutes? Here’s a guide that that will help you to prepare and deliver an effective 3MT presentation.

Other U.S. schools with 3MT competitions

Emory University Purdue University University of Alabama
Auburn University UMass Dartmouth Florida International University
University of Kentucky Mississippi State University New York University
University of North Carolina University of North Florida Oklahoma State University
University of Oregon Texas A&M University Vanderbilt University
University of Virginia

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

Academic Certificate Programs

Please check the Degree Programs

Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching

The Graduate School, in collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning, offers an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in University Teaching. The Certificate is presented in cooperation with academic departments and administrative units that support teaching and learning. The goal of the Certificate is to provide doctoral and terminal professional degree students with a multifaceted program that supports the enhancement of the student’s teaching skills, prepares them for future academic positions, and provides an academic credential that should enhance students’ opportunities for academic employment. Graduate students interested in the Certificate should submit a formal application as soon as they have formulated plans for pursuing the Certificate. The application should include a letter of support from a faculty member who will serve as a mentor during the student’s pursuit of the Certificate. Although it is desirable that this individual be a member of the graduate student’s advisory committee, this is not required. The mentor may be an individual in the student’s department, a Teaching Academy member, or a faculty member teaching one of the courses accepted as part of the Certificate. In addition to the application, students should submit a plan of study for approval by the Certificate director. This plan of study should be submitted as early as possible after the student has decided to pursue the Certificate. Judy Milton, Certificate director ( is more than willing to assist the student in developing the plan of study.

Graduate students enrolled in the program will satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  1. Four Sections of Teaching at UGA: Provide instruction in at least four sections at the University of Georgia as teacher of record, or as discussion or laboratory TA with significant responsibilities. Submitted documentation should include the sections with course number, date (to be) taught, and a brief description of the graduate student’s responsibilities.
  2. Nine Hours of Course Work: Complete nine credit hours in course work related to teaching development from at least three of the four categories listed below. Courses taken to satisfy the certificate requirements cannot count toward the degree requirements unless previously approved in writing by the student’s advisory committee and graduate coordinator.
    1. Teaching strategies (three semester hours of GRSC 7770 or an equivalent course in the student’s academic department– note that three hours are required, but GRSC 7770 is offered for variable credit),
    2. Student learning and assessment of the learning environment (three semester hours on how students learn, classroom management, grading and testing),
    3. Technology to support teaching and learning (three semester hours of instruction on using technology to support teaching and learning),
    4. Professional development for the academy (three semester hours of instruction based on the student’s need and approved by Certificate program director).
  3. Approved Courses: Select from the list of approved courses in each category.
  4. Request Course for Approval: Other courses, not yet approved for use in the Certificate program, may be included. To request use of a course in your plan of study that is not listed in the Course Options, send the following information to the Certificate Director for review:
    1. Name, academic department, email address, and telephone number
    2. Certificate category that the proposed course would satisfy (i.e., teaching strategies, student learning and assessment, technology to support teaching and learning, or professional development for the academy), UGA course title, course prefix and number, credit hours, and a copy of the syllabus or synopsis of the course
    3. Name and signature of your Certificate mentor supporting the request Requests will be evaluated and the student notified of the decision. Courses approved will be added to the list of course options.
  5. Teaching Project: The purpose of the project is to demonstrate creativity or innovation in the teaching of a discipline and to be able to show the effectiveness of the project. The project can take many different formats. Some examples include creation of a case study used in class, writing or making major revisions in lab manuals, creating and teaching new laboratory exercises, creating or modifying games or simulations used in class, involvement in course or curriculum revisions, effective mentoring of new TAs, or creation and use of other new teaching techniques.  Teaching projects should be approved by the Certificate Director prior to beginning the project.  The results of the project are often used to fulfill the Scholarship of Teaching requirement.  After completion of the teaching project, a brief report describing the project, the results, and a reflection should be submitted to the Certificate director. Examples of how other students have prepared this report are now available online.
  6. Scholarship of Teaching: Disseminate the results of the scholarship of teaching through submission of a publication-ready manuscript or a presentation or poster at a peer-reviewed professional meeting.  Graduate students who may be unfamiliar with the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) can find resources to support the development of these skills in the Graduate School, the Center for Teaching and Learning, CIRTL@UGA, and the Science Educators Engaged in Research (SEER) Center.
  7. Teaching Portfolio: Develop a twelve-page teaching portfolio that is submitted for evaluation and approved as part of the UGA Teaching Portfolio program. The portfolio is a method to document the culmination of teaching excellence demonstrated by graduate students during their UGA experience, and often is submitted toward the end of an academic career.

For any additional comments or questions concerning the Certificate in University Teaching, please contact Judy Milton,, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Certificate program.

Poster Printing

Planning to present a poster at a conference or meeting? Did you know you can print your poster for free at the Graduate School? If you need a poster printed for a conference or meeting, submit your request at

Individual Development Plans
Mentoring Resources
Faculty Dev & Diversity

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