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Professional Development for Graduate Students

Because a critical part of graduate education is professional development, students in both the M.A. and the Ph.D. programs are encouraged to devote considerable time to learning what it means to be a professional Sociologist.  There are several avenues that will assist students in their development:

Sociology Classes

Dr. Aranda & MA graduate Heidi Ross at Southerns.

Attending sessions in the Sociology Department Professional Development series:
The Sociology Department sponsors Professional Development sessions throughout the academic year. Sessions during fall terms are devoted to introducing students to Sociology department faculty members. Other sessions throughout the year, led by various faculty members and students, will focus on topics such as tips for negotiating graduate school, how to construct an academic vita, how to apply for research funding, and other topics students wish to explore. Note: Regular attendance at these sessions is required of students receiving funding.

Attending research presentations across USF:
Students regularly will receive via e-mail announcements of presentations sponsored by departments other than Sociology. These presentations are open to the public.

Presenting research at professional conferences:
Students are encouraged to attend the annual conferences of professional organizations and to work toward writing papers that are of the quality needed for presentation at these conferences. Faculty members assist students in this process and the department sponsors “practice sessions” for students presenting papers.

      Travel Money
            Upon recommendation of a faculty advisor, travel money is available to students
            through the Sociology Department.  Travel funds also can be available through
            the Graduate Division Conference Presentation Grant Program. Furthermore, some
            professional organizations such as the Society for the Study of Social Problems
            and the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction have funds to assist students
            who will be presenting papers at their meetings.  Check the organization’s website for information.

Presenting research at USF’s Annual Symposium:
Students are encouraged to present their research at the Office of Graduate Studies Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium.

Joining professional organizations:
Most professional organizations offer student memberships at very affordable prices.  Such memberships are a route to learning how professional organizations work.  While the American Sociological Association is the largest organization of sociologists, there are many other organizations that are very appropriate given particular interests.  Students will learn about these organizations from faculty members and from other students.