The Graduate School supports graduate students and postdoctoral scholars by offering a wide range of resources to help you thrive academically and prepare for diverse career pathways. 


Our mission is to unveil the hidden curriculum - knowledge and skills that matter for student success but are not explicitly talked about and explained - and encourage faculty and staff to also reveal the unspoken expectations. An example of this work is Graduate School Essentials, which offers a framework for understanding the expectations of doctoral students at every phase of their academic journey. Explore the resources we have for you below and contact us if you have any questions.

Start with an Individual Development Plan (IDP)

A UMN Employee works on his computer on campus

The Individual Development Plan helps you reflect, plan, and network to achieve your academic and professional goals. 

Making an IDP is the best way to:

  • Identify your goals and assess your strengths and weaknesses
  • Define a plan to develop skills
  • Communicate with advisors and mentors

Learn more about IDP

Graduate Education Resources (GEAR)

Small group instruction during COVID
  • GEAR 1  is an online orientation for all incoming UMN graduate students. With Gear 1, you will learn about the University structure and academic expectations, and how to deal with imposter syndrome and maintain your well-being. 
  • GEAR+ focuses on every phase of graduate school beyond the first year. With Gear+, you will find resources for research, writing, and teaching, developing transferable skills, and navigating job search. 

Explore GEAR now

Graduate students in classroom, participating in workshop


The Graduate School partners with University offices to provide a wide range of online and in person events and workshops that focus on skill development. 

Explore Workshops

Graduate School Gold Digital Badge

Earn Digital Badges

Digital badges certify your specialized skills and let your future employers learn key details about the content of your training.

Learn more about Digital Badging


Scott Lanyon shaking hands with winner Paula Eberts

Three-Minute Thesis (3MT)

The 3-Minute Thesis (3MT®) challenges students to communicate the significance of their projects without the use of props or industry jargon in just three minutes. The competition develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and teaches students to quickly explain their research to a non-specialist audience. 

Learn more about Three-Minute Thesis

Campus Partners

Center for Educational Innovation (CEI)

The Center for Educational Innovation advances effective teaching and engaged learning and offers International Teaching Assistant and Preparing Future Faculty programs. 

University Libraries Services for Graduate Students

The University Libraries have a wide variety of collections and services to support graduate students and trainees with your coursework and research.

Graduate Student Writing Support from the Center for Writing

Student Writing Support (SWS) offers collaborative one-to-one writing consultations to help student writers develop confidence and effective writing strategies. 

Beyond the Professoriate

Beyond the Professoriate  is a professional development platform that helps graduate students and postdocs to launch meaningful careers. 


ImaginePhD  is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in humanities and social sciences. 

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