Fitzpatrick Center at Duke University

You are here

PhD Plus Professional Development Program

Our mission is to enable engineering PhD students at Duke to prepare for, select, and succeed on their career paths through acquiring skills, mastering core competencies, and exploring opportunities

Overview

PhD Plus is a program of the Pratt School of Engineering that is available to every engineering doctoral student at Duke.

We focus on empowering PhD students to transform themselves into well-equipped, inspired and effective professionals and leaders.

Professional development topics include effective communication, project management and team leadership.

Over a structured three-year cycle, Duke Engineering PhD students explore careers in:

  • Academia
  • Industry & Government
  • Entrepreneurship, Business, Law & Consulting

Students who participate in PhD Plus graduate ready to launch successfully onto their chosen career path.

The PhD Plus Certificate

Progress is tracked on Duke Deep Blue via the Suitable app

PhD Plus operates on a three-year cycle. Each year focused on a different career path—Academia, Industry & Government, or Entrepreneurship, Business, Law & Consulting.

Students can begin working toward the optional PhD Plus Certificate in any year by using Deep Blue to learn about PhD Plus events and to interactively track progress toward completing certificate requirements.

A student who has earned the PhD Plus Certificate has been an active participant in a significant number of professional development activities and events. Participation in PhD Plus activities does not require active pursuit of the certificate—all engineering PhD students are invited to participate in PhD Plus activities at any time!

Certificate Requirements

  • Complete all three Career-Themed Courses
    - One is offered each fall, connected to that year's career-path theme
  • Earn all three PhD Plus Career-Themed Badges in Deep Blue
    - For each badge, during its career-themed academic year:
    • Attend two PhD Plus workshops
    • Complete two PhD Plus skills-based learning sessions
    • Participate in one PhD Plus career conversation
    • Earn 300-plus points in Deep Blue

How to Access Deep Blue

Suitable logo

Use the Suitable app

Students use Duke Deep Blue to track their progress, stay connected, and learn about upcoming PhD Plus activities. 

3-year cycle graphic

Activities and Events

Each semester, PhD Plus provides workshops, skills-based learning sessions, and career conversations.

Faculty, staff, and alumni contribute to these events to provide PhD students with enriching, engaging, and highly relevant professional development experiences.

 

Leadership

PhD Plus is led collaboratively by students, faculty and staff.

 

All engineering PhD students are encouraged to share feedback and ideas with the student board members from their home departments.

How to Join the Advisory Board

  • Students may serve two-year terms on the PhD Plus Advisory Board—and earn credit toward their core competency in leadership for their service
  • Each summer, we solicit applications for board membership
  • We aim to have two student representatives from each of the Pratt School of Engineering's four academic departments
  • About half of the board seats rotate each academic year

Program Leadership

Aaron Franklin

Aaron Franklin

Associate Dean for Doctoral Education
Addy Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Sara Faust

Sara Faust

Senior Doctoral Program Coordinator


Advisory Board

Amey Chaware

Amey Chaware

Biomedical Engineering

Rachel Lau

Rachael Lau

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Denis Acil

Deniz Acil

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Faisal Anees

Faisal Anees

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Pablo Cordero

Pablo Cordero

Biomedical Engineering

Shuolin Li

Shuolin Li

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Faris Albarghouthi

Faris Albarghouthi

Electrical & Computer Engineering

 Luisa Piccolo Serafin

Luisa Piccolo Serafim

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science