In addition to taking coursework and undertaking substantive research projects, the faculty expect that graduate students in the MA and PhD programs will pursue professionalization activities. Such activities help prepare our students for their future careers, whether they choose to pursue a traditional tenure-track position in academia or a position in government or industry.

Below are some resources on activities such as professional conventions and conferences, workshops, and professionalization resources available through the University of Georgia community, as well as select, reputable outside resources.

Conferences & Calls for Papers

Attending conferences as a graduate student is an important way to hone your skills as a public speaker, learn about other scholars’ research, and meet colleagues in your field. Funding through the Graduate School may be applied for; for more information, see here.

The American Political Science Association has a list of conferences in the profession here.

APSA has also put together a helpful guide for first-time graduate student attendees here.

Other commonly attended conferences include:

The International Studies Association national convention and regional conferences

The Midwest Political Science Association Conference

The Southern Political Science Association Conference

The Georgia Political Science Conference

The European Political Science Association Conference

The European Consortium for Political Research Conference

Program Workshops

The Departments of Political Science and International Affairs routinely put on workshops and seminars designed to help graduate students navigate complex, relevant topics like mental health, productivity, and the job market. Current workshops will be listed below.

Job Search Panel, October 8, 2021, 3-5PM, Baldwin Hall 302. Join the graduate coordinators and faculty from Political Science and International Affairs for a panel on how to conduct your academic job search, what to consider in your application materials, how to handle interviews, and more.

Cover Letter/CV Workshop, November 5, 2021, 3-5PM, Baldwin Hall 302. Join Dr. Megan Morgan for a deep dive into the world of academic cover letters and CVs. We will cover how to read an academic job ad, how to tailor your cover letter to your target’s interests and needs, how to avoid unintentional language bias, and how to increase your CV’s effectiveness.

Coming in Spring 2022: Non-academic Job Search panel, Publication workshop

Campus Professional Resources

There are numerous programs at the University of Georgia designed to help you enhance your professional development during your graduate career.

One such program is the Future Faculty Fellows Program. Several of our Ph.D. students have participated in this yearlong professional development program, which focuses on preparing students for the academic job market and their role as future tenure-track faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning also sponsors a variety of professional development workshops for graduate students on topics including instructional design, creating a teaching portfolio, and other topics of interest. See the full listing here.

SPIA also has our own Reference Librarian who specializes in International Affairs, Political Science, and Public Administration and is happy to consult with graduate students on research resources.

The Graduate School offers several resources for grad students, including free poster printing for conference presentations and several academic and interdisciplinary certificates. For more details, visit their website here.

Other Campus Resources
International Student Resources

University-Related Policies:

All international students must have health insurance coverage. UGA will automatically bill you for graduate student insurance unless you have preexisting coverage that fulfills UGA’s minimum conditions. If you have health insurance already, you can fill out a waiver here.

Students with a TOEFL speaking score of below 22 or an IETLS speaking score of 6.5 or below must enroll in LLED 7768, a classroom training course that helps improve English proficiency for teaching assistants (TAs). Students with a TOEFL speaking score of 23-24 or an IELTS speaking score of 7-7.5 must enroll in LLED 7769, which focuses on how to navigate American classroom culture and expectations as a TA. You can learn more about these requirements here.

Enrichment and Community:

UGA’s Student Government Association and International Student Life offices host a Global Buddies program that will pair you with a partner student from the US to chat, share cultural perspectives, enhance your language skills, and more. You can sign up at ISL’s website.

If you’ve brought your family with you, please check out the International Family Resources provided by the Office of Global Engagement. This helpful website includes information on local childcare, family activities, resources, and the Global Families program, which matches you with a local family to help build friendships and cross-cultural connections.

If you’re looking to enhance your English language skills, the American-English Language Labs program is free to all international UGA students. These labs run monthly and offer a safe, comfortable space for practicing your conversational English and navigating American cultural concepts and customs. You can learn more at their website.

International Student Life organizes International Coffee Hour every Friday during the fall and spring semesters. These are free to attend and feature free food and coffee as well as a place to get to know other students and faculty from across campus.

Financial Resources:

Many financial hardship resources are, unfortunately, not available to international students. However, if you are experiencing a hardship, UGA has several resources you are able to access, including several food pantries and a school supply closet. You can find more information from the Financial Hardship Resources office here.


Outside Resources

UGA graduate students have free access to Versatile PhD, which is particularly targeted at PhDs seeking alt-ac or non-academic career positions. Students may login through the UGA Career Center’s website to access Versatile PhD.

The Graduate School’s Office of Experiential Learning (xPD) has a year-long professional development sequence called the PhD Career Accelerator for doctoral students who are interested in industry, government, and nonprofit leadership roles. You can learn more and sign up for the program, which includes a series of workshops, training, and experiential learning activities, here.

UGA doctoral students have access to Aurora by Beyond Professoriate, a self-paced career exploration platform with modules on faculty and non-faculty careers and job searches. Log in here with your UGA credentials.

UGA international doctoral students and those seeking jobs abroad will find Interstride helpful. This portal lists career resources and postings as well as advice on navigating immigration issues. Log in here with your UGA credentials.

UGA also offers the xPD Campus Internship Program for doctoral students in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Information is usually released in December or January.

You can participate in the UGA Mentor Program, which connects undergraduate and graduate students with experienced UGA mentors, including staff, faculty, and alumni. Their website also has a list of resources, including how to talk to mentors, how to plan your time in graduate school, and more. It is free to participate.

The American Political Science Association maintains a list of career resources for graduate students and political science PhDs, including sample job candidate questions and non-academic career exploration.

APSA also hosts its own mentor program that connects undergraduate, graduate students, and junior faculty from all backgrounds to experienced and senior members of the profession for professional development support on academic and career topics. Enrollment opens in September.

The Chronicle of Higher Education maintains a Career Network with job listings, information, and advice on careers both within and outside of academia.

Funding and Grant Opportunities
  • The Southern Regional Education Board offers a Doctoral Scholars Program Fellowship for students wishing to pursue a PhD. The deadline to apply is March 31. Find more information on eligibility at their website.
  • The American Political Science Association has a Minority Fellows Program open for application in both Fall and Spring. This fellowship is open to undergraduate seniors, recent graduates, and other individuals in the process of applying for a PhD program and who are members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority. See their website for more details.
  • The American Political Science Association sponsors thirteen annual grants to assist APSA members, including graduate students, with research costs. See the Centennial Center for more details.
  • UGA offers access to Pivot, a grant-finding database funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research. You need to create an account to search for funding opportunities.
  • The UGA Office of Research sponsors the Foreign Travel Assistance Program, which provides assistance for round-trip airfare for travel to foreign conference destinations. See their website for more details and deadlines.
  • The National Archives provides a list of grant opportunities for students interested in studying US federal records or Presidential papers.
  • The Social Science Research Council offers an extensive list of fellowships and prizes, particularly for students interested in African and Asian regions and in conflict studies. They also have a Dissertation Proposal Development Program.
  • The Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship is open to graduate students conducting dissertation research on non-US topics. The deadline is November 5 every year.
  • The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, recognizes graduate students with “exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education.”
  • The Udall Foundation sponsors one-year fellowships for doctoral students whose research concerns US environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution.
  • The Smith Richardson Foundation sponsors a “World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship” for doctoral students whose work focuses on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, strategic studies, area studies, and diplomatic and military history.
  • The American Council of Learned Societies offers a number of grants and fellowships, many of which are open to doctoral students. Find the full list on their website.
  • Scholars interested in American history, the Founding, etc., may find the Library Company of Philadelphia’s grant and fellowships programs of interest.
  • The Jefferson Scholars Foundation sponsors a $25,000 fellowship for outstanding scholars at top institutions across the country who are completing dissertations in American history, politics, public policy and foreign relations. See the website for details including deadlines.