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The Graduate School offers a variety of courses that provide discipline-neutral professional development for both academic and non-academic career paths. Most are one-to-two credit courses, and many are offered in the late afternoon/evening and for half of the semester. Some of the courses can be counted toward the Graduate Certificate in Innovation, Leadership and Management.

Professional Development GRAD courses are pass/fail and do not fulfill degree requirements or count as earned hours. Some GRAD courses are graded H, P, L and can potentially fulfill a degree requirement elective. Please confirm with your student services manager that a particular GRAD course can satisfy a degree elective. Post-doctoral fellows are welcome to audit these courses with instructor permission if space allows.

How to Register

Register for these courses as you would for any other graduate course through ConnectCarolina. The Office of the University Registrar also has course registration information.

Course Offerings

Professional Development regularly offers the following courses. Check ConnectCarolina to confirm current course offerings.

This course will explore ethical issues in research, including rigorous and reproducible experimental design; misconduct, plagiarism, and data falsification; data management and ownership; responsibility, and criteria for authorship; peer review of manuscripts and grants; definition and management of conflicts of interest; faculty/graduate student interactions; intellectual property and commercialization; and appropriate design and implementation of research with animals and humans. Each lecture will be followed by student-lead case discussion to illustrate principles addressed in the lecture. Instruction Mode: remote only—synchronous.

Effective leadership begins with understanding your capacity to influence others positively. This course examines your current leadership style and addresses the relationship of that style to leadership development opportunities including influencing team dynamics, building productive relationships, and managing change as a professional and a leader. Grading status: Letter grade.

This course focuses on practical project management principles and techniques, demonstrating their effectiveness in the workplace. Key topics include frameworks and methodologies, planning and monitoring projects, risk management, stakeholder management, managing your team, and time and cost management. This course will include group work. Grading status: Letter grade.

This course will teach the basics of financial accounting, including the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows and budgeting. The final presentation will incorporate financial skills and knowledge that can be used to support a future project proposal to business managers in an organization. Class notes: n/a. Instruction mode: remote only—synchronous. Grading Status: Letter grade.

GRAD 714 is a required course for some programs and credits earned will apply to the degree requirements of those programs. GRAD 714 is also a required course to earn the Graduate Certificate in Business Fundamentals. For all other programs, please check with your director of graduate studies to learn how GRAD 714 will count toward your degree requirements. 

Business communication is a seven-week course and development series designed to provide Carolina graduate students strategies and tactics for: (1) clearly, concisely, and convincingly communicating their ideas in business settings; and (2) operating with a client (eg, internal, external) focus. Students will explore some of the fundamentals of business writing, including practices for writing common business documents (eg, memoranda, emails) as well as proposals (eg, grants, bids, strategic partnerships) and executive summaries. Grading status: Letter grade.

This course meets two hours each week for seven weeks. The course has two aims. First, students are introduced to concepts, rule, and issues that are central to research ethics. Second, we aim through readings and discussion to develop skills in critical thinking and ethical analysis.

Class preparation:  Students are expected to spend approximately one hour each week preparing for the seminar. All the readings are online, and students post comments on the reading. No other exams or written work is required. Students are also expected to attend each meeting and to participate in discussions of all the topics. Pass/fail. Does not count toward degree requirements or earned hours. Sample GRAD 721 syllabus.

Building effective job search materials and a strong online presence is essential for career success inside and outside the academy. In GRAD 725, you will work with professionals with expertise in all areas of the job search process to develop your brand including LinkedIn profile, resume/CV, cover letters and more. You will identify your job values and job skills and develop a professional development plan. Interactive sessions will provide the setting to develop/refine your job search materials and your career approach. Open to all graduate students in any discipline.

GRAD 725 is a required course for some programs and credits earned will apply to the degree requirements of those programs. GRAD 725 is also an elective course to earn the Graduate Certificate in Business Fundamentals. For all other programs, please check with your Director of Graduate Studies to learn how GRAD 725 will count toward your degree requirements. Sample GRAD 725 syllabus.

GRAD 810 and 811 are part of the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program.

GRAD 810 serves as an introduction to teaching skills. The course focuses on cross-cultural communication, English pronunciation, basic teaching skills, and topics necessary for effective interaction in classrooms in the United States. Instruction mode—In person, on-campus learners. Grading status: Pass/fail.

GRAD 810 and 811 are part of the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program.

GRAD 811 serves as a continuation course with GRAD 810 being a prerequisite. The course focuses on cross-cultural communication, English pronunciation, basic teaching skills, and topics necessary for effective interaction in classrooms in the United States. Instruction mode—In-person, on-campus learners. Grading status: Pass/fail.