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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.

GRAD 705: Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)

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.

GRAD 712: Leadership for the Workplace (1.5 credits)

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.

GRAD 713: Applied Project Management: Frameworks, Principles, and Techniques (1.5 credits)

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.

GRAD 714: Introduction to Financial Accounting (1.5 credits)

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 715: Business Communication (1.5 credits)

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.

GRAD 716: Market Research: Assess and Validate Your Market (1.5 credits)

Enrollment in this course is offered by invitation only for KickStart Venture Services Venture Catalyst Fellows and select graduate students. Market Research: Assess and Validate Your Market is a seven-week, online course offered through Innovate Carolina’s KickStart Venture Services and The Graduate School’s CareerWell programs. This course is intended to provide participants with strategies, tactics, and resources to conduct real-world primary market research and evaluate sources of secondary market research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

GRAD 717: Introduction to Entrepreneurship and The Entrepreneurial Mindset (1.5 credits)

Provides graduate students from a wide range of programs with an overview of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking. As part of this, students will learn and apply the lean startup methodology to develop and validate a business idea.

GRAD 725: Build Your Professional Brand (1.5 credits)

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.

Sample GRAD 725 syllabus.

GRAD 727 - Team Collaboration (1.5 credits)

Course instructor approval required for enrollment; invitation only.

Team Collaboration is a half-semester course and development series  to prepare Carolina graduate students to work within multidisciplinary teams and complete real-world projects designed jointly with partnering companies and organizations. This seven-week series will support the ability of Carolina graduate students to develop skills in several areas, gain practical work experience as a part of a cross-disciplinary team, and leverage their disciplinary training and creativity to move ideas. Instruction mode: In-person, on-campus learners.

Grading status: Letter grade.

GRAD 736 - Venture Capital Practicum (1.5 credits)

In this experiential course, students will explore the activities and tools needed to make actual investment decisions for emerging companies. The course is offered in collaboration with Carolina Research Ventures (CRV), which supports companies engaged in commercializing technologies and other assets emanating from the University and UNC Health. Students will learn principles of rigorous and reproducible due diligence and market research; learn key components to the conduct of thorough due diligence on early-stage companies.

Grading status: Letter grade

GRAD 737 - Journey to Entrepreneurship: Building Your Startup Skillset (1.5 credits)

Provides a skill-driven curriculum for trainees interested in the fundamentals of launching and financing startups, including university spinouts. Led by a different subject matter expert each week, course topics will include fundraising strategies for your startup, preparing for due diligence and how to effectively pitch to your investors. Insights and skills gained from this course will enable students to work effectively with startup companies and entrepreneurs.

GRAD 755 - Technology Commercialization Fundamentals (1.5 credits)

Technology Commercialization Fundamentals is a seven-week, online course offered through Innovate Carolina’s KickStart Venture Services and The Graduate School’s CareerWell program to provide an overview of the fundamental first steps of technology commercialization, with a specific emphasis on university technology commercialization (aka technology transfer). The course will cover several topics, including market assessment, intellectual property, technology development, licensing, commercial development, and University startups.

GRAD 810: Teaching Skills for International Teaching Assistants

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. Does not count toward degree requirements. Grading status: Pass/fail.

GRAD 811: Advanced Teaching Skills for International Teaching Assistants

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. Does not count toward degree requirements. Grading status: Pass/fail.