Opportunities to Enhance Credentials

While Ph.D. education is highly specialized and focused, graduate students may find it beneficial to develop knowledge and skills beyond their own discipline to address increasingly complex research problems and to enhance their professional development. In addition to collaborative interdisciplinary research projects and centers, Washington University offers numerous opportunities for individual graduate students to broaden their doctoral education.


Interdisciplinary Courses

Ph.D. students can discuss with their advisors individual courses available outside the discipline that may advance their research or professional goals. A University tuition agreement signed by the Deans of the university’s Graduate Schools fosters interdisciplinary study across the schools and allows enrollment in classes outside the student’s home school at no additional cost to the gradute student. Many courses, undergraduate as well as graduate, are available for graduate student enrollment subject to eligibility guidelines:

  • Students must be registered full time in graduate degree programs and be current in their tuition payment and/or remission. They must also have the approval of their faculty advisor or administrative officer to take a course outside their discipline.
  • Courses will be open to students outside the discipline only if the students have met the required prerequisites and if the program director and the course instructor agree to admit such students.
  • Finally, courses in University College, including its Summer School, are not part of this agreement, and courses now requiring additional fees (such as individual music lessons) will continue to do so.


Professional Development

The Graduate School works closely with many University offices to offer a variety of resources for graduate students to develop their professional skills and enhance their job market options. Students are encouraged to utilize services at every stage of their doctoral program.


Leadership Development

Washington University is committed to providing leadership opportunities for our graduate students.

With its strong tradition of student leadership and shared governance, Washington University has numerous opportunities for graduate students to enhance their professional development by becoming involved in the institution’s decision-making processes and program development.

Opportunities for graduate student representation and leadership range from the department level to university board of trustees: The Graduate Professional Council (GPC) and university-wide graduate student groups also provide opportunities. For more information contact gradcenter@wustl.edu.


Teaching Opportunities

A crucial component in our development of successful scholars is to help every graduate student become an effective teacher. In an increasingly competitive academic marketplace, desirable candidates should exhibit knowledge and evidence of their teaching skills. Each department serves as the primary source of the Mentored Teaching Experience (MTE) , through course-specific supervision and evaluation and through discipline-specific instruction in pedagogy. 

There is also a Graduate School-wide Teaching Requirement for Ph.D. students established by the Graduate Council of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in 2004.

In addition to the department and Graduate School teaching requirements, there are additional options for Ph.D. students to enhance their teaching knowledge and skills:

  • The Teaching Citation
  • Graduate Certificates
  • Teaching with Technology


Graduate Certificate Programs

In addition to individual courses, another means of interdisciplinary study for Ph.D. students is the addition of a graduate certificate.

Tuition Remission is not available for coursework beyond 72 units. Students should consult with their program department and the certificate department to determine if additional coursework beyond 72 units will be required to complete both programs. Earning a certificate must not increase a student's expected time to degree or amount of stipend support.  PhD students may pursue only  one certificate.

Certificate programs listed below are open to doctoral students currently enrolled in the Graduate School:

  • American Culture Studies
  • Data Science in the Humanities
  • Film & Media Studies
  • Language Instruction
  • Latin American Studies
  • Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Translation Studies
  • Urban Studies
  • Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies