Professional Development Learning Cohorts

Professional Development Learning Cohorts (PDLCs) are co-curricular learning opportunities for graduate students that are geared to broadening graduate student professional and career development. Developed and sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, PDLCs are interdisciplinary cohorts of 10-25 graduate students who meet throughout the academic year to explore a special topic.

PDLCs build on and reinforce each student’s graduate training, and each PDLC draws on graduate student content knowledge to inform the cohort’s investigation of the topic. PDLCs typically also include at least one experiential component, such as a site visit, conference presentation, or internship opportunity.

Below is a list of PDLCs offered. PDLCs in development for 2019-2020 include Academic Publishing and Arts Management.


American Higher Education: Its History, Culture, and Challenges

Designed for graduate students interested in pursuing a career in higher education, this PDLC takes a long view of American higher education, framing its problems and prospects in historical terms. How did we get here? Where are we headed and why? Where should we be headed? Participants gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the academic landscape. Session topics range from the rise of the PhD as the central academic credential, to graduate education’s role in the research university, to the role of faculty in university governance.

Co-sponsored by Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and the Humanities Council


Ethics of AI

Graduate students (across the humanities, social sciences, and engineering) interested in exploring the intersection of ethics and artificial intelligence (AI) work in a collaborative environment with academic researchers and industry leaders. Through presentations, case studies, short readings, and discussion, participants develop an awareness of the issues at stake, consider their applications in real world scenarios, and explore related research and professional opportunities. Participants also have the opportunity to apply for a full-time summer internship to work in industry on the ethics of AI.

Read more about Ethics of AI here.

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, the Center for Human Values, and the Center for Information Technology Policy


Write to Publish

This series guides graduate students through various aspects of academic writing generally and the process of constructing a journal article specifically. Meeting in formal workshops and informal writing groups with a cohort of peers from a number of disciplines, graduate students learn insider tricks of publishing and apply proven methods to their own work. Participants work towards a goal of submitting an article for publication within a week of completion of the PLDC. The skills and tools learned in these workshops are readily transferrable to dissertation revision.

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and Princeton’s Writing Program


Venture Capital and Startups

Jim Cohen '86 and Mark Poag '93, managing directors of Fitz Gate Ventures,  lead a series of sessions on venture capital and startups specifically geared for graduate students. Sessions topics include an overview of venture capital; sources of capital for startups; start-up finance: valuation, structure, and term sheets; and case studies in venture capital finance. In 2019, participants were invited to apply for a funded opportunity to attend the Tiger Entrepreneurs Conference (TEC) hosted by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council.

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and Fitz Gate Ventures