Professional and Career Development for Graduate Students

UVA Engineering master's and Ph.D. students land prestigious positions in a wide variety of career sectors, including university faculty, industry and government research, consulting and other non-traditional fields. This is because we serve our graduate students with comprehensive professional and career development that helps them become knowledge entrepreneurs, with the skills to succeed in an ever-changing global marketplace. UVA Engineering's graduate professional and career development program takes advantage of the expertise across our comprehensive University community, including the Darden School of Business, the School of Medicine and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

Habits of Engineering Leaders

  • Problem Solving & Entrepreneurship

    Our graduate students are immersed in the theory and practice of excellent problem solving and entrepreneurship, so they become experts at taking ideas from concept to reality.


    • Knowledge Entrepreneurship: provides an Introduction to engineering research and the intellectual framework that will help students succeed as innovators and leaders.
    • Technology Innovation: introduces the fundamentals of innovation, focusing on processes by which individuals convert new discoveries and knowledge into products.
    • Finance for Projects & Grants: intorduction to financial projection and analysis concepts for project and grant managers.



    The Cornerstone Seminar Series: a year-long series of seminars focused on the fundamentals of technology commercialization.


    School and University resources for graduate students:

    • W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory (iLab) at UVA's Darden Graduate School of Business: provides programs, funding, workspace, mentors, community, and additional resources to support new student entrepreneurs and accelerate new student ventures.
    • Darden Startup Academy: helps students become immersed in the UVA entrepreneurial community and to collaborate around an innovative technology.
    • UVA Licensing & Ventures Group: partners with students, entrepreneurs and investors to bring innovations discovered at UVA into the marketplace.
  • Skilled Communications

    True engineering leaders are excellent at communicating the details and impact of their work to a wide range of audiences, including those with non-technical backgrounds.


    • Communicating Research to External Audiences: Learning to communicate research to non-technical audiences, such as the public, the media, scholars in other fields, and policymakers.
    • ESL for Engineers: Designed to teach reading/writing/speaking/listening skills required for success in technical communications.


    School and University resources for graduate students:

    • UVA Engineering Graduate Writing Lab: offers one-on-one consultation on grammar, structure and technical components of a student’s current writing or communication assignments.
    • ESL Development for Engineers: program helps international students develop English language skills in the context of research communications.
    • UVA SciComm Program: provides vital communication training paired with real-life, immersive opportunities to put that training into practice.
  • Cutting-Edge Pedagogy

    Many of our graduate students pursue careers in academia, so we take care to provide our students with a cutting-edge pedagogical toolbox, meaning they are well-equipped to begin training the next generation of engineering leaders.

    School and University resources for graduate students:

  • Teamwork & Collaboration

    Collaborating across disciplines is a fact of life for today's engineering leaders, and collaboration and teamwork are foundational to the culture at UVA.



    School and University resources for graduate students:

    • UVA NSF I-Corps Site: helps prepare scientists and engineers to extend theirfocus beyond the university laboratory, and accelerate the economical and societal benefits of research.
    • The Science Policy Initiative: a graduate student organization focused on enhancing awareness about careers in science policy.
  • Ethics & Compassion

    Applying engineering principles and problem-solving in an ethical and compassionate way are integral to the culture and curriculum at UVA Engineering. It's another reason why UVA engineers are so sought-after by employers.


    Engineering & Ethics: includes face-to-face responsible conduct of research training and addresses ethical challenges that arise in engineering research.

These critical professional development skills, in combination with the outstanding resources and services provided by the Center for Engineering Career Development, arm our graduate students with the abilities they need to become leaders in their chosen career paths.

Additionally, graduate students can take advantage of the University-wide PhD Plus program below:

PhD Plus.png

PhD Plus is a university-wide initiative to prepare PhD students across all disciplines for long-term career success.  Our goal is to enable versatile academics who are deeply engaged with society’s needs to become influential professionals in every sector and field. 

  • UVA Engineering Ph.D. Career Paths
  • UVA Engineering M.S. Career Paths
  • UVA Engineering M.E. Career Paths