UW Graduate School

Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs


Due to concerns around novel coronavirus and in accordance with guidance from public health officials, Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs will not be scheduling any in-person meetings or events with graduate students until further notice.

University Resources and Links for Graduate Students During COVID-19

We are all responding to COVID-19 and managing our life, both inside and outside of academia, to the best of our ability. Each day is different, bringing new challenges and opportunities to help others. In an effort to provide the most up-to-date information to our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (and understanding that the situation is evolving on daily, if not hourly basis), please see the following links to campus resources and informational guides:

Relevant Links and Informational Guides

    6. Messages from UW to the larger community related to COVID-19 are posted centrally

We encourage you to continue to practice physical distancing, while doing your best to stay socially connected to your community and to look after each other. Together, we will weather this storm.

About Us

Core Programs—the Office of Graduate Student Affairs in The Graduate School—utilizes a holistic approach to supporting graduate students through student-centered programming, timely resources, and intentional tri-campus partnerships. We strive to promote the well-being of our diverse graduate student body in our tri-campus network, so they can thrive and be successful at the university and beyond. Our motto is “Cultivating Capacities for Success.”

Read our Mission Statement

Our Team

Online and Phone Appointments Only

Services & Offerings

Graduate Student Newsletter

Core Programs publishes a bi-weekly newsletter for UW graduate students, featuring tips and strategies to support their success in graduate school and beyond.

Newsletter archive Subscribe to the newsletter

Programming & Events

We host or co-organize quarterly events to support the intellectual, professional, and wellness development of graduate students. Per current public health guidance, our events have moved online.

Past Examples of Professional Development Events

  • Community College Careers Panel and Networking Reception
  • Communication Skills for International Graduate Students
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Student Career Development Boot Camp
  • Translating Your Research Into Career Opportunities – For Graduate Students and Postdocs in STEM Fields
  • Teaching-Focused University Careers – a collaboration between GO-MAP, Core Programs, and Gonzaga University
  • Navigating the Job Search When You’re LGBTQ
  • Finding Funding for International Graduate Students – a collaboration with the Graduate Funding Information Service
  • Thriving in Graduate School with Peer Mentoring

Public Speaking & Presentation Skills Development

We organize Scholars’ Studio and Three Minute Thesis events with the UW Libraries Research Commons.  These are fun events featuring 10 or more graduate students doing lightning talks on capstone, teaching, or research projects.

Graduate students participate in these events to:

  • Learn skills that are crucial for presentations at conferences and on the job market
  • To focus the message of one’s project and hone an elevator pitch
  • To learn how to communicate one’s work to a wider audience
  • To enliven a presentation with storytelling elements

Leadership Skills Development

Each year, 8–10 graduate students volunteer to participate in our First-Generation Graduate Student Advisory Board and our International Graduate Student Advisory Board. They serve in leadership roles to inform and shape our initiatives and programming that support first-gen and international graduate students.

If you are interested in serving on our advisory boards, contact us at cpinfo@uw.edu

Visit our programming and events page

Core Programs On the Road

Need a tailored presentation or workshop for your graduate program? Whether you’re a graduate program advisor, faculty or student, Core Programs can work with you to develop a one-of-a-kind event to meet your needs. Some past presentation themes:

  • Demystifying graduate school
  • Utilizing the individual development plan
  • Getting the mentoring you need
  • Using social media for career development

Contact us at cpinfo@uw.edu to inquire about our availability.

Online Tools to Support Graduate Student Success

Individual Development Plan Resources

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a tool that can help you outline a range of academic, career, and personal goals during your time in graduate school and beyond. You can use an IDP to measure your progress when meeting with faculty mentors and advisors. As your goals change, revisit and revise the document periodically. Check out the following templates and resources below.

  • Individual Development Plan Template – The Graduate School, University of Washington
  • General IDP – Graduate School, University of Minnesota
  • Imagine PhD – A free, online career exploration tool for graduate students in the Humanities & Social Sciences
  • myIDP – A free, online individual development plan tool for graduate students in the Life and Physical Sciences

Mentoring Resources

Mentoring Guides

Core Programs offers informational mentoring guides for graduate students and faculty, on many topics ranging from understanding what a good mentor does to the importance of building a mentoring team.

Mentoring guides for graduate students Mentoring guides for faculty

Mentor Memos

What’s the best way to pick a lab? How can you manage a large writing project? How do you work the crowd at a cocktail party with confidence and ease? These topics — and many others — are not necessarily covered in a graduate student’s coursework. But knowing how to manage time, the best way to negotiate a salary and how to turn a dissertation into a book can be invaluable to a successful education and career. The UW Graduate School offers a series of Mentor Memos — penned by UW faculty and staff — that cover these topics, and much more.

Read the mentor memos

How to Manage Up When Working with Faculty Advisors and Mentors

“Managing Up” can be defined as actively and thoughtfully playing a role in defining and shaping an important professional relationship that likely involves a power dynamic. Learning to effectively manage up is a skill-set that you can begin to practice with your PIs, professors, and supervisors and then carry with you to help positively impact your future work relationships.

Read ten Strategies for Managing Up

Additional Resources

Tri-Campus Resources for Graduate Students

All UW graduate students have access to informational resources and consultation services from The Graduate School, regardless of where your graduate program is located. Due to student fee restrictions, some campus-based resources are limited to students enrolled at their particular UW campus.

Read more about tri-campus resources for graduate students

Student Leadership and Affinity Groups

Connecting with like-minded graduate student peers can increase your sense of belonging at the University. It can also open up opportunities for engagement and leadership. There are several student organizations, university programs, and social media sites that can facilitate such opportunities. If you would like to add your organization to the list below, please contact cpinfo@uw.edu.

List of Organizations