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Take a look outside of your department for course offerings that will help you round out your skill set.

As a graduate student at Berkeley, you’re here to develop expertise in a specific field. But while you map out your spring schedule, keep in mind that there is world-class instruction taking place across the university, and you have access to all kinds of classes that can help you build new skills or explore new fields. You may want to consider enrolling in one of the many courses offered in departments across campus that will help you expand your skill set. 

Here’s just a sample of a few courses that you might find interesting:

Classes in the Graduate Division

  • Graduate Student Professional Development Program (GSPDP) Courses in Writing, Teaching, and Mentoring
    The Graduate Division offers one- and two-credit courses each spring in the following subjects: Academic Writing for Graduate Students; Teaching and Learning in Higher Education; and Effective Mentoring in Higher Education. If you’re interested in building advanced skills in these core professional development competencies, consider enrolling. But do it soon — seats are limited and they fill up quickly.

Classes in Professional Schools

  • Haas (MBA 209F): Fundamentals of Business
    This introduction to business language, practices, and concepts is offered every semester and is designed for non-business grad students.The course is taught in three five-week modules: (1) organizational behavior and management, (2) accounting and finance, and (3) marketing and strategy.
  • Haas (MBA 292S-1): Social Sector Solutions
    Are you interested in effecting change in the non-profit sector? Have you thought about pursuing a career in consulting after you graduate? Then check out this hands-on course offered through Haas’ Center for Social Sector Leadership. If you’re accepted into the course, you’ll work with MBA students and undergrads to develop recommendations for selected public sector organizations, all under the supervision and coaching of an experienced consultant. You can also check out Berkeley Board Fellows, a Haas initiative that places graduate students on the boards of nonprofits.
  • J275: Intro to Audio
    Do you have an idea for a podcast? Or do you dream of a career as a journalist or producer? Then consider enrolling in this course at the School of Journalism. In this hands-on class, you’ll learn how to conduct interviews, produce audio content, and shepherd a story from inception to airing.

And a Whole Lot More

  • HUM 290 Colloquium: Practicing the Humanities
    This one-unit course will focus on the connections between the disciplines of the humanities and the world outside academia. It aims to introduce Ph.D. students to a range of work and career choices beyond the tenure track. Those presenting will include faculty, alumni, and leaders in the technology and non-profit sectors (including higher education), among others.
  • Data 8: The Foundations of Data Science
    One of the most heavily enrolled courses on campus, this class gives an overview of the theory and practice of data science. And after developing a solid foundation in this topic through Data 8, you might consider working towards the School of Information’s new Graduate Certificate in Applied Data Science, a three-course program that will give you useful skills and a leg up in the job market.
  • Classes in Curation and Exhibition: Although they don’t offer these courses every semester, faculty in the Departments of Anthropology and Art History occasionally teach courses on the why and how of museum curation, display, and logistics. Check these departments’ course catalogs to identify classes of interest, and to explore if working in a museum might be a career you’re interested in pursuing.
  • Classes in Collaboration & Entrepreneurship: If you’re interested in creating a product, collaborating on an artistic project, or learning more about how to put together a startup, check out this extensive list of courses maintained on the website of the Berkeley Gateway to Innovation. Drawn from departments from sociology to molecular and cell biology to design innovation, this list offers something for any grad student interested in innovation in a variety of areas.
  • Language Classes: Have you been wanting to learn Mandarin, brush up on your Spanish, or dive into Ancient Greek? You can learn all these languages at Berkeley, and many more. Introductory language classes at Berkeley are often time-intensive, but if your schedule allows, graduate school can be a great time to add a language to your skillset.

You can browse the full range of spring 2020 courses at classes.berkeley.edu. Keep in mind that course offerings are subject to change, and that you should check with the administrative staff of the academic units offering these classes to make sure that you’re eligible to enroll. But it’s worth your time to do so, as these classes are a great way to help you thrive at Berkeley and in your career after graduation.


David Bratt is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and a Professional Development Liaison in the Graduate Division.


Categories: November 2019, Professional Development
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