Loyola University Chicago

The Graduate School


NextGen About photo

Did you know that 40% of humanities PhD graduates work in occupations other than postsecondary teaching? In recognition of the wide range of career paths that humanities PhDs pursue, the National Endowment for the Humanities launched a “Next Generation Humanities PhD” project which provides $1.65 million in grants to colleges and universities to rethink graduate education to better prepare doctoral students for careers beyond the academy.

Loyola is one of 25 institutions to receive a $25,000 planning grant to develop initiatives to support career preparation for doctoral students. Loyola's project, "Charting Career Pathways: Enhancing and Sustaining Doctoral Education in the Humanities," is led by Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Associate Professor of History. As Dr. Mooney-Melvin explains, "doctoral education offers students the opportunity to gain both breadth and depth in a discipline. They also acquire and hone a wide variety of skills and abilities that can serve them well wherever their interests take them. While many students may find academic positions and feel fulfilled in these positions, many others will take a different path. It is our responsibility to offer all students the ability to appreciate the range of opportunities available to them."

Loyola's Next Gen project aims to help students to embark confidently on a wide variety of careers after graduation. The project has six major goals:

  • To create opportunities for students to see themselves as possessing multiple career pathways
  • To broaden and strengthen mentorship
  • To develop a robust career guidance program for doctoral students
  • To enhance students’ communication abilities
  • To shape student recruitment messaging
  • To explore curricular opportunities for supporting professional development

To achieve these goals, the Next Gen PhD program will provide a variety of workshops, field experiences, and other resources for graduate students, as well as work with faculty to enhance their understanding of multiple career pathways. Workshops will focus on professional development: enhancing students’ communication skills, identifying and advancing students’ practical skill sets, and understanding the job search and hiring process. We also encourage graduate students to seek internships and have partnered with Illinois Humanities to provide a paid assistantship for a Loyola PhD student for the 2016-2017 year.

This website serves as the hub for Loyola's Next Gen PhD project. Check back here often for information on upcoming events, links to career development resources, and reporting from graduate students and others involved in the project.