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Re-Forming Doctoral Education

A doctoral education in the humanities can and should serve not just academia but the world beyond. That is the premise of an ambitious project by The Graduate Center of the City University of New York to transform doctoral education for the public good. At the heart of this work is the launch of PublicsLab at The Graduate Center.

PublicsLab has two broad goals. The first is to ensure that The Graduate Center’s humanities doctoral programs prepare students for careers both within and outside of academe. The expertise required for humanistic inquiry is vital to understanding the world around us. Through fellowships, internships, workshops, and curriculum enhancement, we strive to provide students with skills and opportunities that will allow them to thrive in academic and non-academic professions.

Central to our project is encouraging doctoral students and faculty to engage in scholarship that is accessible to the public, deepens our understanding of burning issues, and might even spur social change. PublicsLab seeks to incubate and promote socially-engaged learning and creative, community-based research and to attract scholars who are committed to generating new knowledge that contributes to the key issues of our time. 

Together with Graduate Center faculty and students and our expert partners, we aim to create a new approach to doctoral education — one that enhances our students’ educational experience, resonates with the concerns of the greater public, and ultimately, leads to a more informed, knowledge-based world.

Why Change Doctoral Education?

Graduate Center Interim President Joy Connolly (formerly provost and senior vice president) describes a new Mellon Foundation-supported initiative to transform doctoral education for the public good.

Opportunities to Effect Change in Doctoral Education

Professional Residencies

To catalyze a culture shift that validates diverse career outcomes, PublicsLab seeks professionals with doctorates (or other advanced degrees) who work outside of academia to teach students and offer faculty ways to widen students’ career opportunities.

Mellon Seminar, Re-Forming the Humanities

This annual seminar will bring together Graduate Center faculty, students, and researchers to fashion a new framework for understanding and approaching doctoral education to serve both academia and the public.

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