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Career and Professional Development

The faculty of the DLCL believe that professional development is a thoughtful, research-based activity that enhances all dimensions of a Ph.D. student’s performance. Professionalization takes time and develops gradually throughout a student’s program. Professional development is also individualized: Ph.D. students have different strengths and interests; the faculty of the DLCL is committed to sustaining the diversity of student interests.

There are three aspects to DLCL professionalization for graduate students.  First, a set of courses and professional opportunities  prepares Ph.D. students for entrance into formal academic positions. These courses overview research, conference attendance, and publication and may include a mentored teaching experience in literature and culture. Second, a set of courses that focus on how to teach foreign language and literatures. This includes practice teaching; first- and second-year instruction; and assessment workshops leading toward a national certification. Third, the DLCL encourages students to pursue internships related to cognizant fields such as the publishing and cultural industries; community college and secondary school teaching; administrative positions, the digital Humanities, and others. Ph.D. students may use a funded quarter, if approved by their advisor and department, to pursue an internship.

Through a partnership with the Library, the DLCL has a dedicated staff position–an Academic Technology Specialist– to support digital humanities projects that are a component of academic research and/or part of  a portfolio for an alt-ac career. Whether you’re curious about learning to code, or want to explore tools for visualization, digital storytelling, or asking questions across large text corpora, the digital humanities classes, practicum, and one-on-one collaboration with DLCL’s Academic Technology Specialist can help you develop the skills you need to create your project.

Professionalization Coursework

DLCL 369: Introduction to the Profession of Literary Studies

A survey of how literary theory and other methods have been made institutional since the nineteenth century. The readings and conversation are designed for entering Ph.D. students in the national literature departments and comparative literature. 

DLCL 311: Professionalization Workshop 

This workshop focuses on publication and presentation opportunities in culture and literature for DLCL students, as well as planning ahead to acquire needed teaching experience and knowledge to build a strong teaching portfolio. Required. 

DLCL 219: The Collaborative Teaching Project (CTP)

The Collaborative Teaching Project (CTP) hosts a number of graduate students to work with a faculty member on a literature course.  It constitutes a voluntary, paid opportunity.  

Job Market Workshop

This is an annual series of peer-to-peer application material review, Q/A sessions with professionals, coaching and networking opportunities.  Topics for one-hour sessions can include preparing for interviewing; mock interviews; discussions of postdoc opportunities in the US and abroad; the development of dossiers; applying for academic staff jobs such as lecturerships; meeting with alumni who have pursued careers outside of academia; and so forth. 

Pedagogy Coursework

DLCL 301: The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages

DLCL 301 is an introduction to the learning of second-languages and how participants use that knowledge to develop their teaching practices.  Required. 

DLCL 302: The Learning and Teaching of Second-Language Literature

DLCL 302 is a continuation of DLCL 301 and focuses on the upper-registers of language learning and use in literature/culture courses.  There is a specific focus on composition with regard to writing prompts and assessment.  Not required. 

DLCL 303: Internship in Language Program Management

Not required. 

DLCL 298: Preparing to Teach English as a Second Language

This course focuses on practical aspects of teaching English to speakers of other languages. Its primary focus is an overview of the structure of English, which is crucial for effective English language instruction. 

The DLCL sponsors a Certificate in Language Program Management.  In order to complete the certificate (after finishing DLCL 301; DLCL 302; and OPI limited certification), students have a DLCL-funded one-quarter internship in the Language Center and enroll in DLCL 303 for one unit.  This internship covers budgeting, course design, the appointment process, among other areas. It focuses principally on postsecondary programs.

For more information, visit the Stanford Language Center 

Digital Humanities and alt-ac Coursework

DLCL 205: Project Management and Ethical Collaboration for Humanists

What does it look like to manage a collaborative project in a way that's both effective and ethical, taking into account the needs of people as well as the task? This class will cover project management and collaboration as they are practiced in digital humanities, "alt-ac" (alternative academic) jobs, and similar environments outside academia. In addition to readings and discussion, students will participate in a simulation of one year in the life of a digital humanities project (in the style of Dungeons and Dragons and similar role-playing games), with each student playing the role of a member on the project team.

DLCL 204/COMPLIT 204A: Digital Humanities Across Borders

What if you could take a handwritten manuscript, or a pile of 100 books, and map all the locations that are referenced, or see which characters interact with one another, or how different translators adapted the same novel -- without reading through each text to manually compile those lists? Digital humanities tools and methods make it possible, but most tools and tutorials assume the texts are in English. If you work with text (literature, historical documents, fanfic, tweets, or any other textual material) in languages other than English, DLCL 204 is for you. In 1:1 consultation with the instructor, you'll chart your own path based on the language you're working with, the format of the text, and what questions you'd like to try to answer. No previous programming or other technical experience is required, just a reading knowledge of a language other than English (modern or historical). We'll cover the whole process of using digital tools, from start to finish: text acquisition, text enrichment, and analysis/visualization, all of which have applications in a wide range of job contexts within and beyond academia. You'll also have the chance to hear from scholars who are doing digital humanities work in non-English languages, about their experience working across the technical and linguistic borders within their discipline, and within the broader DH community.

DLCL 201: Digital Humanities Practicum

Interested in applying digital tools and methods to text, images, or other humanities research materials? This hands-on course will support you in planning and implementing your own digital project, using materials in any language. Working directly with a digital humanities expert, you will identify your own research question that can be addressed by digital methods, define a reasonable scope, and learn how to implement the methods you need to answer your research question. The course will include workshops on topics including data management, project management, and how to talk about your work both in academic contexts, and as part of your portfolio for applying to jobs in other fields

Programs Specifically for Humanities Ph.D.'s

  • DLCL 326: “Crafting Your Humanist Career”: Co-taught by the H&S Dean’s Office and CareerEd, this 1-unit course will introduce you to the wide variety of humanist careers within and beyond the academy and equip you with the tools and information to shape your own development as scholars and professionals, while completing degree milestones and program expectations. Ideal for students completing the second year of their programs, but open to all years. Offered in summer (online) and winter (in person) quarters. 
  • Humanists at Large (HAL): Co-developed by the H&S Dean’s Office and CareerEd, this winter–spring program is for students specifically interested in exploring potential careers outside of academia. Their website also contains resources available to all students, including a directory of Bay Area humanists willing to have informational interviews. 
  • Stanford Public Humanities: Learn how to write about the humanities for non-academic audiences, and to pitch and publish effectively in non-academia media.
  • CTL 341 / PHIL 341: “Learning and Teaching in the Humanities: Pedagogy and Professional Development for Graduate Students”: Learn about research-based strategies for effective course design and instruction in the humanities. You can take this course in isolation or as part of a broader teaching certificate program offered through our Center for Teaching and Learning.
  • Humanities in Color: A student organization and community dedicated to the personal wellbeing and professional development of humanities graduate students of color at Stanford.
  • Stanford Humanities Center: Offers dissertation completion fellowships for graduates, workshops to support faculty and grads working on interdisciplinary topics, an online humanities publication, and many guest talks. 
  • CESTA (Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis): Stanford’s pioneering digital humanities lab offers both a certificate program and a fellowship for graduate students interested in developing their DH skills.

Secondary Expertise Areas

Possibilities for secondary expertise areas include, but are not limited to, the following for internships.  Students must locate their own internship opportunities and pursue them in consultation with faculty.

Museum and Arts Management

  • Educational programs
  • Installation

Data Science

  • Computer Science
  • Digital Humanities
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Analytics

Language/Teaching and Program Management

  • Community College
  • Digital Education
  • English as a second language
  • Private secondary schools
  • University-level

Public school teaching is a special category and generally requires a year of course work and practice teaching.  Read more at the School of Education website.

The Publishing Industry

  • Commercial
  • Magazines and Press; professional publications and curation
  • University Presses

Public Scholarship (in contrast to academic writing)

  • Magazines and newspapers; journalism
  • NGOs
  • Think Tanks

Cultural Industries

  • Cinema, Television and Video
  • Design, Arts, Foundation
  • Music
  • Narratives

Other Key Programs and Resources for Doctoral Students

Non-Faculty Careers:

  • ENG311B: “Designing the Professional”: Popular course that teaches you how to use the principles of “design thinking” to develop life and career goals.
  • PhD Pathways: Annual PhD career exploration conference, held in March.
  • PhD and Postdoc Career Guide: Created by CareerEd. One of the best, most concise guides available. Covers faculty and non-faculty careers.
  • Stanford Ignite: Heavily subsidized summer program at the GSB in business fundamentals. Apply in spring.
  • Higher Education Administration Directory (HEAD): A database of nearly Stanford staff members with PhDs willing to meet for informational interviews. See also the accompanying taxonomy of higher ed administrative roles most appropriate for people with PhDs. (Note: You must be signed into Google with your Stanford account to access these Google Sheets).

Faculty and Teaching Careers:

  • Faculty Job Search Toolkit: A comprehensive set of guides and resources, hosted on Canvas, covering every stage of the faculty job search process. 
  • Preparing Future Professors: Learn what it is like to be a professor at a large public university, liberal arts college, community college, or denominational school by shadowing faculty at one of 7 local schools. Apply in early spring or fall.
  • DARE Fellowship: Two-year fellowships for advanced doctoral students who want to investigate and prepare for academic careers and whose presence will help diversify the professoriate.
  • Graduate Teaching Opportunities: A comprehensive list of on- and off-campus opportunities maintained by our Center for Teaching and Learning.

Community-Engaged Research:

These doctoral fellowships provide funding and training for students interested in developing public-facing research projects in collaboration with a community partner.


Key Campus Offices

Stanford Career Education (CareerEd) 
Career coaching appointments, workshops, networking events, and internships for both academic and non-academic job searches.

Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) 
Central hub for graduate professional development programming across all disciplines.

Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) 
Offers a wide range of programs and resources to support teaching.

Non-Stanford Programs and Resources

Graduate and Postdoctoral Opportunities

Job Boards