The Preparing Future Faculty and Scholars (PFx) course is designed to help graduate students explore careers in and outside of academia, build career readiness confidence, consider the value and future of higher education, and critically engage with an interdisciplinary group of peers and mentors through seminars, workshops, events, and other opportunities.


Preparing Future Faculty and Scholars (PFx) seeks to better prepare postdocs, MFA, and doctoral students for career opportunities once they have completed their training. While for some students, this will be to prepare for a career in the academy, the course is designed to also acknowledge the growing trend of MFA and doctoral students seeking scholarly employment outside the academy.

For that reason, PFx has four objectives: 

  1. Enhance students’ learning through seminars and practical activities to better prepare graduate students for academic and non-academic careers.
  2. Develop a repertoire of diverse strategies that will enable students to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their portfolio and develop an appropriate response to address any shortcomings.
  3. Provide students with the foundational information needed to find, sustain, and enhance their future in academic and/or non-academic careers.
  4. Present various outlooks on academic and non-academic careers, through readings and guest speakers.


In its varied seminars, workshops, and other opportunities, the PFx program complements the skills you develop in your discipline through tools and resources for growth in:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Networking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Collaboration
  • Self-assessment and reflection

Eligibility Requirements

  • Full-time MFA, doctoral student, or postdoc in a UA program during the Fall 2023 academic semester.
  • At least two years into the program of study.
  • Ability to commit to attending all seminars. 

In Fall 2023 we will be offering two sections of PFx:

  1. IDGR 650-001 is designed for those interested in pursuing a career in the academy as a faculty member.  
  2. IDGR 650-002 is designed for those interested in discovering how to use the knowledge and skills they’ve developed in graduate school to pursue a career outside the academy.


When will the seminars take place?

Fall and Spring Semesters. Fridays from 1:00 – 2:30 pm

What is the time commitment for PFx?

Most students will find the demands of the seminars to be reasonable with a moderate amount of time spent on assignments. Activities completed through PFx help to prepare students for successful career pathways.

Will PFx make a difference in job prospects?

We intend that students who have completed the PFx course will report that participation provided them with an edge in applying for and securing academic and non-academic positions and a better understanding of the demands of their chosen career paths. The success of PFx programs at other institutions indicates that we will be a success in achieving our goal.

Who can participate in PFx?

UA students who are:

  • Full-time in an MFA or doctoral program.
  • At least two years into the program of study.
  • Ability to commit to attending all seminars. 
  • Postdocs are welcome

Can PFx count toward my degree?

At this point, PFx will not count toward your degree.

Will PFx help me be a better teacher? Is the program about effective teaching?

Although teaching is covered in PFx, it is only one topic in the course. For those seeking to improve their teaching, we would recommend attending professional development sessions offered via GradACTS and considering applying for the College Teaching Certificate in the College of Education.

This is my last year, can I still participate in PFx?

Absolutely! While it is ideal to enroll in the PFx program around the midpoint of one’s time at UA, even in the final year, PFx seminars, workshops, and events are still extremely helpful for students to better understand the expectations and realities of their future career possibilities as they prepare for that transition.

Who should I contact to ask any additional questions? 

Email Tierney Jenkins (, Director of Graduate Programming if you have any additional questions.