About this course

The Graduate Professional Skills Certificate is an innovative, non-credit program for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows focusing on strengths-based professional skills development. The certificate program is offered at no cost to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

How does the program work?

In this program, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows identify their strengths, construct a learning plan, reflect on experiential learning, and seek out professional skills or career coaching.  Students in the certificate program develop their own professional skills portfolio or website that documents their achievements and growth. 

During their first term in GPS 974, students must attend scheduled classes, either through the in-person or the synchronous online section, and complete assigned work. In subsequent terms, students must remain registered in GPS 974 until they complete the program's requirements. Most students complete the certificate program in 1-2 terms, and students may start in either the fall or winter, as well as continue over the spring and summer if needed.


The Graduate Professional Skills Certificate program consists of the following two non-credit courses:

1.  GPS 974: Graduate Professional Skills:GPS 974 is the umbrella course for the certificate. Students must register for either the fully in-person or the synchronous online section of GPS 974 to join the certificate program and remain registered until they complete all requirements.

2.  GPS 984: Thinking Critically - Professional Skills for Global Citizens
This highly interactive, non-credit course provides a supportive and challenging setting for you to uncover and explore personal and professional beliefs and values with peers. Students must complete GPS 984 in either the fall or winter terms, and have the option of participating in either the in-person or the online synchronous sections each term.

Skills development and expected workload

The learning hours you can expect to budget while completing the Certificate program should be approximately equivalent to the hours required for a 6-credit unit course. However, the exact number of learning hours needed depends on a student’s prior knowledge and experience in the competency areas upon entering the program. Each student will develop their competence across a recognized set of skills that align with their goals, which they will document and reflect on developing in a professional skills portfolio or website, which follows a skills-focused rubric. 

The workload of the certificate program is divided between the course work and the graduate professional skills portfolio documentation of evidence and reflection on development, as well as coaching. 


  • GPS 984: Thinking Critically
  • GPS 974: Graduate Professional Skills 
  • Professional portfolio of website components, including: 
    • Documenting skills development and evidence of practice, in alignment with GPS 974 professional skills and your goals 
    • Reflective writing about your development 
    • Learning Coach Meetings 


Graduates of the Professional Skills Certificate will be recognized at either the Spring or Fall Convocation, at which they will cross the stage to receive their certificates once all requirements are completed.



Students must be either a current Post-Doctoral Fellow, or be registered in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in a Master’s or PhD program.


GPS 984 - Thinking Critically must be completed either before or at the same time as GPS 974 and is offered each fall and winter term.


Registration is open prior to the start of each academic term and closes on the day that classes begin in each academic term. 

Graduate students should register in PAWS for GPS 974: Graduate Professional Skills. Find the correct academic term, then search "GPS" scroll until you find GPS 974, then select either the synchronous online or in-person section that best fits your schedule. If you have any problems registering, contact us at career.services@usask.ca


Questions about this course can be directed to
Career Services


See more programming and workshops for
Graduate Teaching Support