Graduate Student Career and Professional Development


PREP is the MSU Graduate School career and professional development model, designed to help you plan for a successful doctoral and postdoc experience and a smooth transition into your future role in academia, government, industry, corporations, or agencies. The acronym PREP foregrounds four professional skills that are key to your doctoral and professional career:

  • planning throughout the graduate program to identify and successfully achieve career goals;
  • developing resilience and tenacity to thrive through personal and professional stages;
  • practicing active engagement in making important life decisions and in acquiring the skills necessary to attain career goals;
  • attaining high standards of professionalism in research and teaching.

The PREP model is organized around our career matrix, which allows you to plan according to where you are in your program or job search.


To use the matrix as a planning tool, visit our Career Success web site, where you can explore resources and events in the matrix, assess your career skills, build your own professional plan, and document your activities in a professional portfolio.

Need more help in identifying and developing your transferable skills? Use our PLAN YOUR WORK AND WORK YOUR PLAN: Essential Career Competencies document, featuring career interviews and suggestions on how to put your skills to work now. Read a PDF version OR pick up your free copy in 113 Student Services.