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Preparing for Faculty Careers

In category: Careers in Academia

Students may register for credit via Axess or apply to audit. All Stanford postdocs and other affiliates who plan to go on the academic job market within the next 2 years are welcome to apply to audit. Please use the link below to register to audit. 

PFC 2023: 9-week, in-person course: April 4 - June 1, Tuesdays (optional) and Thursdays (required), 8:30-10:20am 

How will you prepare yourself to obtain a great faculty job - and to thrive as a professor once you begin your career?

The Preparing for Faculty Careers course (Spring Q) is designed for advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars from any discipline who are considering a faculty career. 

Learning Objectives

By participating fully in this quarter-long course, you will:

  • determine how your values, skills, and goals align with a faculty career
  • explore different types of faculty roles and different institutional contexts
  • discuss how to identify and apply for appropriate faculty positions
  • develop a plan to thrive once you land a faculty position

Program Description

Course sessions will include guest speakers from Stanford and other campuses and small group and individual work. Several sessions will be followed by networking events and informal dinners for participants to learn from each other and from guest speakers. Participants will be grouped by discipline for customized learning experiences.

The four parts of the course will guide participants through an exploration of the academic career and prepare them to launch their academic job search:

  • How do I figure out if I actually should pursue an academic career? (“Reflect”)
  • What kinds of faculty positions exist and what do these look like in practice? (“Explore”)
  • How do I conduct a search and successfully land the right job? (“Dive In”)
  • How do I prepare myself for the job?


Open to advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars/affiliates from any school or department. All participants, including those who audit, are expected to attend each session and to participate actively. Online tools will be used to support participants' self-reflection and individual progress.

Course meets weekly on Tuesdays (optional) and Thursdays (required), 8:30-10:20AM.   

  • Required sessions: Thursdays, 8:30-10:20am, April 6 – June 1. Attendance in at least 7 of 9 of the Thursday sessions is required.
  • Optional workshops: Tuesdays, April 4 – May 28, either at 9-10:20am or 12-1:20pm, depending on the speaker's availability. These are completely optional and will be generally open to the larger postdoc and grad student community.


Postdoctoral Scholars may audit this course, and advanced Doctoral Students may either register via AXESS (Grading is Satisfactory/No Credit; 2 units; repeatable for credit) or audit.

AXESS registration is open now.
The auditor application is available here:

Tuesday session dates and details will be announced by mid-March.