The Professional Development Certificate for Business, Government, Industry & Arts (PDC:BGIA)

It's important to realize that professional development is also invaluable to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows wanting to pursue a career outside academia. Leaders in business, government, industry, and the nonprofit sector want to hire graduate students or postdoctoral fellows who have demonstrated higher level organizational skills and an investment in their own professional development.

The Graduate Teacher Program in collaboration with Career Services administers the Professional Development Certificate for Business, Government, Industry or the Arts. This collaborative program engages graduate student participants in participation in both the Graduate Teacher Program and Career Services activities because we believe that teaching experience and content knowledge are valuable skill sets in the nonacademic market.

Application Form 

Internship Learning Plan  

PDC:BGIA Attendance Tracker

Professional Portfolio

What are the PDC:BGIA Requirements for Completion?

Step 1 Application & Internship Learning Plan

Download and complete the

Application Form and Internship Learning Plan

to complete an off-campus professional internship in business, government, industry, or the non-profit sector (120-150 hours, paid or unpaid according to the agreement with the organization) 

Email copies of your application to gtpCERT@colorado.edu and to Ann.Piatt@Colorado.EDU

then make an appointment to meet with Annie Piatt in Career Services. (303 492 4130)

Step 2 Attend 20 Workshops

Complete 20 workshops that include workshops on teaching or professional development.

  • Requirements include 10 Graduate Teacher Program teaching workshops
  • 10 professional development workshops in the Graduate Teacher Program, department, or Career Services.

A professional development workshop is any career-oriented workshop that is not strictly a teaching workshop. Participants sign in at all Graduate Teacher Program, departmental, and Career Services workshops. The Graduate Teacher Program maintains data files on for each student’s GTP and Career Services workshops; participants must sign in at each workshop.

Participants should also keep track of all workshops they attend in their home departments using the

PDC:BGIA Personal Attendance Tracking Form

which requires the presenter’s or lead graduate teacher’s signature for each workshop attended.

Please Note: (Regarding workshop attendance: if a graduate student is pursuing two certificates, no double dipping is allowed, i.e., one workshop cannot count for both the Graduate Teacher Certificate and the Professional Development Certificate).

Step 3 Develop Your Potential Site for Your Internship

Work with Annie Piatt, coordinator of the Graduate Student Career Program, to discuss your ideas and a potential site for your particular internship. If you want to create an internship through your department, please let Annie Piatt know, so she can work with your faculty member. You will need to fill out and submit the Internship Learning Plan.


Step 4 Choose Host Site

Develop a draft internship plan that can be shared, along with your résumé, with individuals at a potential site.

Step 5 Internship Mentor

Once your internship is set up, be sure to agree on and write up a final internship plan in coordination with your internship mentor. Make sure the final internship plan includes all items that are required by the Graduate Teacher Program and by Career Services.

Step 6 Mentor Evaluation

Upon completion of the internship, the internship mentor should complete a written evaluation of the intern taking into account the goals of the internship, the project, the presentation, the intern's work, and accomplishments during the internship. Mentors’ evaluations may meet the criteria of the worksite. The mentor’s evaluation should be submitted with the student's files to the GTP office via email to gtpCERT@colorado.edu and will help to determine if the student should be granted the certificate.

Step 7 Formal Resume

Participants create a revised formal résumé, have it checked for format and content by Annie Piatt and submit it to the Graduate Teacher Program with the final file via email to gtpCERT@colorado.edu .

Step 8 Professional Portfolio

The intern writes a professional portfolio that includes

  • A narrative or reflective essay which situates the internship in the context of the intern’s personal and professional development (why did the intern do an internship, how did the experience fit into his/her preparation for the degree and for a future career)
  • A summary of the internship experience; tasks accomplished; and a description of future and career plans.

The appendix of the portfolio should contain appropriate documents such as:

  • The intern’s letter of application to the PDC: BGIA
  • An up-dated PDC: BGIA Personal Attendance Tracking Form (each item listed, including the list of the teaching and professional development workshops completed will be cross checked and the signatures verified for accuracy)
  • The intern’s PDC:BGIA Internship Learning Plan
  • The final internship plan created with the internship mentor
  • Documents completed during the internship
  • An outline of the intern’s presentation
  • The mentor’s evaluation of the intern
  • Other existing evaluations of the intern’s work
  • The revised final résumé that incorporated knowledge and skills gained during the internship
  • Any other artifacts that the intern deems important to demonstrate his/her proficiency and completion of the internship.

Please submit a PDF of the professional portfolio for approval by the Graduate Teacher Program Director via email to gtpCERT@colorado.edu

NOTA BENE: If the intern wants to prepare an additional electronic portfolio, s/he should consult with Annie Piatt.

Step 9 Exit Survey

Once the intern’s file is complete and approved by the Director of the Graduate Teacher Program and the Coordinator for Career Services, the intern will respond to an online exit survey the URL of which will be emailed to the intern. Once the exit survey is completed, the certificate will be printed using the intern’s name as stated on the application form.

Step 10 Certification & Transcript

Completion of the certificate will be noted on the student’s transcript. 

NOTE: To ensure your certificate is added to your final transcript, the portfolio should be turned in to GTP for review at least two weeks prior to end of your final semester.

If you have any questions regarding certificates, please email the Graduate Teacher Program office at gtpCERT@colorado.edu

Who can be Awarded the PDC:BGIA?

To participate you must be a registered CU-Boulder graduate student in good standing, a CU-Boulder postdoctoral fellow with departmental approval, or a CU-Boulder instructor of faculty member. The completion of the certificate will be noted on the graduate student's transcripts.

Any graduate student who is making adequate progress toward his or her degree is eligible to apply for an internship and to pursue the certificate.

Step by Step Requirements of Completion.

What are the PDC:BGIA Program Goals?

Our goals for the program include: 

  1. Helping graduate students to expand through management, team leadership, or other contributions
  2. Providing graduate students with the opportunity to use their academic expertise in a nonacademic environment
  3. To give them experiences outside of academia so that they can provide their future students with more opportunities

What is the Time Commitment?

We suggest that graduate teachers complete the requirements over a minimum of two years.

Because the project involves two units and an off-campus site, the application procedure is complex.  However, students who have persevered have been very happy with their outcomes. 

Please read the following directions and forms carefully, speak with Annie Piatt in Career Services to facilitate your planning and application, and email your application as stated below.