Career Advising

The department has a robust career advising program for graduate students. Building upon a longstanding academic careers program (often called “placement” at other institutions), the department has recently turned to revising our approach to professionalization and career searches for humanists.

For those interested in traditional academic career searches (including tenure-track and non-tenure-track positions, postdoctoral fellowships, lectureships, and visiting positions), the academic careers advisor provides support for graduate students and recent alumni of the program. Advising for these searches now occurs throughout the calendar rather than academic year. In the late spring and early summer, the department offers a postdoctoral fellowship workshop and academic careers search introduction and orientation in order to prepare students and alumni to for work during the summer. The academic careers advisor reviews materials during the summer months.

In consultation with dissertation committees, students in the 5th or 6th year are then encouraged to participate in the fall careers advising seminar to help students develop job application materials alongside their peers (c.v.; cover letters; statements related to research, teaching, and diversity, equity, and inclusion; writing samples; teaching portfolios; dossiers for letters of recommendation) and prepare for interviews. Mock interviews are held in the seminar and with a separate committee of faculty members in late November and early December. The careers advisor also coordinates and works with candidates and their committees on campus visit preparation (both virtual/zoom and in person formats) and provides support for candidates as they are invited for interviews throughout the calendar year (for recent cycles, from mid October through late July).

Advising includes support during the negotiation process and for candidates who are conducting career searches for multiple years, including after they are awarded their degree.

The department has also instituted several initiatives related to alternative humanities career searches. The academic careers advisor works in conversation with advisors in Columbia’s GSAS Compass program. The department now offers a professionalization seminar and series, Work Inside and Outside the Academy, along with seminars and events in Writing Studies.

For current students, a précis of the job application process, as well as sample job materials, can be found on the CourseWorks Canvas Graduate Collaboration Site. If you are unable to access the site, please write to the department administrator to request access.

For recent results of career searches, please see the “Recent Career Search Results,” which lists search results by cycle. The department also maintains a Doctoral Alumni page. For updates to these listings, please reach out to the current academic careers advisor.

See the Staff and Administration page for the current Academic Careers Advisor.