students graduating

GradLEAP: Leadership and Professional Development

Developing a foundation for your successes

GradLEAP is the Office of Graduate Studies' Leadership and Professional Development platform, committed to helping graduate students enhance their leadership skills and build professional strengths, as they lay the groundwork for their careers. We provide exploratory tools, programming, opportunities and support for all students, including those who choose to pursue careers outside academia. 

Spend Your Summer Making an Impact

Spend Your Summer Making an Impact

We are now accepting applications for our 2024 Arts & Sciences Pre-College Program staff positions.

Political science program aims to expand graduate student pipeline

Political science program aims to expand graduate student pipeline

Weidenbaum Center Grant Recipients Dan Butler, Matthew Hayes, and Sunita Parikh, are co-directors of new Washington University Summer Training Experience (WUSTEPS) program in Political Science. The program is aimed at preparing undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds for success in graduate political science programs.

Find Support for Diverse Career Paths

Thirty percent of WashU PhD graduate students seek careers outside academia. Learn how the Office of Graduate Studies works with mentors and PIs across campus to support career development for all professional settings.

Preparation for diverse careers

GradLEAP Events

Explore programming focused on developing professional skills, cultivating leadership and enhancing career search strategies.

events calendar

Professional competencies to ensure student career success

Community Building & Inclusion

Engage with your diverse community. Learn to: work effectively in diverse teams, collaborate on projects, value diverse perspectives and approaches, define roles, set appropriate norms for interaction, and navigate difficult conversations.


Apply creative problem solving to research and career challenges. Learn to: recognize inherent curiosities and take action, define and apply entrepreneurial thinking, and use design thinking to positively impact personal development and solve challenges.


Communicate your research to broad audiences. Learn to: communicate with impact, craft personal narratives for application materials, identify your audience & target your story, and enhance communication skills.

Reflection & Resilience

Take note of your progress and support each other through peer mentoring. Learn to: engage in reflective activities, explore career options & goal setting strategies, balance personal and professional goals, and view failures as opportunities to grow.


Integrate professional development and build skills. Learn to: communicate professionally in emails and presentations, prepare for networking events & interviews, explain ethical concerns in your field, manage workplace conflict, and present your authentic self.

Strategic Thinking & Goal Setting

Succeed by creating research and career plans. Learn to: define visions for your research and career, develop actionable steps, and identify individuals impacted by and to support you with your goals.

Exploratory Tools 


The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity offers resources for online research productivity, academic mentoring, and career development. Through the WashU Institutional Membership, all WashU faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and trainees can enroll in a free individual membership.

visit NCFDD


InterSECT is an online platform that allows PhD-level biomedical scientists, regardless of professional stage, to explore future career options.

visit the intersect job sims library

Versatile PhD

Versatile PhD is a robust online resource designed to help members of the graduate community who are interested in exploring non-academic career options.

visit Versatile PhD

The Career Center is here to support graduate students with advising, programming, career events and employer programs.