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Crafting Your Humanist Career (DLCL 326)

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“Crafting Your Humanist Career” is a 1-unit course created for humanities & social science PhD students in their early years. The goal of the course is for students to reflect on where they are and make a game plan for the rest of their time at Stanford – with an eye towards where they are headed after the PhD. 

“Take this course! It is infinitely helpful to both find community and to get tips on figuring out a career path for yourself.” - 2023 Crafter

“[I learned] how to plan my time in my PhD, and just feel like it's mine as opposed to feeling like I'm floating through being pulled every which way. I sort of stumbled into the PhD … and it was helpful to actually get an understanding of what I have, in fact, signed up for.” - 2023 Crafter

Interested? Complete this brief form for enrollment reminders.

Course Description

Crafting is an interactive course, where you will learn how to chart a deliberate path through graduate school. This course will equip you with the tools and information to shape your own development as scholars and professionals while completing degree milestones and program expectations. Class sessions are organized around three questions:

  1. Who am I and why am I here?
  2. Where am I going?
  3. How do I get there?

We want to put you in charge of your PhD experience. This class is heavily experiential with a lot of in-class activities, discussion, out-of-class reflections and writing (no papers), and only a little bit of reading. Students will identify their core values, learn about diverse opportunities, begin building a professional network, articulate their graduate school mission, and practice mapping their humanist career.

Our goal is for you to learn about yourself and the resources available at Stanford. We support career ambitions within and beyond academia. We also want to build community for students across humanities programs. We are confident that our curriculum will reduce stress by building community and providing a space to pause and reflect. (And have some fun!)

You have options! Together, we'll move from fear of the future to ownership of your grad school years and curiosity about possible careers!

“Absolutely take this course! I have spent the past three years feeling like “I just need to figure out my life” and never feeling like I had the time or opportunity to really reflect on what I wanted to do during this PhD. I am eternally grateful that this class forced me to do that reflecting. I feel so much more in control of my time in grad school, and will be returning to those reflections for the rest of my PhD career (and beyond).” - 2023 Crafter

Key Details

  • 1-unit course, DLCL 326, “Crafting Your Humanist Career.” 
  • Summer Quarter 2024, Virtual/On-line/Zoom, Wednesdays 10:00 - 11:30 am Pacific Time, begins June 26, 2024 
  • Winter Quarter 2025, In person
  • In both versions we accept “auditors” if students do not have spare units or are not formally enrolled in summer. We expect all participants, whether or not they are enrolled for a unit, to fully engage with the class and complete all assignments. 
  • Ideally for humanities & humanistic social science PhD students in years 1 through 3.

Questions: Contact Chris Golde, Stanford Career Education

“Going into this class, I was confused because I was not sure what was more important: my career or my life. I think that my biggest learning here is that I can have both, and that I need to have both in order to make either one feel worthwhile.” - 2022 Crafter

Learning Objectives

Crafting has six learning objectives.

  1. Identity: Develop a personal mission statement that incorporates your identity as a PhD humanist
  2. Intentional PhD: Claim a sense of agency in your education at Stanford and create a game plan(s) for the research phase of your PhD
  3. Career Awareness: Envision multiple possible career paths
  4. Tools: Identify resources and opportunities available at Stanford to support your professional development
  5. Community: Cultivate a community of peers to support your career exploration and professional journey 
  6. Community: Start building a professional network of mentors, sponsors, and colleagues across disciplines and industries

“Crafting Your Humanist Career gave me the tools to investigate different career paths that would result in long-term fulfillment. The community of supportive grad students and instructors made the whole experience very joyful and meaningful. …  I realize that I am now following those paths that I feel most called to do! This is all thanks to the self-reflection that Crafting Your Humanist Career helped me to articulate out loud.” - 2022 Crafter

“I have a clearer and less anxiety-ridden vision of the future.” - 2023 Crafter

Interested? Complete this brief form for enrollment reminder.


This course is sponsored by the H&S Dean’s Office, coordinated by Stanford Career Education, and hosted in the DLCL (DLCL 326). Crafting has been endorsed by humanities department chairs. “Crafting” was developed at the request of the Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences in recognition that we need to do more to equip students with the tools and information to shape their own development as scholars and professionals while completing degree milestones and program expectations.