The Certificate


Grad school is an opportunity for personal and professional growth and development.

Along with your course and research work, you will discover and uncover your unique sets of skills and talents.  To build and accentuate those talents in preparation for the world of work, our community of highly skilled facilitators have created a personal & professional development curriculum to supplement your academic training.

The Vitae Essential skills program provides a certificate of completion signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Vitae Certification requires participants to attend a minimum of 30 credit hours over the duration of their graduate education. The certification length requirement is consistent with other institutional offerings & other standard professional skill trainings outside of academia.

Competency-based or skill focussed workshops provide you with the opportunity to target a specific skill area.   The opportunity to reflect, talk and rehearse your skills will help you build personal insight and seek experiences to demonstrate your competence.

Currently, there are 4 professional development and training certificates offered:

1.  VITAE Professional Development Certificate (30 credit hours)

(comprised of a minimum of 12 credit hours accrued through VITAE/FGS coordinated workshops with the additional credit hours accrued from workshops or training coordinated by other VITAE partners)

2.  VITAE Researcher Communication Skills Series (30 credit hours)

(comprised of a minimum of 20 credit hours accrued through VITAE/FGS coordinated workshops or training)

3.  VITAE Career Building & Management Skill Series (30 credit hours)

(comprised of a minimum of 20 credit hours accrued through VITAE/FGS coordinated workshop or training)

4. ***NEW*** Transdisciplinary Practice in Social Justice (30 credit hours)

Graduate Studies and the Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI) are piloting a Transdisciplinary Practice in Social Justice Certificate, requirements include:

  • minimum of 12 credit hours accrued through VITAE/FGS coordinated workshops
  • remaining credit hours from approved social justice workshops or events (For more information, email Rachel Hirsch)
  • SJRI blog or multimedia article reflecting on your participation (For more details, read this article)

Customize your Certificate

VITAE/FGS credit hours can be earned through skill-focused workshops and experiential learning. There are a few routes or options for earning credit hours:

1. 10 hours of the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) offered by Centre for Pedagogical Innovation can apply to FGS/ Vitae Certification.

2. 8 credit hours can be earned by presentating (oral or paper) at the Faculty of Graduate Studies conference: Mapping the New Knowledges, OR a participant in Brock’s 3MT Thesis challenge OR SSHRC Storytellers Challenge.

3. 8 credit hours can be earned through your participation at the SHIFT Professional Development Conference co-hosted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Career Services.

4. Independent Study: Students who have accumulated 15 credit hours can submit an experiential learning report that articulates and verifies the demonstration of a target skill. Verification from both the student’s supervisor and/or community member is required.

** Individuals who have exceeded the 30 credit hour criteria can earn additional certification, however, credit hours cannot be duplicated toward more than one certificate.

Note that proof of attendance is required in order to verify your participation. When applying for your certification, please include either:

* digital/paper copies of registration receipts/conference programs (for presenters)

* signature of event organizer (print form)

Enrol in the VITAE Essential Skills Certificate program:

Simply complete the on-line form below to indicate that you are interested in receiving information about professional skills and notices of workshops and events.

Vitae Essential Skills Program Registration

    Please select 'domestic' if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent residence.

Completed your professional development training?

Please complete the on-line form available here>>

For more information, please contact Karin Perry (