Connect Your Academic Training to Your Professional Aspirations

PATHS is a Mellon-funded initiative that adds professional dimension to the academic training received by UChicago Ph.D. students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. PATHS provides students with the resources they need to launch careers in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government, helping them make broader impacts with their scholarly work.

PATHS is implemented by UChicagoGRAD and conceived collaboratively by deans and faculty from the Humanities Division, Social Sciences Division, and Divinity School. The program features internship opportunities, skill-building courses and workshops, one-on-one advising, conversations with alumni, and treks (employer site visits)—all tailored to the needs of Ph.D. students. The program is made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To learn about upcoming PATHS events and opportunities, subscribe to the PATHS newsletter by emailing See the latest edition of the newsletter here. For general PATHS inquiries, contact PATHS Coordinator Celeste Cruz-Carandang at

With support from the Mellon Foundation, PATHS is pioneering an experimental curriculum of courses, boot camps, and seminars in areas such as editing, data analysis, and public writing. This curriculum prepares Ph.D. students for aspects of employment that are under emphasized in disciplinary training and heightens their ability to apply their specialized skills to career opportunities in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

Internships Funded by the PATHS Program

Each year, PATHS funds 50 to 100 Graduate Global Impact (GGI) internships for Ph.D. students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences at UChicago. Through the GGI “Pitch” program, students can receive stipends of $6000 for internships of their own design. For students seeking existent opportunities, PATHS also provides internships with campus and external partners, including NPR, the Smart Museum, and UChicago Press.


Online Career Exploration Tools

  • Versatile Ph.D. allows you to explore career options and see samples of successful job documents from humanities Ph.D. recipients.  Access premium content by logging into GRAD Gargoyle and clicking “Versatile Ph.D.” in the quick links on the right-hand side.
  • ImaginePhD is a free online individual development tool designed specifically for doctoral students and alumni in the humanities and social sciences. ImaginePhD guides users to identify their skills, values and interests and to explore job families that best fit their individual needs.

External Resources and Initiatives

  • The Modern Language Association’s Connected Academics initiative includes an advice blog, toolkits, discussion groups, and resources on specific career tracks.
  • American Historical Association’s Career Diversity for Historians effort includes a mentorship network, personal narratives, and a data visualization tool that provides program-level information about the outcomes of History PhDs.
  • The Paideia Institute’s Legion Project shares the career stories of holders of Classics PhDs. It also functions as a network of these “Legionnaires.”
  • The American Philosophical Association publishes Beyond Academia, a handbook for philosophers interested in pursuing careers outside of academia.
  • The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program places recent humanities PhD alumni into two-year, full-time positions at governmental, cultural, and community organizations.
  • Humanities Without Walls prepares a cohort of doctoral students for careers both within and outside the academy through a series of summer workshops in Chicago.

PATHS is led by an advisory board of faculty from the Divinity School, Humanities Division, and Social Sciences Division.

  • Claudia Brittenham, Art History (Liaison)
  • Bill Brown, Visual Arts
  • Sarah E. Fredericks, Divinity (Liaison)
  • Joseph P. Masco, Anthropology
  • Jason Merchant, Linguistics (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Deborah Nelson, English
  • David Nirenberg, Social Thought (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Emily Lynn Osborn, History (Liaison)