PhD Pathways in Academic Administration

Being a tenure-track professor is not the only career available at a university for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars. According to recent findings in 2014, the number of non-academic administrative positions at U.S. colleges & universities has doubled in the last 25 years. It is not uncommon for PhDs, who spent most of their professional career in academia, to transition to a more administrative role in the university. Examples of academic administration positions include: admissions, grant writing & fundraising, public affairs and communications, and student services. Read publications like the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed to keep up with the current issues that universities are facing and the roles that administrators play in their resolution.


Connect with Yale Alums in Academic Administration

An excellent way to learn about careers in academic administration is to talk to alums who have chosen this path! Be sure to explore Cross Campus and LinkedIn to identify alumni to connect with. In addition, many Yale GSAS alums have shared their experience in academic administration though our GSAS and Postdoc Community Spotlights, including:

  • Tom Magaldi, PhD Genetics: Administrator of Career and Professional Development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Amy Hodge, PhD Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry: Science Data Librarian for Stanford University Libraries
  • Dina Dommett, PhD Italian:   Director of Student & Programme Services at Oxford Saïd Business School
  • Leigh Harris, PhD English Language and Literature: Associate Director of UCLA Writing Program

Learn from Current Academic Administrators @Yale

Holding informational interviews is a terrific way to learn more a career path and build your professional network.

  • Click here to connect with administrators with PhDs at Yale who have volunteered to discuss their experience with GSAS students and postdocs.
  • Participate in the Yale Graduate and Professional Student Senate‘s Academic Administration Mentorship Program. Look out for the call for applications during the academic year!

Selected Online Resources

There are numerous additional resources to learn about career paths in academic administration, including Individual Development Plan online tools, academic association websites, and publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education. Get started with this sample of online resources:

Gain Relevant Experience in Academic Administration

By Yale Office of Career Strategy
Yale Office of Career Strategy