MILWAUKEE — A career in academia has long been the expected track after completing a doctoral degree in the humanities, but the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is challenging that wisdom with help from a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
UWM was one of 28 schools nationwide to receive a Next Generation PhD grant as part of the NEH’s efforts to prepare humanities doctoral students for careers beyond academia. UWM will use the grant to develop new curriculum, bolster faculty mentorship and advising programs, and foster alumni and community support for doctoral programs and students.
“Humanities PhDs are highly trained specialists whose expertise translates well into many kinds of roles that require critical analysis and creative thinking,” said David Clark, the associate dean of the humanities in UWM’s College of Letters & Science. “As a result, for many years they have found employment outside of academia, often in really interesting roles we hadn’t even imagined. This grant will work with faculty, past and current students, and partners in the local business and non-profit communities to make training for non-academic roles a more central and deliberate part of what we do.”
The award is a planning grant that will allow UWM to pinpoint changes to programs over the course of the 2016-17 school year. Specific measures include evaluating the addition of courses in scientific and technical communication, exploring new field placements that give practical experience, and creating faculty guides for advising students about non-academic career paths.
UWM has 33 doctoral programs. Its humanities PhD programs include communication, history, and English. It was recently recognized as one of the nation’s top 115 research institutions by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, in part on the strength of its doctoral programs.
Follow the national conversation about this topic on Twitter at #NextGenPhD.
Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to more than 27,000 students from 81 countries. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. With a budget of $667 million, UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2016 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews.