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Preparing Future Faculty

The Preparing Future Faculty program is a mentorship and career development program that helps graduate students from any discipline discern whether they are interested in pursuing faculty careers in liberal arts colleges or small universities.

The premier feature of the program is an arranged mentorship between PFF fellows and faculty teaching in the Graduate School’s partner colleges and universities in Ohio.

Participants also engage in a series of professional and career development workshops and other events developed for the program. 

The program is best suited to graduate students who are one to two years away from conducting an academic job search.


  • Graduate students who are completing their PhD, MFA, or equivalent degree and who are interested in exploring faculty career options.
  • PhD students must be post-candidacy at the time the course begins.


Eligible students can apply for the Preparing Future Faculty program during the spring term. 

Due to COVID-19 the Preparing for Future Faculty is on hold till further notice.

The application will tentatively open in October and November 2020. Please check back regularly for more information.

PFF Application

The following items will need to be uploaded before you can submit your application.

  • Statement of Interest

    Provide a statement of interest that is no more than one single-spaced page. The following questions may be used as guidelines:

    • Why are you applying for the Preparing Future Faculty Program? What do you hope to gain from PFF?
    • What is your teaching experience? What areas of teaching are you interested in developing?
    • What are your academic career goals? With what sorts of institutions do you perceive the best fit and why?
  • Letter of recommendation

    Provide a letter of recommendation from an Ohio State faculty member. Please request that your recommender focus on your teaching experiences, abilities, and potential. Information about your research is helpful if it can be related to future work in the classroom.

    Please upload the file through the application or have the letter sent to:

  • Curriculum vitae

    Provide a copy of your most current curriculum vitae


The program runs as a graduate level course through the Graduate School. The 2019-20 program will be held during autumn semester 2019. Students who participate are enrolled for one credit during fall semester.

Preparing Future Faculty fellows make at least three and four visits to their mentor at their mentor’s school. These visits are planned jointly by the fellow and faculty mentor to address the fellow’s questions/interests, to showcase the faculty mentor’s institution, and to benefit from the faculty member’s experience and expertise.

Campus visits may involve:

  • Observing classes
  • Discussing hiring, faculty review, and tenure processes
  • Discussing teaching philosophies, methodologies, and practices
  • Presenting a workshop or seminar based on the student’s research
  • Touring lab/clinical facilities
  • Speaking with undergraduate students about graduate school life
  • Visiting departmental and university governance meetings
  • Designing a course for a liberal arts setting
  • Discussing successful academic career development
  • Delivering a practice job talk and participating in a mock interview process
  • Discussing the research culture of the institution and possibilities for collaborative research with undergraduates and other departments
  • Pursuing activities specific to a mentor and the host campus


The Graduate School’s Preparing Future Faculty program has been in place since 1996 and was one of the original seventeen institutions involved in the national initiative led by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). The program was originally funded by AAC&U, CGS, the National Science Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts,and The Atlantic Philanthropies. Of the original seventeen institutions, Ohio State is the last to follow the original model of facilitating one-on-one mentorships between graduate students and faculty at local, small colleges.

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Karin Jordan,