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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. 

The application for the 201617 academic year is currently closed.

The application for the 201718 academic year is due on March 19, 2018 (5 p.m.) (was March 13).

PFF Application


The program runs as a graduate level course through the Graduate School. The experience extends for two semesters, and students who participate are enrolled for one credit fall semester and one credit spring 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

Partner Institutions

Otterbein College 
Capital University 
Kenyon College 
Wittenberg University 
Denison University


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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