Individual Development Plans

Each PhD student (unless graduating in the current semester or away for field research) is required to complete an IDP, discuss it with his/her supervisory chair or mentor, and submit a signed copy to Sue by April 20 of each academic year.  Students may update as needed or helpful.


The IDP and the discussion with the supervisory chair/mentor are intended to help the student reflect on his or her goals and paths to achieving those goals.  The steps are as follows:

  1. The student should complete a draft of the IDP using this template. This Word document is editable, so expand spacing where necessary, but do not delete any part of the form (other than the introductory pages 1-2).
  2. The student should email the draft of the IDP to the supervisory chair/mentor along with a request for an appointment to discuss it.
  3. The student should revise the IDP after the discussion (if necessary or helpful).
  4. The student and the supervisory chair/mentor should sign the IDP.  Either actual or electronic signatures are acceptable.
  5. The student or faculty member should email the Graduate Secretary a signed copy of the IDP. The name of the file should be Lastname_ Firstname_ IDP_year. Pdf, doc, or docx formats are acceptable.
    • Eg., Martinez_Michael_IDP_2018.pdf
    • If the IDP is an update to a previously submitted IDP in the same year, note year.
    • Eg., Martinez_Michael_IDP_2018b.pdf
  6. The deadline for receipt of the IDP (signed by both the student and the supervisory chair/mentor) by the Graduate Secretary is April 20 of each spring semester. Please allow enough time to schedule a meeting with your supervisory chair/mentor to discuss the IDP and get his/her signature.
  7. Access to the IDP is restricted to the student, his/her supervisory chair or mentor, the Department Chair, Graduate Coordinator, Associate Chair, and Graduate Secretary. Each student owns his/her IDP, and may or may not choose to share it with others.


If a supervisory chair is unavailable due to sabbatical or other leave in the Spring Semester, the student may choose to discuss the IDP with his/her co-chair (if s/he has one) or with another member of the supervisory committee. If the mentor is on leave and the student does not have a supervisory chair, the student should consult the Graduate Coordinator about who should discuss the IDP with him/her.