Resources for Graduate Students

Grad Student Cartoon

Learning Skills Services helps students succeed in graduate school. Check out the services below for information and ideas on how to balance the challenges of conducting research, writing your dissertation, and being an effective teacher. For tips on time management for grad students, click here.

  • Presentations and Workshops for Graduate Students
  • Presentations for International Graduate Students
  • GRADUpdATE: Twice Monthly E-mailout
  • Individual Counselling
  • Learning Help Centre
  • Self-help Books in SDC's Resource Library
  • Websites for Graduate Students

  • Presentations and workshops offered by SDC's Learning Skills Counsellors are described below.

    Time Management for Graduate Students
    Good time management skills are often crucial to your success as a graduate student. This Learning Skills presentation offers planning and organizational strategies and explores ways to increase motivation and productivity.

    • Click here for current offerings and online registration. Note: Not all topics are offered each term.

    Reading Strategies for Graduate Students
    In this workshop we will discuss and practice various efficient and effective approaches to reading academic material, including skimming, scanning, and careful/analytical reading. We will also address how to deal with a large volume of reading, and with difficult parts of text. The last thirty minutes will be devoted to issues relating to reading in a second or non-primary language, including strategies for approaching difficult vocabulary.

    • Click here for current offerings and online registration. Note: Not all topics are offered each term.

    Transitioning to Graduate School
    Making the transition to graduate school can be exciting, but also challenging. In this workshop we will explore the common challenges students encounter in graduate school and gain a better understanding of the expectations and demands of graduate level work. We will identify the skills that are most important to your success as a graduate student, and we will explore strategies and resources that will help you to more effectively manage and progress through this new and exciting learning journey.

    • Click here for current offerings and online registration. Note: Not all topics are offered each term.

    "SDC's Graduate Student Support Group"
    Co-facilitated by SDC's Learning Skills Services, Psychological Services, and Writing Support Centre, this support group for graduate students is offered at various times throughout the fall, winter, and summer terms. Topics of discussion include time management strategies, managing writer's block, and understanding the relationships between perfectionism, anxiety, avoidance, and procrastination. Participants explore ways to increase motivation and manage stress related to graduate school tasks.

    • To check availability and register, visit and click on 'Psychological Services Groups'

    Presentations offered by SDC's Learning Skills Counsellors are described below. Click here for current offerings and online registration. Note: Not all topics are offered each term.

    How to Succeed in Graduate School: Key Strategies for International Students
    This presentation offers important strategies and resources for succeeding in graduate school. Topics include adjusting to Canadian academic culture and effectively managing your time.

    Reading Strategies for International Graduate Students
    This presentation discusses important reading strategies for graduate school.

    Subscribe to GRADUpdATE, our twice monthly e-mailout especially for graduate students. Every two weeks receive helpful suggestions and useful information on how to succeed in grad school. To receive send an e-mail to Type 'subscribe' as the subject and send - that's it!

    To access archives of past GRADUpdATE newsletters, join our Learning Skills: SDC OWL site by following these steps:
    1. click here to go to our OWL site
    2. sign in to our site
    3. click on the Join Site tool in the left hand menu
    4. then follow the directions given in OWL.
    Once you've successfully joined our site, the archives will appear in the left hand menu.

    A note to new Western students: if you were unable to join our site, please try again when you have access to OWL.

    Looking for help developing a plan to complete your thesis? Wanting progress check-ins to help keep you on track? Wondering how to improve your time management? Book a confidential individual appointment with a Learning Skills Counsellor in the Student Development Centre, Room 4100 WSS or call 519-661-2183.

    Drop-in assistance is available in the fall and winter terms, Monday through Friday in Room 4139, WSS. Hours are posted by the door and online - click here.

    Graduate students looking for volunteer experience are invited to apply for a Learning Skills Assistant position in the help centre. For more information see volunteer information.

    Self-help books for graduate students are available in our Resource Library in Room 4100, WSS. Drop by and take a look! To review chapter topics of a selection of these books, see Books for Graduate Students.

    SDC's Learning Skills Counsellors regularly review websites that may be of help to grad students. For an annotated listing of some of the favourites see Graduate Student Web Resources.

    Also from this web page:


    Information disclosed by students to SDC's Learning Skills Counsellors is confidential. It will not be shared with family, faculty, staff or others without written consent and will not become part of academic records.

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