Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) will help you prepare for your future and make the most out of your time as a graduate engineering student at Purdue University. Using this resource, you can outline your vision for the next several years of your graduate studies, plan for your future career, and set goals based on the skills you want to develop or refine.

Individual schools in the College of Engineering will use the IDP in different ways and they may modify the IDP for their specific requirements. For instance, ABE studentsBME students, and ME students are required to use the IDP resources specific to their schools. When in doubt, always defer to your school's IDP procedures. 

There are two versions of the IDP: Version 1.0 is for students that are just beginning their graduate studies, while Version 2.0 is for students to use at any point between their second semester and graduation.

Developing Your IDP

Step 1: Self-Assessment of Skillset

This is a self-paced assessment designed to guide the process of identifying your current levels of development in a number of skills. Some of these skills will be more valuable to your growth and development for your future career than others, but this assessment will allow you the opportunity to identify gaps that exist in your skillset. For any skills that you would like to develop or refine, check out the seminars and workshops offered by The Graduate School that are specifically designed for your professional development. The College of Engineering will also have opportunities for you to engage and practice a multitude of skills.

Step 2: Individual Development Plan

Using the assessment of your skills in Step 1, focus on the skills you would like to improve and set achievable goals for the upcoming year in this section. The more specific the goal, the more likely you are to complete it. Examples are included to show how to approach completing Step 2. While the skills identified in Step 1 are the best place to start, you may think about other skills not mentioned in that section to include here as well.

Step 3: Advisor/Student Meeting

This section of the IDP is geared toward mentor-mentee relationships and setting academic, research, and professional development guidelines with your advisor. Use this as an opportunity to set expectations with your advisor and monitor your progress toward a number of benchmarks you create in this section.

Step 4: Individual Development Plan for Future Years

Use this section after your first year to update your IDP based on annual progress. Include your progress on the skills you listed in Step 2 and set new goals for the coming year(s) related to research and scientific skills, communication skills, leadership and classroom management, diversity and inclusion values, and personal and career development.

Resources for Filling Out Your IDP

Creating your Individual Development Plan will require some time and reflection; however, this process can have a significant impact on your experience as a graduate student. Filling out and following up on your IDP will help you plan for your future and minimize some of the feelings of stress or imposter syndrome you may experience at various stages of your graduate student experience.

Use the myIDP resource below to begin the process of creating your own IDP.

myIDP Online Tool