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The Benefits of a Doctoral Peer Mentor

When you’re working on a doctoral degree, it’s essential to have support.

Family members and friends can provide encouragement while you’re earning your doctoral degree, but inviting someone to step into a formal mentorship role can result in added benefits. A doctoral peer mentor brings direct experience to the relationship, providing valuable advice, tips for academic success, and personalized guidance. They also offer the perspective of a peer—unlike a faculty mentor, they are students like you, just a little closer to the finish line. Here are a few benefits of having a doctoral peer mentor.

Easing the Transition to Graduate Work

The Benefits of a Doctoral Peer Mentor

When you enroll in a doctoral program, you’ll immediately face a learning curve—not just in your academic courses, but also with the policies and procedures of your institution. Connecting early with a peer mentor can help you get your bearings, whether it’s navigating paperwork and course requirements or planning your dissertation.

If you’re working full time while pursuing your doctoral degree, a peer mentor can empathize with the challenge of juggling career, academics, and personal life. They might share tips for managing your workload, maximizing productivity, and identifying and pursuing your goals as you transition to being a student again.

Helping Students Succeed

A recent study shows that graduate student peer mentoring positively affects academic, social, psychological, and career outcomes.1 Your mentor can help you understand the culture of the department and institution, providing a listening ear and a place to ask questions. When you’re earning your doctoral degree online, it can be challenging to feel like a part of the university community—but starting your journey with a mentor can help you connect more quickly and tap into the resources available to you as a student.

Fostering Camaraderie

The life of a graduate student can be lonely and difficult. Having a peer mentor gives you a built-in friend and advocate who is ready and willing to help. Some programs organize periodic meetings with other mentors and mentees, offering a social gathering opportunity and a chance to network with other doctoral candidates in your discipline and university.

Ultimately, connecting with a peer mentor who will offer candid feedback, encouragement, and support can enhance your academic journey and yield many positive results.

Your Doctoral Journey

Earning a doctorate won’t be easy, but as the No. 1 granter of doctoral research degrees in the U.S.,2 Walden knows what it takes. As a new doctoral student at Walden, you will be connected to a doctoral peer mentor mentor who is eager to provide social support, tips, and guidance during the first few months of your program. You can be assured we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line. Learn more about the many benefits of beginning your doctoral journey at Walden.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering doctoral degree programs online in a range of disciplines. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


2Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Based on the most recent year of completions survey data available, using all classifications of instructional programs (CIP) codes. A doctoral research degree is a PhD or other doctoral degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial scholarly achievement. Available at (Retrieved January 2021; may consist of or include provisional release data.)

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,