Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Leadership (GCL) is designed to provide a strong foundation for students to establish and build their leadership skills; examine the theory and practice of personal leadership; and develop an appreciation for open and interconnected systems within organizations and communities.

This three-course, nine-credit graduate certificate program is delivered over three months and includes 10 weeks of online study and one two-week on-campus learning residency. Through this experiential program you will work in a cohort environment, practicing the current tools and strategies to improve communication and leadership in teams and groups, as well as examining the theories and practice of leading productive teams or facilitating effective groups.

The program curriculum is driven through developing a sophisticated understanding of the following areas:

  • Leadership
  • Systems Thinking and Planning
  • Learning 
  • Organizations and Organizational Change
  • Research and Inquiry
  • Team Building
  • Communication
  • Innovation

The GCL program is comprised of the following three courses:

  • LEAD 526: Fundamentals of Personal Leadership and Learning
  • LEAD 527: Communications and Leadership in Groups and Teams 
  • LEAD 528: Leadership in Systems 

Students can take this as a standalone program or use it to ladder into the Master of Arts in LeadershipMaster of Arts in Leadership (Health) or Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies programs.

Who It’s For

This program is ideal for those looking to improve their leadership skills in order to thrive within an organization. The program is also well suited for current or aspiring leaders interested in improving their skillset within the realm of organizational leadership, but aren’t currently ready to pursue a full master’s degree.

Applicants who do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission may be assessed based on both their formal education and their informal learning, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Policy. Please visit the program admission page for more information.

Program Structure


  • The program starts online for 5 weeks. In addition to course readings, interaction with fellow students in your cohort, and beginning assignments, you’ll learn about the RRU learning platform (Moodle), and find out more about our learning community and resources.


  • You will join a 2-week on-campus learning experience, where you’ll get to interact face-to-face with your instructors, cohort and team. You’ll complete homework and meetings outside of regular class hours, making this an intensive and rewarding time.


  • Online learning courses are delivered during the last 5 weeks of the program. Supported by your cohort; you’ll work through courses at your own pace, while meeting deadlines for assignments and activities.