Leadership Certificate

How to Apply Checklist

Overview, Requirements and Background




How to Apply Checklist

Early planning is important; students must allow sufficient time to acquire prior approval from the Certificate in Leadership Studies advisors and other University departments. The checklist below may be helpful in the planning process:

1. ___ Complete the Plan of Study Form (fill in, save, then print). It is possible to complete this PDF iconCertificate Online
2. ___ Schedule an appointment to review your Plan of Study form with a Certificate in Leadership Studies advisor in the Pomerantz Career Center (call 319-335-1023).  The advisor will provide you with the registration codes for the required core courses. (Restricted to students with sophomore standing or above and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00). Administrative Log-in for Plan of Study Form
3. ___ Declare that you are pursuing the Certificate of Leadership Studies on MyUI
4. ___ Register for and successfully complete the core course(s).
5. ___ Complete the additional academic electives. To request a substitute course be considered by the faculty advisory committee, please follow the PDF iconcourse substitution guidelines
6. ___

Complete the experiential course work. Choose one of the 3 options:

  • 1. Internship Option - Contact Amanda McFadden in the Pomerantz Career Center to get internship approved (319-335-1023).
  • 2. On-Campus Leadership Practicum Option - Contact Paul Mintner in the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership to get practicum approved (319-335-3059).
  • 3. Service Learning Option - LS:3002 - Career Leadership Academy Part 2

    More information on these options can be found in the general catalog
7. ___ Complete the final report detailing how the Certificate in Leadership Studies requirements have been fulfilled.
8. ___ Schedule an appointment with a Pomerantz Career Center staff member to submit and discuss the final report to have your coursework verified and receive final approval and signatures.  Please call 319-335-1023 to schedule an appointment. The Pomerantz Career Center staff will notify the Registrar that the requirements have been met.


Overview, Requirements and Background

A total of 20-21 hours of coursework is required to earn the Certificate in Leadership Studies: Up to two, 3-hour core interdisciplinary courses, 12-15 hours of area electives (in self-leadership and group leadership, communication, cultural competency, and ethics and integrity), and 2-3 hours of experiential learning. In addition, a final personal and program evaluation is required as part of the graduation application. Each requirement is explained in the general catalog.

To complete the Certificate in Leadership Studies, students must complete a final plan of study and have their coursework verified to receive final approval.

Call 319-335-1023 to schedule an appointment with a Certificate in Leadership Studies Advisor.


Background - The need for competent and effective leaders in today's complex and global communities has always been a pressing issue and, consequently, leadership development programs have a long history in higher education. The Certificate in Leadership Studies is available to all undergraduate students at The University of Iowa, regardless of major. The certificate offers undergraduate students access to an integrated curricular and co-curricular, multi-disciplinary experience that challenges them to take on more responsibility for themselves and their communities. The certificate will provide a structure for involvement, introducing students to the concepts of leadership while giving them the necessary, hands-on leadership experiences to begin the life-long development of these skills.

Certainly one certificate cannot create leaders, but it can provide incentive for that first leadership experience and an academic understanding of how and why leadership is important. By earning a certificate, students are introduced to these basic goals and skills and are called on to make a conscious commitment to lead.

Real world leadership requires a constellation of knowledge and skills that includes but is certainly not limited to: managing oneself, coordinating the work of groups, acting with integrity, communicating effectively, and leveraging benefits of diverse ways of thinking and acting. As of Fall 2015, the coursework for the Certificate for Leadership Studies will include 2 core courses - Perspectives on Leadership: Principles and Practices and Leadership Theory to practice which utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to studying leadership (all students will take); additional electives focused on the following areas: self leadership, group leadership, ethics and integrity, cultural competency, and communication; and an experiential learning component. 

Clearly no single academic discipline and no one unit within the University can adequately cover all of these topics. For this reason, the Certificate in Leadership Studies will be coordinated by a multi-disciplinary committee composed of faculty from the Colleges of Business, Education, and Liberal Arts & Sciences, administered by the Pomerantz Career Center, and supported by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. The Certificate in Leadership Studies is housed in University College under the Leadership Studies Department (LS).



  • Undergraduate students pursuing a degree from the University of Iowa are eligible for the certificate.
  • Students must declare their intention to pursue the certificate on MyUI. 
  • Students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree from The University of Iowa may return to complete or earn the certificate if they are not enrolled in a graduate or professional program.
  • Holders of baccalaureate degrees from other institutions who are not enrolled in a graduate or professional program may enroll at the University of Iowa to complete the certificate.
  • A maximum of 6 s.h. of approved transfer credit may be counted toward the certificate. Transfer credit must be approved by the home department or college.
  • A course may not be used to satisfy more than one certificate requirement.
  • Students who want to pursue an internship to satisfy the experiential learning requirement for the Certificate in Leadership Studies must consult with a Pomerantz Career Center staff member in advance.
  • When students complete the certificate requirements and graduate, the Certificate in Leadership Studies is noted on their transcript.
  • Certificate in Leadership Studies courses may be used to satisfy major or minor requirements.



Advising services will be provided by the Pomerantz Career Center. Please call 319-335-1023 and ask to schedule an appointment with one of the Certificate in Leadership Studies Advisors.