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Leadership Undergraduate Certificate, adult online

Employers want people who can problem solve, think critically, and work as part of a team. A leadership certificate from Grand Valley State University develops these skills, enhancing your major degree of study and preparing you for your future career.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The certificate in leadership focuses on social change and business communication, and it includes further exploration into organizational theory, team building, design thinking, and grant writing.

Skills Employers Want

The leadership certificate provides you with essential skills necessary for 21st century, cross-sector leadership:

  • Leadership integrity, identity and values
  • Structural awareness
  • Interpersonal and conflict management skills
  • Diversity and cultural competency
  • Creative and critical decision-making
  • Written and oral communication skills

Why Study Leadership at Grand Valley?

  • While earning your leadership development certification, you will be gaining professional skills that employers are looking for such as team building and ethics.
  • You can create stackable credentials that enhance your degree and bolster your resume.
  • Our faculty and support staff provide direct, practical guidance to ensure you thrive.
  • Unlike many other leadership courses, our leadership training certification program is available fully online and can be completed in one year or less.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.


For new students, visit the Online Degree Completion website for undergraduate requirements to apply for the certificate. 

For current students:

  • Declare your certificate via myBanner (Login to Banner Self-Service, click on Student, Student Records, Add a Certificate or Badge to your Program, Select the appropriate certificate from the drop down list, and click Submit)
  • Speak with the appropriate certificate coordinator to ensure criteria are being met (you will be able to track your progress toward the certificate in myPath as well!)
  • Once you are done with the requirements, apply to receive the certificate via myBanner.
  • Once the completion of your certificate has been verified, the certificate will be posted to your student record and will be viewable on your transcript. 

To learn more about this certificate either as part of a degree or as a stand-alone certificate option, schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Location & Format

Classes for this major are offered online and in accelerated (6-week) formats. Students wishing to take in-person classes may do so on the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses with some courses also offered in Traverse City.



The leadership certificate is comprised of 12 credits.

Required core classes:

  • INT 312 - Collaborative Communication
  • INT 341 - Leadership for Social Change

Plus, any two of the following:

  • INT 310 - Creativity
  • INT 323 - Design Thinking to Meet Real-World Needs
  • INT 331 - Person and Profession
  • COM 438 - Communication Ethics
  • MGT 345 - Team Building
  • PA 390 - Leadership Dynamics
  • PA 420 - Organization Theory and Dynamics
  • WRT 350 - Business Communication

For More Information

Adult and Continuing Studies

(616) 331-7180