The Leadership Certificate focuses on social change and business communication and includes further exploration into organizational theory, team building, design thinking, and grant writing. Students will be developing professional skills that employers are looking for such as team building and ethics.

The Leadership Certificate is available as a free-standing certificate or as part of a major in Integrative Studies, including Grand Valley's LEADS (Lifelong Educational Attainment for Diverse Students) Program. The certificate is part of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS).

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Program Description

The Leadership Certificate prepares graduates with core training in six primary competencies:

  • Leadership Integrity (identity and values)
  • Structural Awareness
  • Interpersonal and Conflict Management Skills
  • Diversity and Cultural Competency
  • Creative/Critical Decision-Making
  • Written/Oral Communication Skills.

These competencies align with the essential skills necessary for 21st century, cross-sector leadership.

Earn the certificate as a free-standing certificate or as part of a major in Integrative Studies (B.A. or B.S.). Courses within this program are offered in fully online, 6-week accelerated formats for degree completion students. Any GVSU student can earn a Leadership Certificate by completing the required courses. These courses are offered in traditional, hybrid, and fully online formats. Many students are able to complete the certificate in one year or less.


$500 per credit hour. Most classes are 3 credits, so you can generally count on $1,500 per class.

Some options to help finance your degree include:

  • Grants and loans: Fill out the FAFSA.
  • Scholarships: Several scholarships are specifically targeted to adult students and our advisors are happy to help you find these.
  • Company deferment: This plan allows you to defer the amount your employer will pay in tuition benefits until the end of the semester.

Next Steps

Contact the School of Interdisciplinary Studies to speak with the Leadership Certificate Program Director, Dr. Santos Ramos who can help you plan the best and most direct course to complete the certificate requirements: (616) 331-8020 or [email protected]

Profile Picture of Dr. Santos Ramos

Dr. Santos Ramos, Leadership Certificate Program Director

Program Director Leadership Certificate

Santos Felipe Ramos is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Grand Valley State University, where he serves as the Program Director for the Leadership in Business Major, The Professional Innovation major, The Leadership Certificate and The Intercultural Communications Certificate and Badge. His research areas include food studies, digital studies, online learning, writing, and diversity education. 

Page last modified August 10, 2023