Advanced Graduate Leadership Certificate - Online

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Leadership

Offered By: College of Doctoral Studies

Examine Advanced Leadership Theories and Concepts With a Leadership Graduate Certificate

The graduate-level leadership certificate at Grand Canyon University (GCU) provides instruction in advanced leadership theories and concepts. Developed for existing managers, directors and executives, you will be taught advanced skills in strategic planning and change management, how to navigate complex ethical situations and how to manage aspects of leading global and diverse workforces.

Those who complete the graduate certificate in leadership and want to further explore complex theories of leadership can transfer to all EdD organizational leadership programs at GCU.

The online leadership certificate is designed to help you fill certain gaps in skills or deepen your knowledge of best leadership practices. GCU offers the nine-credit certificate program fully online to allow working professionals the opportunity to gain advanced leadership acumen on a more flexible schedule.

The online courses are conveniently delivered through a digital learning platform. Throughout the certificate program, you will have access to faculty who are knowledgeable in the leadership arena. You will also have the opportunity to network with peers in the program.

Those who may benefit from earning an advanced graduate certificate in leadership include:1

  • Recent graduates from a relevant master’s program
  • New employees in a leadership or administrative role
  • Career changers or those seeking to position themselves for possible career advancement into a leadership or administrative position
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Course Topics in the Graduate Online Leadership Certificate

As a student in the graduate certificate program, you will be taught key competencies through three leadership-focused courses. Topics covered in these courses include:

  • Multiple ethical frameworks, principles and theories as they apply to the study and practice of leadership, with a focus on corporate social responsibility.
  • The opportunities and challenges facing leaders in the global environment, with a focus on leading global and diverse workforces.
  • The impact of leadership and the effects of behaviors on the formulation and execution of strategy within an organization, focusing on the importance of resilience and change.

Career Opportunities With an Advanced Leadership Certificate

Leaders can benefit from a pursuit of lifelong learning — both personally and for the people they lead. Earning an advanced leadership graduate certificate from an accredited university can offer you the opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and position yourself for possible career advancement.

School leadership positions that are related to this graduate certificate program include:

  • Head of school/principal
  • District superintendent
  • Chief academic officer
  • Director of curriculum and instruction

Graduate Leadership Certificate FAQs

For those interested in building advanced skills in academic leadership, read through our answers to these frequently asked questions.

Earning a graduate certificate in leadership can help you complete specific advanced courses in less time than other degree programs. In a certificate program, you will be given the tools to advance your knowledge and fill gaps in your skill set to help prepare you to position yourself for possible career advancement or to meet the admission requirements for advanced education in academic leadership and administration.

At GCU, the three-course certificate in leadership program requires nine credits to completion. All courses are offered online so you can complete them on your schedule. You will receive support from knowledgeable faculty throughout the program.

Earning a graduate leadership certificate provides evidence of receiving an education specifically in leadership competencies. A certification, on the other hand, is proof of passing an exam or meeting industry standards in leadership, as determined by the issuing organization.

Courses in GCU’s certificate in leadership provide students with the opportunity to enhance skills in strategic planning, resiliency, corporate social responsibility and ethical leadership. Graduates of this certificate program may transfer the credits directly to GCU’s EdD in Organizational Leadership programs.

Complete the form on this page to get started on your graduate certificate in leadership.

1 Indeed Editorial Team. (2023, February 16). Q&A: Are Graduate Certificates Worth It? Indeed. Retrieved on June 5, 2023.

Total Credits: 9
Online: 8 weeks
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The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $740 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

9 credits
Degree Requirements:
9 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course examines multiple ethical frameworks, principles, and theories as they apply to the study and practice of leadership. Corporate social responsibility will be addressed from the perspective of ethical decision making. Prerequisite: RES-815.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the impact of leadership and the effects of behaviors on the formulation and execution of strategy within an organization. Topics include the increasing importance of resilience and change in today’s global and turbulent economy.

Course Description

This course explores the opportunities and challenges facing leaders in the global environment. The course topics focus on aspects of leading global and diverse workforces, and on theories of leadership and leadership development in diverse and global cultures.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.