Why leadership? Through the example of their action, the inspiration of their vision, and the persuasion of their words, leaders help build individual actions into collective achievements. Whether you are beginning your first year as a graduate student or preparing to go on the job market degree-in-hand, the (learnable!) skills of exceptional leadership will help you translate the disciplinary expertise and experience you have acquired in your degree program into your broader professional life and aspirations. Seeking to understand the dynamics of group processes and your role within them, you can expand your capacity for self-awareness and become more mindful of and responsive to those around you. Developing a skilled leadership practice enhances your efficacy in the many leading roles you may occupy: as teacher, researcher, mentor, manager, team leader, advocate, student government officer, innovator, and entrepreneur.

The graduate student leadership certificate program introduces a range of leadership theory, practical skills, and special topics relevant for application in academic and other professional contexts. With a varied format including readings, interactive group activities, case studies, panel discussions, and professionally conducted workshop sessions, program participants learn about major trends in contemporary leadership thought, uncover core values for adaptive leadership in times of change, develop practical negotiation and conflict resolution skills, and discuss modes of translating collaborative teamwork into the positive, productive employment of different disciplinary perspectives and backgrounds that students bring to the program.

Topics Typically Covered in the Leadership Certificate Program

  • Introduction to Leadership
  • Presentation and Self-Presentation
  • Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership and 360-Degree Assessment
  • Negotiation and Collaboration
  • Diversity, Campus Climate, and Cultural Competency
  • Academic Leadership and Shared Governance
  • Project and Budget Management
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution
  • Awareness, Neuroscience, and the Mindful Leader
  • Actualizing Your Leadership Potential

To apply send electronically to vpdgs@ucsc.edu (Subject Line: Graduate Leadership Program) the following:

  1. A one-page letter of application. Include the following information: your name, degree program and department, year in program and candidacy status, intended year of completion, and brief (3-4 sentences maximum) description of your academic and research foci. In a second paragraph explain your interest in participating in the leadership program: particular areas of interest, needs and goals that might be addressed by it.
  2. A brief email endorsement by your faculty advisor or principal investigator (PI) stating that you are in good academic standing and that they approve your participation in and dedication of time to the leadership program during winter quarter.

Students from all disciplines and any graduate program (doctor’s and master’s) may apply. Approximately 20 students are selected for participation each year.