Innovative. Compassionate. Visionary. Fair. These are just some of the key traits expected of today’s leaders. If you’re looking to advance your career, take your business to the next level, or simply grow both professionally and personally, a certificate in leadership can help you expand your knowledge and hone your skills.
This 18-credit program is designed for students looking to become a more attractive candidate for a managerial or leadership position in their chosen field, or for those students looking to enter into the business, nonprofit, government, or corporate world.
The CGS Difference
The College of General Studies leadership certificate gives students, regardless of background and field, a structured framework of courses and experiences for acquiring the basic practical and analytical skills required of successful public and private sector leaders.
*This certificate is only open to Pitt undergraduates and is not a standalone certificate program—it must be completed in conjunction with a degree program.
Graduates of this program will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge of leadership theories and models, such as situational, participative, transformational, and servant leadership.
Identify and evaluate the effectiveness of different communicative styles and communicate clearly and effectively themselves.
Analyze an organization in its cultural, social, historical, developmental, geographic, and/or competitive aspects and decide which type of leadership style would be most effective in that situation.
Determine their fit to the leadership-related challenges of an organization and what they would need to be more effective as a leader in that situation.
Program Prerequisites / Admission Requirements
Students seeking a leadership certificate must be in good academic standing and should have already completed two basic courses in communication, one each in oral and written, with a grade of C or better.
b. ENGCMP 0400, ENGCMP 0420, ENGCMP 0440, ENGCMP 0450, ENGCMP 0550, or ENGWRT 0610. Alternatively, refer to the following thematic course clusters and select a lower-level professional writing course that best fits your academic interests and needs.
Note: Applicants without this coursework may be admitted provisionally but must complete the prerequisites prior to taking the LDRSHP 1200 Seminar course.
This certificate has a co-curricular requirement: completion of Pitt’s Panther Leadership Academy, a 20-week non-credit program run by the Office of Student Affairs. In the course of this program, participants gain exposure to leadership-related issues through workshops and sessions on communications, conflict management, power, influence, diversity, ethics, and personal development plans.
Note: Students must send proof of completion of Pitt's Panther Leadership Academy program to CGS Advising at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may request to use an alternative, comparable leadership experience (e.g., ROTC Leadership Training, president of student government, or VIH program participant, etc.). This request should be made to a CGS academic advisor and include a detailed rationale explaining how this leadership experience supports the goals of the certificate and your course of study.
The leadership certificate requires 18 credits of core and elective courses.
a. A required two-course sequence for a total of six credits, covering leadership theories and how to have situational effectiveness as a leader.
b. Four elective courses (12 credits) from the areas of Leadership and Ethics, Interpersonal Relations, and Situational Analysis. Students may petition for a non-listed course (of personal interest or from their discipline) to fulfill the fourth elective requirement or choose a course from the list of approved electives. At least half of the courses must be at the 1000-level.
- Achieve a minimum grade of C (2.0) or better for all courses required for the program.
- Credits earned at other accredited educational institutions may be eligible for transfer. However, a minimum of nine credits must be earned at the University of Pittsburgh.
Required Courses: (6 Credits)
Complete both courses. The co-curricular requirement can be completed prior or concurrently with the Leadership Seminar.
Electives: (12 Credits)
Complete at least one course from each of the three designated areas, four courses in all (a minimum of 12 credits). At least half of the courses must be at the 1000-level.
Area One: Leadership and Ethics
Select a course from Philosophy and elsewhere on ethical reasoning and decision-making.
The following courses may also be used by qualified students as Leadership electives:
Area Two: Interpersonal Relations
Choose from courses in Psychology, Communications, English Composition, and elsewhere on advanced interpersonal communications, including negotiation, persuasion, dispute resolution, and small group behavior.
Area 3: Situational Analysis
Take a course from Anthropology, Sociology, and elsewhere and gain insight into a broader dimension or aspect of an organization of interest, or the population with which it interacts.
Additional Information: Students may not use more than one of each of the courses in these groups: 1) ANTH 0701 and 0780; 2) ANTH 1755 and SOC 0444.
As you plan your certificate coursework, please make sure to review the CGS Course Overlap policy for information on how many courses can be double-counted if a student elects to pursue a CGS certificate in combination with other CGS and non-CGS majors, minors, and certificates. If you have questions, please contact your CGS advisor or CGS Advising at CGSAdv@pitt.edu.
Note: Requirements are subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.