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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 21, 2024
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Leadership Certificate

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The Certificate in Leadership provides a structured framework of courses and experiences for acquiring the basic practical and analytical skills required of successful public and private sector leaders. Offered by the University of Pittsburgh College of General Studies, this program uses the skills and knowledge of students to help advance their careers further, and take their organizations to the next level.

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.

Who should participate:

The Certificate in Leadership is open to any University of Pittsburgh degree-seeking student, regardless of current school or college, who anticipates moving into a leadership role in business, nonprofit, or other organization.

Upon completion of this certificate, participants 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 effectivein that situation
  • Determine one’s fit to the leadership-related challenges of an organization and what one would need to be more effective as a leader in that situation.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet requirements for admission to the College of General Studies. A certificate application form must be completed and submitted online to the College of General Studies.

Obtaining the Certificate

To receive the certificate, you must fill out an online graduation application through the Pitt Portal prior to completing your last term in the program. Visit Graduation / Diplomas on the Registrar’s website for the instructions and check the  Graduating with a CGS degree/ certificate website for the submission deadline.  Contact a CGS advisor to confirm that all requirements for the certificate have been met. To avoid a late fee, you should complete this process when registering for the term. 

Pre-Requisite 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.

Recommended Pre-Requisite Courses


Applicants without this coursework may be admitted provisionally but must complete the prerequisites prior to taking the LDRSHP 1200 Seminar course.

Co-Curricular Requirement: Emerging Leaders Program

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

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.

Curriculum (18 credits)

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)

Students must complete LDRSHP 1100 and the program pre-requisite requirements listed above prior to registering for LDRSHP 1200. 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.


Students may not use more than one of each of the courses in these groups: 1) ANTH 0701 and 0780; 2) ANTH 1755, SOC 0444 and URBNST 1614.


Requirements subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.

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