Certificate in Leadership and Communication

Certificate in Leadership and Communication
Leadership and Communication

About the Online Leadership and Communication Certificate

Whether you’re seeking to position yourself for advancement or enhance your abilities in your current role, the online Certificate in Leadership and Communication can help you take your career to the next level. Ideal for working adults, each course introduces a set of professional skills, communication strategies, and critical thinking skills that will help you leverage your strengths to become a more effective leader in any field. In addition to detailed one-on-one feedback from instructors tailored to your personal goals, leadership and communication courses offer the opportunity to learn from other students who bring a wide range of professional experience and skills to the classroom.  

The Certificate in Leadership and Communication was designed in partnership with Civic, a Washington, DC-based organization that partners with institutions in a variety of sectors to develop new policy initiatives.

Leadership and Communication Certificate Requirements

The Certificate in Leadership and Communication is a 5-course, 5 c.u.* credit program of study taught by University of Pennsylvania faculty. To earn the certificate, students complete a total of five online leadership and communication courses and maintain a 3.0 overall grade point average (GPA). Students who complete the basic certificate may pursue an advanced certificate (7-course, 7 c.u.) by adding two additional leadership and communication courses, as listed below.

Flexible Course Schedule and Tuition

Penn LPS Online courses in the Certificate in Leadership and Communication are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. While most courses provide original lectures and materials you can engage with online on your own schedule, some courses in this certificate program require a weekly synchronous session.

You have the option to enroll in individual leadership and communication courses without committing to the entire online certificate, enjoying the flexibility and expertise offered by Penn LPS Online to suit your schedule and interests. Visit the Cost of Attendance page for course tuition and fee rates.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

The Certificate in Leadership and Communication prepares you to:

  • Identify, develop and apply distinctive leadership traits and skills
  • Develop strategies and skills to persuade specific audiences through verbal, visual, and written communication
  • Practice and apply critical thinking skills in the classroom and beyond
  • Understand and apply insights from empirical research in economics, psychology, and other social sciences
  • Explore competing schools of thought about leadership ethics
  • Develop a five-year leadership plan tailored to your professional strengths and goals
  • Learn how to use quantitative data in decision-making and problem-solving

Online Leadership and Communication Courses

Certificate students must complete a total of five courses to earn the Certificate in Leadership and Communication:

To earn an Advanced Certificate in Leadership and Communication, students must also complete two of these courses:

Courses are subject to change.

The Penn Leadership and Communication Team

Penn’s Leadership and Communication curriculum represents a team effort involving distinguished Penn-affiliated scholars and top present and former leaders in government, business, and the nonprofit sector. Both the 5-course Leadership and Communication Certificate and the 12-course Leadership and Communication concentration were forged through a collaboration between Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) and Civic. As Penn’s home for lifelong learning, LPS offers high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, summer, and online studies, as well as customized professional training with courses that span across academic fields. Civic works with universities, nonprofits, corporations, foundations, businesses, and governments to develop innovative programs in the fields of education, national service, civic engagement, conservation, public health, and more.

Meet the Leadership and Communication team

Chao Guo, PhD

Chao Guo, PhD

  • Associate Faculty Director, Fox Leadership International
  • Associate Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice
Ferdous Jahan, PhD

Ferdous Jahan, PhD

  • Distinguished Senior Fellow, Fox Leadership International
Don Kettl, PhD

Don Kettl, PhD

  • Former Dean, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
John Lapinski

John Lapinski, PhD

  • Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor, Faculty Director of the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, University of Pennsylvania
  • Faculty Director of Penn’s Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies
  • Director of the Elections Unit, NBC News
Nora E. Lewis

Nora E. Lewis

  • Vice Dean of Professional and Liberal Education
Elizabeth Matthew

Elizabeth Matthew, EdD

  • Former Associate Director, Curriculum Development and Instruction, Penn LPS Online
Rebecca Padot

Rebecca Padot, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Department of History and Government, Misericordia University
  • Senior Fellow, Penn Partnership for Religion and Urban Civil Society
  • Penn Partnership for Effective Public Administration and Leadership
James O. Pawelski, PhD

James O. Pawelski, PhD

  • Faculty Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology
  • Professor of Practice and Director of Education, Positive Psychology Center
Charlotte Ren, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business

Charlotte Ren, PhD

  • Professor of Practice in Strategy and Innovation, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Faculty Director, Global Master of Public Administration, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Senior Fellow, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School
Stephanie Scott, PhD

Stephanie Scott, PhD

  • Associate Director, Online Curriculum
Joseph P. Tierney

Joseph P. Tierney

  • Executive Director of the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program

Professional outcomes related to leadership and communication

Leadership and communication skills are vital to succeeding, thriving, and advancing in any career. This certificate is designed to provide you with a thoughtful framework to deploy your leadership abilities while gaining valuable skills with broad professional applications in a range of fields.

  • Increase your effectiveness as a leader
  • Customize your approach to professional development
  • Practice strategies for impactful communication
  • Learn how data may be applied to decision-making in professional contexts

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