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School of Arts And Sciences

Leadership and Social Change

The Certificate in Leadership and Social Change is offered to students in the Women’s College as part of the Transformational Leaders program. It embodies the University’s commitment to the mission of its founders, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, to educate women to transform the world.

The Certificate in Leadership and Social Change prepares students to be catalysts for positive social change worldwide. Through a combination of interdisciplinary coursework, internship and service learning experiences, and professional development activities, students gain the knowledge and expertise to become leaders who make change happen. 

The certificate can be combined with any major, and is designed to complement and enrich a wide variety of disciplinary programs of study. Students are able to choose projects and courses that match their strengths and interests, and integrate the certificate requirements into their academic program rather than adding to their course load.

Certificate Requirements

Women’s College students begin the certificate program by completing a one-credit Emerging Leaders Lab, generally during their first year. This course builds students’ self-awareness, project management skills, and teamwork capabilities through service initiatives.

The program continues with Foundations of Leadership, which combines theoretical analysis of leadership with practical leadership-building experience. Students also select three discipline-based courses related to the study and practice of change-oriented leadership. 

The program culminates in a capstone leadership seminar, which integrates academic research with a social change project.  During the program, students are also invited to participate in professional networking and skills workshop activities to help them build the contacts and the expertise relevant to their particular leadership interests.

As part of the certificate program, students develop individual leadership portfolios which, along with the record of their academic achievements, serve to demonstrate their development as leaders.  Students’ leadership portfolios are generally submitted to the program coordinator in their senior year.