Program Overview

Fundamentals of Leadership

In this program, students learn both the skills of leadership as well as their personal leadership strengths. Each course is designed with a self-assessment module and then continues with practical ways to implement the leadership strategies discussed. This setup allows students to learn to be effective leaders and to be able to explore leadership and management either on-the-job or in an additional certificate or graduate program. To achieve these results, students will be taught by industry leaders, experienced coaches and change management professionals who will cover topics including leading organizations, managing change, mentoring emerging leaders and building effective teams.

Program Goals

After completing the program, students will be able to:

  • Describe their strengths and blind spots
  • Determine leadership behaviors that align with business strategy
  • Explain the benefits of creating a “learning from mistakes” culture
  • Evaluate the success of change case studies according to a change model or framework
  • Recognize conflict resolution styles in themselves and others

Joint/Custom Certificate

Earn a joint certificate by combining this certificate with any other Professional Development Program offered by SCS. Students who select this option should let the PDP academic coordinator know of their intent early before they complete their first certificate by emailing pdp@northwestern.edu. Some examples of the joint certificate may be:


  • Project Management Leadership
  • Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizational Leadership
  • Museum Leadership

Who Should Attend

The program targets new managers who have recently been promoted and want to groom themselves for further advancement. Corporations may wish to send groups of new managers to the program in order to foster a consistent leadership culture in their newly emerging directors and managers. Mid-career and long-time managers are also welcome to take these courses and will benefit from both the foundational knowledge and interacting with a diverse array of leaders at all levels in their career.

Certificate Requirements

The Fundamentals of Leadership certificate consists of three required courses that may be taken in any order. You may substitute an elective course for one (1) core course. Permission is not required.

The next course offerings are:

  • Leadership and Organizational Strategy: March 2014
  • Leaders as Change Agents: November 2013 and April 2014
  • Developing People and Teams: December 2013 and May 2014

Follow the links below for specific dates and to register.

Core Courses:

  • LEAD_ART 200-0 Leadership and Organizational
  • LEAD_ART 202-0 Leaders as Change Agents
  • LEAD_ART 204-0 Developing People and Teams

Elective Courses:

  • LEAD_ART 206-0 Tech Planning for Leaders
  • LEAD_ART 207-DL Sustainability Leadership