Northwestern’s Center for Leadership offers the Undergraduate Leadership Program, a certificate program open to all Northwestern undergraduates. The interschool program helps students understand the nature of leadership and prepares them to become leaders on campus, in the community, and in their professions. ULP participants explore key leadership themes and issues, build and refine a personal leadership model, and develop foundational leadership assets.

Certificate Requirements (4 Units)

There are two options available for students to earn the Undergraduate Leadership Certificate. Both paths are listed below.

The path(s) students are eligible for is determined by when they took LDRSHP 204-0 Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership.

Students who took LDRSHP 204-0 Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership prior to January 1, 2020 may earn the Undergraduate Leadership Certificate through either Option #1 or Option #2. 

Students who took LDRSHP 204-0 Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership after January 1, 2020 are only eligible to earn the Undergraduate Leadership Certificate through Option #2.

Both paths require students to complete LDRSHP 204-0 Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership as a prerequisite before enrolling in the two courses that follow. 

Option #1

Step 1: Complete Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership (LDRSHP 204-0), offered each Fall and Spring.

Step 2: Complete Field Studies in Leadership (LDRSHP 396-0). The two-credit field study course is offered each fall, winter and spring quarter. This option allows you to design your own leadership development experience. Please review the special requirements for the field study.

Step 3: Complete a one-credit elective course. To complete the Undergraduate Leadership Certificate, you must successfully complete an elective course while enrolled at Northwestern. Electives give you the opportunity to learn about a particular aspect of leadership from the perspective of faculty members who come from a wide variety of disciplines. While we recommend that you take your elective course after you complete Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership (LDRSHP 204-0), the elective course may be taken at any time during your undergraduate career. You’ll find a list of approved elective courses below. You may also petition to add a course to this list by contacting lead.northwestern.edu.

Option #2

Step 1: Complete Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership (LDRSHP 204-0),  offered each Fall and Spring.

Step 2: Complete Leading from Design LDRSHP 304-0), offered each Fall and Winter.

Step 3: Complete Field Studies in Leadership (LDRSHP 396-0),  offered every quarter. 

Elective Courses

Complete a one-credit elective course if you are on the path for Option #1. 

Course Title
AF_AM_ST 220-0Civil Rights and Black Liberation
AF_AM_ST 330-0Black Women in the 20th Century
AF_AM_ST 378-0Harlem Renaissance
COMM_ST 315-0Rhetoric of Social Movements
COMM_ST 322-0The Rhetoric of the American Presidency
COMM_ST 364-0Collective Decision Making & Communication in Organizations
COMM_ST 371-0Cultural Analytics
IEMS 325-0Engineering Entrepreneurship
IEMS 342-0Organizational Behavior
LING 220-0Language and Society
LOC 211-0Intro to Organization Theory & Practice
LOC 306-0Studies in Organizational Change
LOC 310-0Learning Organizations for Complex Environments
PHIL 262-0Ethical Problems and Public Issues
POLI_SCI 240-0Introduction to International Relations
POLI_SCI 320-0The American Presidency
POLI_SCI 321-0Urban Politics
POLI_SCI 342-0International Organizations
POLI_SCI 344-0U.S. Foreign Policy
POLI_SCI 348-0Globalization
SESP 202-0Introduction to Community Development
SOCIOL 201-0Social Inequality: Race, Class, and Power
SOCIOL 202-0Social Problems
SOCIOL 207-0Cities in Society
SOCIOL 276-0Introductory Topics in Sociology
SOCIOL 301-0The City: Urbanization and Urbanism
SOCIOL 302-0Sociology of Organizations
SOCIOL 327-0Youth and Society

LDRSHP 204-0 Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership (1 Unit)   ULP students' introduction to six foundational leadership assets: asking powerful questions, navigating and leading amid change, inspiring others through narrative, mobilizing difference to maximize team performance, thriving in collaborative and hierarchical settings, and responding to setbacks and failure with resilience. Components include weekly lectures, guest speakers, and discussion groups.

LDRSHP 304-0 Leading From Design (1 Unit)   Through readings, small group discussion, one-on-one coaching, self-assessment and reflecting on leadership and other life experiences, this course builds on the themes, models and concepts introduced in LDRSHP 204-0 (Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership), to help students develop a deeper self-awareness that serves as the foundation for the construction of their own individual leadership model.

LDRSHP 395-0 Special Topics in Leadership (0-1 Unit)   Topics suggested by students or faculty members and approved by the department.

LDRSHP 396-0 Field Studies in Leadership (2 Units)   Students have the opportunity to leave a positive "leadership footprint" by fostering the success of a group, organization, or community. Spending at least 160 hours outside the classroom, they undertake a leadership role, an internship or externship, or a community engagement experience, exploring leadership models and concepts through application. Consent of instructor required.