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Higher Education Leadership Certificate Program

Drexel University School of Education

The online Higher Education Leadership certificate program provides students who are working within higher education or transitioning into higher education with the knowledge, skills, and experience to navigate dynamic changes related to diversity and globalization, equity and access, policies and practices, legal and ethical issues, technological advancements, and risk management through transformative leadership.

What can a Certificate in Higher Education Leadership do for you?

Using real-world scenarios and an experiential curriculum delivered by faculty who are leaders in their field, the Higher Education Leadership certificate program aims to develop students into highly skilled and knowledgeable practitioners for administrative and leadership positions and career advancement in higher education. Graduates will be qualified to pursue careers as professionals in colleges and universities, as well as national and international organizations, foundations, associations, and corporations. The curriculum brings together theory and practice to provide students with a strong research foundation to support data-driven solutions for current and emerging issues.

How long does it take to earn a Certificate in Higher Education Leadership?

  • Course format: Online
  • Calendar format: Quarter (each quarter lasts 10 weeks plus one week for final exams and projects)
  • Expected time to completion: 1 year
  • Number of credits needed for completion: 9.0

Course descriptions may be found in the Drexel University Course Catalog. Online students have access to the same resources as on-campus students including individualized advising and support services, access to the Steinbright Career Development Center, the Drexel Writing Center, Drexel Libraries, counseling and health services, and the Drexel alumni network.

What are the requirements to earn a Certificate in Higher Education Leadership?

Admissions Criteria

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate degree GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)

Required Documents

With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

  • A completed application
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
  • One letter of recommendation (professional or academic)
  • Personal essay
    • Describe in up to 500 words why you are applying for this program
  • Additional requirements for International Students

Who is eligible to earn a certificate in Higher Education Leadership?

  • Certificate level: Graduate
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor’s degree
  • Certificate: Post-Baccalaureate
  • Financial aid eligibility: Not Aid Eligible

How do I apply to Earn a Certificate in Higher Education Leadership?

The Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is taught 100% online. Students can get started by filling out the Drexel Online Application.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have been higher education for just a few years, and I would like to advance in my position. Is this the right program for me?

Yes, the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is designed for individuals who are seeking to advance their careers within higher education or higher education-related fields. The faculty include practitioners who have had extensive careers within higher education and adjunct faculty who are currently in senior administrative and leadership roles across higher education institutions as well as at national associations, organizations, corporations, and agencies. The courses are designed to provide you with a strong foundation in higher education and assignments are customizable so students can tailor them for their place of employment or future advancement.

I am considering a future MS graduate degree in Higher Education but not at this point. Is this the right program for me?

Yes, the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership provides the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge, skills, and experience to advance within higher education or higher education-related fields. If you later apply to and are accepted in the MS in Higher Education Leadership program, then these credits will be transferred and included as part of your Plan of Study. Students who are interested in this MS option should consult the Higher Education Leadership program advisor prior to applying. 

Do I need to come to campus at all during my enrollment?

No, the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is fully online.

Do classes meet at a specific time since the program is fully online?

No, the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is an asynchronous program. However, the program does follow a quarter system model so you will have weekly content that you must complete along with online asynchronous discussions. There are also optional synchronous sessions in which you will have the opportunity to meet with your instructors and peers as well as with well-known higher education speakers. All synchronous sessions are recorded and available to students who may not have been able to attend.

I have not taken an online course before, should I be concerned?

No, the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is designed so you will be prepared for your online courses. Prior to starting your courses, you can enroll in the Drexel University Test Drive that introduces incoming students to Blackboard, which is the Learning Management system we use in the Higher Education Leadership program. You will also be invited to enroll in one or several open-access courses before the quarter starts so you can hone or learn new skills related to APA writing style, research, leadership, mindfulness, and much more. These open-access courses are free and provide Drexel digital badges upon completion. Additionally, all courses open one week before they start so you will have access to the syllabus and other key information before your courses begin.

Do I need to get my books from the Drexel campus?

No, everything is online. You will be able to order all books prior to the start of each quarter. Drexel online students also have free access to all of the resources in the Drexel libraries.

As an online student, do I have access to support services?

Yes, the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership through Drexel University provides extensive services to support student success. All students work closely with a Program Manager from point of matriculation through graduation. Students also have access to the Writing Center, Drexel Libraries, Center for Learning and Academic Success, Counseling Center, Health and Wellness Center, as well as the Steinbright Career Development Center as soon as they are enrolled.

Is there anything else that I should know about being a student in the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership program?

Yes, it is important to know that although the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is fully online, students are actively engaged in their courses and can engage in co-curricular events offered through the Graduate Certificate program, the School of Education, and Drexel University. As a Drexel Dragon, you will be invited to attend events offered throughout the year both online and on-campus, depending upon your location. The School of Education offers several colloquia speaker series and invites renowned educational leaders from around the world to serve as guest speakers on current and emerging issues. You can also get your Dragon Card (Student ID) either online or by coming to campus. As a Drexel Dragon, you have access to student services and our amazing Drexel community and alumni network.