LEAD: Leadership and Professional Development Graduate Certificate

The LEAD graduate certificate is designed to provide students with opportunities to master leadership and professional development competencies. The dynamic nature of today’s society and economy requires us all to think critically, communicate effectively, and transfer skills into multiple environments. LEAD facilitates learning and competencies required for academic, career, and personal success.

Why Leadership and Professional Development?

The dynamic and global nature of academia, business, healthcare, and other employment sectors require leaders who are able to develop solution oriented teams that are able to produce high quality outcomes. Now more than ever are industries seeking ethical and competent leaders who can navigate uncertainty while fostering productivity. LEAD requires students to master the skills industry leaders articulate as most important for career success and advancement.


LEAD at UAB offers world class educational experiences that are documented on an official transcript. In addition to gaining the skills and competencies needed to advance your career, at the conclusion of the LEAD graduate certificate program you will have earned 15 graduate school credit hours. As a regionally accredited institution, these credits may be applied to interdisciplinary degrees in accordance with institutional policies.*

Who will benefit from LEAD courses?

  • Anyone interested in improving upon their leadership skills.
  • Employees seeking career advancement, or transferable skills to maximize employment mobility in today’s dynamic economy.
  • Students preparing for admissions to graduate or professional school programs where leadership and team-work skills are expected.
  • Students preparing for entry into the workforce who want to stand out among their peers as the candidate with the most promise.
  • Professionals considering a graduate degree who want to gain practical skills associated with career advancement and quality of life.
  • Current UAB employees who are satisfied with their environment and wish to apply an institutional benefit that supports continued academic learning.

Course Details

LEAD courses are designed to meet the needs of its busy student cohorts. Courses are offered in various formats including evening face-face classes, as well as online, hybrid or weekend seminar. The program is 15 credit hours taught at the 500 (master) level. To complete the certificate students must:

  • Complete 4 required courses:
    • LEAD 500: Introduction to Leadership Behaviors 3 Credit Hours
    • LEAD 520: Ethics in the Workplace 2 Credit Hours
    • LEAD 540: Team Development and Dynamics 2 Credit Hours
    • LEAD 590: Leadership by Design 2 Credit Hours
  • Complete 6 credit hours of elective LEAD Skill Building course.
    • Students choose from a variety of LEAD courses to enhance specific skills and competencies that they desire.
    • LEAD Skill Building courses include, yet are not limited to, topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Critical Thinking, Professional Writing, Interviews and Interviewing, Leading Diverse Teams and Followership.

For details, contact Dr. Lisa M. Kerr | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LEAD Course Offerings (PDF)

If you have suggestions for LEAD skill builder courses, please send your suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How to Apply

How to apply

Students interested in earning a LEAD graduate certificate in leadership and professional development must complete an application through the UAB Graduate School.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application to UAB Graduate School
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Current UAB Graduate Students may click the button below to declare intent: