Leadership Studies (Minor/Certificate)

Develop your potential and prepare to make an impact. 

The leadership studies certificate program at Mary Baldwin University offers a multidisciplinary approach, combining theoretical and applied coursework to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective and inclusive leaders in various organizational contexts. With three distinct emphasis areas, this program caters to students aspiring to excel in business and entrepreneurship, drive community and social change, or pursue military leadership.

Minor Only
Undergraduate Certificate

Why Study Leadership at Mary Baldwin?

Leadership classes at Mary Baldwin University provide a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application. Through engaging courses from a range of disciplines, students explore topics such as ethics, organizational behavior, gender issues in leadership, and more. The program fosters critical thinking, enhances communication skills, and empowers students to lead by example. 

By enrolling in the leadership program, you’ll gain valuable tools to examine leadership in action across various domains, including government, business, the military, and social groups. 

Courses are available in various formats, including online, on-campus in Staunton, or through independent study. You may transfer up to nine hours (3 courses) from other institutions or earn credit through a prior learning portfolio.


You’ll explore the role of leadership in contemporary politics and business, appreciate the complexities of driving social change, and analyze leadership through historical records and current events. You’ll also acquire effective communication skills and develop the interpersonal dimensions of leadership, enabling you to engage with others and inspire action. Students in the leadership certificate program consider the ethical dimensions of leadership and dive deep into how leaders make decisions and navigate complex ethical questions.

Core Courses 

  • INT/POLS 230: History and Theories of Leadership 3 cr. 
  • INT 330/331: The Practice of Leadership Seminar 3 cr. 
  • PHIL 235: Ethics, Community, and Leadership 3 cr.

Plus choose one from the following: 

  • COMM 100: Public Speaking 3 cr. 
  • COMM 280: Intercultural Communication 3 cr. 
  • REL 237: Mediation: Theory and Practice 3 cr. 

And choose from a number of electives related to your concentration. See full curriculum for details. 

The Advantages of Academic Certificates 

Enhance Your Knowledge and Skills

Academic certificates provide focused and structured learning. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge and develop practical skills related to leadership. This specialized expertise can enhance your career prospects and improve your overall competency.

Advance Your Career:  

Academic certificates can open doors to new career opportunities or help you progress within your current profession. Employers often value candidates who demonstrate commitment and expertise by earning additional credentials. It can set you apart from other candidates and increase your chances of securing promotions or higher-level positions.

Gain Industry Relevance:

Academic certificates are designed to align with industry standards and emerging trends. By earning a certificate, you ensure that your knowledge and skills are up to date, making you more relevant and competitive in the job market. 

Network Your Way into Better Opportunities: 

Pursuing an academic certificate often involves interacting with fellow students, instructors, and professionals in the field. This provides opportunities to expand your professional network and establish valuable connections with individuals who share similar interests or work in related industries. Networking can lead to collaborations, mentorships, job referrals, and other professional opportunities.

Cost and Financial Aid 

A great education is worth it. Here’s how Mary Baldwin helps you pay for it: Generous financial aid packages, a broad range of scholarships, transferring maximum credit hours from previous coursework or relevant work and life experiences — the list goes on. Our mission is to help you level up and bring your aspirations to life.

It’s time to level up your career. Apply today!