University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Summer registration opens March 12.

Summer 2018 HELM Courses

Registration begins March 12.

EDUC 601a - Foundations of Higher Education* (May 21 - June 29)

EDUC 674 - Organizing Higher Education* (July 9 - August 17)

*required course for HELM program


HELM Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) is a 15-credit academic program focused on the study of leadership, management and organization in higher education with a focus on the intersection of theory and practice. The HELM Graduate Certificate is aimed at the many current and future leaders in higher education who would benefit from leadership training, but who do not need an advanced degree. This program is ideal for those who already have a terminal degree, or do not need another degree. 

The program is fully online making it convenient for busy professionals from a wide geographic area. It can be completed in one year by taking two classes in each of the fall and spring semesters, and the final course in the summer. Alternatively courses can be spread out over more semesters. For more information about the HELM Graduate Certificate contact Kate Hudson, HELM Program Coordinator,

Who Should Consider the Higher Education Leadership and Management Graduate Certificate?

  • Higher education professional currently working in a management position or who wants to gain leadership and management skills that will allow you to move in to a more responsible position;
  • Current doctoral student in any field considering a career in higher education administration upon completion of your degree;
  • Faculty member or administrator who wishes to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to provide better leadership for your campus.

The HELM Graduate Certificate is most suitable for those who already have several years of experience working in higher education. If you are a recent graduate, our master’s program in higher education may be a more appropriate choice.

Courses Included in the HELM Graduate Certificate

  • EDUC 601a – Foundations of Higher Education (Summer & Fall)
  • EDUC 674 – Leading Higher Education (Fall)
  • EDUC 621 – Managing Higher Education (Fall & Spring)
  • EDUC 723 – Organizing Higher Education (Summer)
  • Elective  Courses currently include EDUC 689 Academic Profession, EDUC 642 Principles & Practices of Student Affairs, EDUC 692R Introduction to College Teaching, EDUC 748 Community Colleges in America. We will be rotating new courses regularly. You may also want to consider completing a practicum course as your elective (see HELM Student Handbook for additional information.)

For more information on program requirements, see HELM Student Handbook.

Program Tuition and Fees

The HELMs graduate certificate is administered through Continuing & Professional Education (C&PE). For more information on C&PE tuition and fees, see

  • Tuition is currently at $460/credit.
  • Tuition for each 3-credit course is $1,380 plus applicable fees.
  • Total tuition for the 5-course program is $6,900 (Figures applicable as of April 2017).
  • There is also a $47/semester registration fee.

Tuition waivers for eligible Massachusetts state employees for Continuing & Professional Education courses offer a 50% discount on the course tuition. For more information on tuition waivers, see

Financial Aid

Financial aid is unfortunately not available for certificate programs. 

Admission to the HELMs Graduate Certificate Program

  • Admission to the program is on a rolling basis.
  • You must hold a must hold a baccalaureate degree, and we expect that many applicants will have master’s or doctoral degrees as well.
  • You may take up to two courses before you officially apply to the program.
  • Materials required for consideration include: admissions form, personal statement, resume, transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, and two letters of reference.

Submit your materials to:
Kate Hudson
Program Coordinator, HELM Graduate Certificate
813 N. Pleasant St.
Furcolo N182
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003

Materials can also be submitted electronically to:

Transfer of Credits

If, after you complete the requirements for the Higher Education Leadership and Management, you apply to and enroll in either our master’s or doctoral programs, you will be able to apply all 15 credits to that program. Specific details are available through the Program Coordinator.

For more information about the HELM graduate certificate, contact Kate Hudson,