Higher Education Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is ideal for current and future leaders in higher education who would benefit from leadership training, but who already have a terminal degree or do not need an advanced degree. Students in the 15-credit program study leadership, management, and organization in higher education, focusing on the intersection of theory and practice. 

The graduate certificate program is fully online, making it convenient for professionals from a wide geographic area. You can complete the program in one year by taking two classes in each of the fall and spring semesters, and the final course in the summer, or you can spread the courses out over more semesters. 

Who should consider the graduate certificate in higher education leadership and management?

  • Higher education professionals currently working in management positions or who want to gain leadership and management skills that will allow them to move into positions with more responsibility.
  • Current doctoral students in any field considering a career in higher education administration upon completion of their degree
  • Faculty members or administrators who wishes to enhance their knowledge and skills in order to provide better leadership for their campus

The Higher Education Leadership 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.

For more information about the Graduate Certificate contact Kate Hudson, info-leadership@umass.edu.

Course of Study

Spring registration opens November 5. Spring courses run from January 22 - May 1. 

Course Description Credits
  Spring 2019 Courses  
EDUC 601A Foundations of Higher Education* 3
EDUC 621 Managing Higher Education*  3
EDUC 723 Organizing Higher Education* 3
EDUC 689 Academic Profession 3
EDUC 690P Foundations of Program Evaluation 3

*Required course for Higher Education Leadership Certificate

    Instructions for Enrolling in Classes in SPIRE

    1. Create a student record. (You should not need to do this step if you took a course in the previous semester) Go to spire.umass.edu. On the right hand menu, under Apply/References click on Non-Degree Enrollment Application and fill out the form there. You will receive an email with your NetID and password (this may take up to 3 days.)
    2. Create an enrollment appointment. Once you have received your NetID and password you can create an enrollment appointment by logging in to SPIRE (spire.umass.edu) with the NetID and password you received. Once logged in, navigate to Main Menu > Enrollment > Summer/Wntr/Non-degr Enroll Appt and follow the instructions. (It can take up to one day for SPIRE to recognize your NetID, so if you do not see these navigation options try the next day.)
    3. Register for classes. The enrollment appointment should be available immediately. Register for the class by logging in to SPIRE (spire.umass.edu) and navigate to Main Menu > Enrollment > Add Classes.

    You may also want to consider completing a practicum course as your elective (see the Student Handbook for additional information).

    Courses Included in the Higher Education Leadership Graduate Certificate

    • EDUC 601a – Foundations of Higher Education
    • EDUC 690a – Community College Foundations
    • EDUC 674 – Leading Higher Education
    • EDUC 621 – Managing Higher Education
    • EDUC 723 – Organizing Higher Education
    • 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 (current issues). We will be rotating new courses regularly. You may also want to consider completing a practicum course as your elective (see Higher Education Leadership Graduate Certificate Student Handbook for additional information.)

    We are now offering a community colleges track option for students looking to do a more focused study of community college leadership and administration. Students interested in this option can take EDUC 690a Community College Foundations as their required foundations course and EDUC 748 Community Colleges in America as their elective.  

    For more information on program requirements, see Higher Education Leadership Graduate Certificate Student Handbook.

    Completing the Program

    Once you have registered for your fifth and course, be sure to complete and return the C-1 Form to info-leadership@umass.edu. You can leave the final grade(s) blank for any classes still in progress. C-1 forms are due by the following dates for each degree conferral period.

    September Conferral: August 15
    February Conferral: November 28
    May Conferral: March 25

    Tuition and Fees

    Continuing & Professional Education (CPE) at UMass Amherst administers registration and payments for the graduate certificate. 

    Tuition details

    • Tuition is currently at $474/credit.
    • Tuition for each 3-credit course is $1,422 plus applicable fees.
    • Total tuition for the 5-course program is $7,110 (Figures applicable as of May 2018).
    • There is also a $47/semester registration fee.

    Tuition Waivers

    Eligible Massachusetts state employees receive a 50% discount on tuition for Continuing & Professional Education courses. For more information on tuition waivers, visit the CPE website.  

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is not available for certificate programs. 

    Visit the Continuing & Professional Education site for more information on tuition and fees.

    Admissions

    Application Timeline

    We admit students to the program on a rolling basis. 

    Degree Requirements and Required Application Materials

    To apply to the certificate program you must hold at least a baccalaureate degree. Many applicants will have a master’s or doctoral degree as well.

    You may take up to two courses before you officially apply to the program.

    Application Requirements

    • Application form
    • Personal statement
    • Résumé/CV
    • Transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
    • Two letters of reference

    You may submit your materials electronically to info-leadership@umass.edu or mail them to 

    Kate Hudson
    813 N. Pleasant St.
    Furcolo N182
    University of Massachusetts
    Amherst, Massachusetts 01003

    Transferring Credits 

    If, after you complete the requirements for the Higher Education Leadership graduate certificate, 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. Contact program coordinator, Kate Hudson, for specific details.