Learn how to lead from your personal strengths, work better with groups and make decisions guided by your values. Understand systems and organizations, so you can lead effectively wherever you are.
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The Graduate Certificate in Leadership is a three-month, 9-credit program that offers you a foundation in leadership theory that you can apply directly to your current or future work.
Learn how to lead from your personal strengths, work better with groups and make decisions guided by your values. And understand the interconnections between organizations and communities, so you can lead effectively wherever you are.
You'll practice facilitating teams, leading teams and applying your communications skills, as you study with a group of working professionals.
Balance your work and life while you study with online courses and a short, immersive on-campus residency.
You can build from here
The certificate includes the first three courses of the Master of Arts in Leadership program.
You can take this as a standalone program or apply credits toward one of following degree programs:
- Master of Arts in Leadership
- Master of Arts in Leadership – Health Specialization
- Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
Students in this program are leaders from a broad range of organizations and sectors.
Once you have completed this program, you'll be able to do the following:
- adopt a systems mindset to navigate complex leadership challenges
- lead with greater self and cultural awareness, courage, confidence, humility and caring, and
- apply a systems-thinking lens to leadership challenges and opportunities
The Graduate Certificate in Leadership is a three-month, 9-credit program that includes a blend of online learning and a two-week residency on campus.
- Fundamentals of Personal Leadership and Learning
- Communications and Leadership in Groups and Teams
- Leadership in Systems
The Graduate Certificate in Leadership is the first residency term of the Master of Arts in Leadership. This means that you'll be taking your classes and joining the residency on campus with students in the master's program.
The program includes these three parts:
- Online learning for the first five weeks
- Two-week residency on campus, during which you'll be integrated with the Master of Arts in Leadership students
- Online learning for the final five weeks
There are two online components, which consist of assigned readings, synchronous and asynchronous meetings, activities, interactive dialogues, and individual and team assignments. You'll have opportunities to engage with fellow students and your instructors.
You’re expected to meet deadlines and contribute meaningfully to your class. Your contributions are a big part of everyone’s learning.
The online components require approximately 15 to 20 hours of work per week.
Your two-week residency on campus will be intensive and highly relational. You'll get to know your learning team members well. Many students say this time together is the highlight of their program.
During your residency, you can expect to:
- attend classes full time (e.g., Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- complete homework and individual and team assignments both during and outside of class hours, and during the weekend in the middle of the two-week residency.
- take part in extracurricular activities
At Royal Roads University, the real-life leadership* or people management experiences that students bring to the classroom serve to enhance everyone’s learning. We therefore strive to create an interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral, intercultural, and intergenerational learning environment. We invite applications from emerging and established leaders who bring a range of professional experiences to the cohort setting. We review all applications on a case-by-case basis.
- Four-year (or comparable) undergraduate degree from a recognized post-secondary institution, with a minimum GPA of B+ (3.33/4.33).
- Normally a minimum of five years of leadership* experience.
- Applicants who meet the degree requirement, but not the GPA, or have been away from academic writing for more than 10 years, will normally be required to take the “Academic Writing and Critical Thinking” course offered through Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University, and obtain a minimum B+ (77%) prior to commencing the program. (This course must end a minimum of five weeks prior to your program start date.)
Emerging leaders who have fewer than five years of *leadership experience, yet have been in recent leadership or people management role(s) for two years or more, demonstrate exceptional leadership potential through their professional and life experiences, are preparing for further leadership roles, and otherwise meet the standard admissions criteria, are encouraged to apply.
Applicants who do not meet the standard admission requirements will be considered for flexible admission and assessed as follows:
- At least 10 years of professional experience, with five years of leadership* experience.
- Flexible admission applicants will normally be required to take “Academic Writing and Critical Thinking” and obtain a minimum B+ (77%) prior to commencing the program. (This course must end a minimum of five weeks prior to your program start date.)
*Leadership experience could include one or more of the following:
- Formal organizational leadership roles in which you directly supervise staff or complete performance-oriented work with individuals, groups, or teams.
- Leadership roles in volunteer organizations.
- Roles in which you consult, negotiate with, or manage diverse interest groups through relationship, in a complex environment.
- Roles in which you lead others toward shared goals and outcomes.
- Roles in which you influence, organize, and coordinate groups of people.
- Overcoming a challenging life experience (for self or others), which involved navigating complex systems and resulted in positive community change beyond the individual.
Please ensure that you demonstrate your leadership experience in your detailed resume, and clearly indicate how your years of experience meet the standard or flexible admission requirements.
All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:
In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. A non-refundable application fee will be required. If your application fees are being paid by a third party, review sponsored student information. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.
Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations. Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution’s original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.
All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.
Your personal statement should be a maximum two-page letter that speaks to the following criteria:
- Your motivation for seeking entrance to the program (please respond to all of the following: why are you interested in this program? What do you hope to learn? What excites you about RRU’s teaching and learning model? Why do you feel called to this program at this moment in time?)
- The breadth and scope of your leadership experience (using one or more of the six criteria for leadership experience listed above, please describe your current and past leadership experience(s) and, how your training and/or life experiences demonstrate your leadership capacities and potential).
- Your experience working in teams and with others from different sectors, disciplines, cultures etc., and the specific skills and capacities that you believe are relevant and applicable to the program.
- The gifts or unique strengths you can bring to the program; and
- The areas you would like to improve upon as a student in the program and as a leader more broadly.
If applicable, please expand upon why you think your life and work experience and/or related formal education and courses merit adjudication as an Emerging Leader or under the flexible admission process.
There are three options for your writing sample:
- You may include a recent (within the last 2 years) writing sample from your academic work that includes citations and a list of references.
- If you do not have a recent writing sample on file, you may write an original, maximum 500-word academic essay addressing the question: “What is my leadership philosophy?” Your writing should be clearly organized, should take a position substantiated with evidence from academic books and/or peer-reviewed articles, and use examples from your relevant life experience. The paper should be formatted using APA 7 style, which is the preferred referencing style in the School of Leadership Studies. (Note that a sample APA essay is also available through Owl Purdue.)
- In lieu of a writing sample, applicants may register in the Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course offered through Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University. Your course may be in progress at the time of application. However, course completion with a minimum “B+” (77%) is required as a condition for entry to the Leadership program. Please select a course offering that ends a minimum of five weeks prior to your desired program start date.
Please note: Applicants must submit a writing sample OR proof of enrolment in RRU Continuing Studies’ Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course as a part of their application package. Applicants who have previously completed RRU Continuing Studies’ Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course with a “B+” (77%) or above should submit their final grade confirmation letter.
A detailed or structured résumé is one that provides a comprehensive professional profile of applicants, targeted towards their intended program of study. We are interested in knowing where applicants have worked, for how long, and what they were responsible for in the positions held. Provide as much information as possible, with special attention to demonstrating five years of leadership experience (and a minimum of 10 years of professional experience for flexible admissions) as described on the admission requirements page. Your detailed résumé should include the following:
- Education: List all post-secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved.
- Work experience: Please include name of organization, position, length of service (month and year), and a brief description of duties.
- Voluntary/unpaid work experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include the name of the organization, length of service, and a brief description of duties, and, in particular, any leadership responsibilities. List positions you have held in this service.
- Information technology training and experience: Briefly describe your level of training and experience in the use of information technology including computers, software and telecommunications networks as tools for business, education, teaching and personal use.
- Professional memberships/affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, community/volunteer sector.
- Other relevant information: Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee in assessing what you could contribute to the learning community.
We require two professional references. Reference letters should be completed by someone from your current professional network (within the past five years) who can attest to your commitment, knowledge, skills, and ability to complete a demanding academic program. References from direct supervisors are preferred wherever possible.
References will not be accepted from members of your family.
- Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
- Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
- An official English language proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
- Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.
For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.
Financial aid and awards
RBC Community Integrated Learning Grants
Funding for students completing a required career learning and development (CLD) work term in the community of at least 420 hours with an organization that cannot provide wages or compensation.
Up to $8,500
ACT WEST Community Foundation Fund
The ACT WEST Community Foundation helps support single mothers build better lives for themselves and their children.
up to 4 years tuition
Admiral John Charles and Mary Charles Scholarship
Awarded annually to a second year School of Humanitarian Studies student who is currently serving or retired military.
Active students (In-course)
Allan Cahoon Global Advancement and Diversity Award
Assist students in underrepresented populations who wish to promote diversity.
Active students (In-course)
Allan Cahoon Scholarship
This scholarship aims to encourage academic excellence, supporting students who excel both academically and through their leadership.
Active students (In-course)
Andrea Fallan Memorial Bursary
Provides financial assistance to a second year BCom student for exceptional leadership, community involvement, and dedication to promote a cohesive team environment.
Active students (In-course)
Asper Foundation Communications Award
Awarded to students in communications-related degree working in, or seeking to work in the communications industry.
Active students (In-course)
Assistance Program for Students with Permanent Disabilities
This program helps students with permanent disabilities pay for exceptional education-related services and adaptive equipment.
Up to $12,144/year