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Welcome from Dr. Kristina Hains, Program Chair of the Undergraduate Leadership Certificate. Feel free to send her an email if you have any questions about the program or about planning a course of study.


Get started today – Enroll Now

Step 1ENROLL in the Certificate with the Program (this tells us you are ‘in’ the certificate)
Step 2: Complete and submit this form to your advisor in your major. The code to include on the declaration of minor form is LEST-CERTU (in the “minor” line).
Step 3: Visit APEX to determine your progress in the Certificate.


The Department of Educational Leadership Studies (EDL) in the College of Education and the Department of Community and Leadership Development (CLD) in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment offer an undergraduate certificate in leadership studies. Four vital pillars are complimentary to undergraduate programs and are reflected throughout the content of course work in the following ways:

  1. Understanding core concepts about leadership
  2. Fostering team and organizational leadership
  3. Embracing community leadership
  4. Focusing on intercultural communication skills

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify and apply basic concepts, skills, styles, theories, and models of leadership.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate appropriate and effective use of listening, oral, and written skills as well as critical thinking skills and self-analysis for use in specific leadership situations.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate one’s personal ethics, including the values and culture that contribute to their ethical position.

Programs of Study

The program consists of 18 credits of undergraduate study in leadership. Students will take one course from each of the four pillars and two additional elective leadership courses

Pillar I: Leadership Foundations (3 credits)
EDL402 / CLD402: Principles of Leadership
CLD230 / EDL230: Intrapersonal Leadership

Pillar II: Organizational Change (3 credits)
EDL571: Design Thinking in Education
CLD530: Fundamentals of Organizational Leadership

Pillar III: Community Leadership and Relationships (3 credits)
CLD430: Leading in Communities: Vision, Action & Change
CLD404 / EDL404: Contemporary Leadership Applications
CLD260: Community Portraits
CLD330: Interpersonal Skills for Tomorrow’s Leaders

Pillar IV: Communication, Ethics & Global Perspectives (3 credits)
CLD470: Leadership Power, Ethics & Impact
CLD403 / EDL403: Leadership and Communication
Any approved study abroad experience

Electives (6 credit hours):

Any course in the above pillars not already counted
Any approved study abroad experience (can only count 3 credits for certificate)
Approved courses include but are not limited to:

  • AMS 301: Leadership & Management
  • AMS 341: Leadership & Management II
  • AMS 395: Independent Study in Leadership
  • BAE 402: Biosystems Engineering Design I
  • BAE 403: Senior Design II
  • COM 252: Intro to Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 281: Communication in Small Groups
  • COM 325: Intro to Organizational Communication
  • COM 381: Communication, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship
  • EDC 548: Instructional Technology Leadership
  • EPE 374: Theories of Student Development & Peer Mentoring
  • MGT 410: Analysis of Organization Behavior
  • MGT 320: Survey of Human Resource Management
  • NUR 883: Leadership and Management in Nursing Care Delivery
  • UK 100: Emerging Leader Institute

To get an elective approved, fill out an Elective Request form.  Once approved, they will show up in the list above and in the Apex system.

Other Vital Elements:

  • At least 12 credit hours must be taken for a letter grade
  • At least 12 credits at 200-level or above and a minimum of 6 credit hours at 300-level or above
  • At least one course needs to be taken in the sister discipline (EDL or CLD)
  • No more than 9 credits in the certificate are used to satisfy requirements for the student’s bachelor’s degree, minor, or another certificate (exclusive of free or unrestricted electives)


For questions regarding this program, individuals should contact either of the program directors.

Dr. Kris Hains
Department of Community and Leadership Development
Phone: (859) 257-3767

Additional information:

State Authorization Disclosure

Per state laws, distance education courses and programs must be legally authorized in a state prior to offering courses or programs to students residing there. Therefore, program availability varies by state. Students should check the UK Out-of-State Educational Activities website to determine if a distance education program at the University of Kentucky is available in their state of residence.

Student Relocation Disclosure

All distance education students should keep in mind that relocating during the course of a program to another state could impact whether that student can continue in the course and/or meet the eligibility requirements of that state. If you plan to move to another state during your program, please contact your program advisor as soon as possible.

Tuition information

For the most up-to-date information about program cost, please check the UK Tuition and Fees website.

Refund Policies

You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.