Leadership Certificate

UW-Madison Leadership Certificate

Created in 2002, the UW-Madison Leadership Certificate is designed to recognize outstanding student leaders who excel in their leadership roles both inside and outside of the classroom. The Certificate marks a formal acknowledgment of student contributions and achievements. Recipients are recognized at the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) and Student Leadership Program’s All-Campus Leadership Awards Banquet held in both the fall and spring, and graduating seniors are given a red and gold honor cord to wear during their commencement ceremony.

To be eligible for the Leadership Certificate, a student must provide documentation of a minimum of 100 hours total of experience in leadership roles, civic engagement, and work experiences and also engage in educational activities within and outside the classroom focused on leadership. These hours of education and experience are in five different “Activity Areas” across three “Content Areas.” Any single student activity could contribute hours toward both an Activity Area and a Content Area but it is important to note that there are maximum numbers of hours in every category. The hour maximum is intended to encourage each student to have a breadth of leadership activities across experiential and educational contexts. Each activity area must demonstrate how the student applied leadership to an individual, group or community experience.

The five Activity Areas are:

  • Leadership roles (maximum of 20 hours)
  • Academic course work (maximum of 30 hours)
  • Civic engagement (maximum of 20 hours)
  • Out-of-class learning, which includes workshops, seminars, and conferences (maximum of 30 hours)
  • Work experience (maximum of 20 hours)

In addition to documenting hours in each area mentioned above, each student must complete:

  • Three online courses from an approved list provided by CfLI
  • Written verification of participation in all activity areas
  • A capstone educational artifact

The educational artifact could be a short paper, short presentation or a Web site and should demonstrate growth and learning in all of the different content areas.

To be eligible for the Leadership Certificate, a student must:

  • Be a currently-enrolled UW-Madison student in good standing
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 at time of application
  • Be able to document 100 hours of education and experience focused on leadership development
  • Submit all necessary forms within established deadlines
  • Attend an orientation session offered by the Center for Leadership and Involvement to prepare for the submission of the Leadership Certificate Application process.

To learn more about the Leadership Certificate program or to apply, visit: