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College of Education

Educational Leadership Certificate


The Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership at Clemson University is offering an online, distance education post-master’s degree certificate program to study educational leadership within the field of Human Resource Development (HRD). As a discipline, HRD recognizes that good leaders are borne of knowledge, reflection, and theory. Leaders who are better prepared are also able to realize greater outcomes – satisfaction, productivity, engagement, change, and social justice to name a few, for themselves, others, and their organizations. The purpose of this certificate program is to expand the leader and leadership development capacity of individuals to affect positive professional and institutional growth and development. Master and doctoral degree graduates are encouraged to apply.

Interested in gaining your Certificate and a master’s degree?

The Educational Leadership Certificate can also be completed alongside our Master of Human Resource Development (MHRD) program. Visit the MHRD website for more information. 

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While there are many post-master certificate programs to choose from, we offer a few reasons to select the Certificate in Educational Leadership:

  • There are very few programs that specifically teach students how to develop as leaders, and few that recognize that the leadership journey starts with them.
  • Participants will experience leader and leadership development activities.
  • Students will learn about innovative approaches to coach, manage, and inspire a better leadership culture in organizations.
  • This is an online certificate, appropriate for working professionals and recent master graduates with a passion for leader and leadership development.
  • Program Goals

    The goals of the post-master leadership certificate with coursework in Human Resource Development are to:

    • Develop the leader and leadership capacity of individuals in the workplace to realize enhanced positive growth and development in the workplace.
    • Equip individuals with the tools and information they need to better understand their leadership journey and philosophy using inquiry and reflexivity.
    • Provide foundational information on leadership theories that reflect current research and practice and which individuals can use to inform their leadership practice.
    • Prepare individuals to experience, recognize, and critique different leadership development components and complete selected leadership case studies.
  • Admission Requirements

    Applying to the Program:
    The Educational Leadership Certificate admits students for a fall, spring or summer entrance term.

    Apply by submitting a Graduate School application.

     Application Deadline:

    • November 15, to enroll in the spring semester
    • April 15, to enroll in the summer semester
    • June 30, to enroll in the fall semester

    Application Requirements:

    Applicants must:

    • Hold a master’s degree in a related field (HRD, Business, Social Sciences, etc.) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher OR
    • Hold a PhD in related field with a GPA of 3.0 or higher

    All application materials must be submitted by the application deadline. Application materials include:

    New students:

    • Unofficial transcript(s) - official transcript(s) will be required upon acceptance
    • Current resume/vita
    • A brief personal statement about why you are interested in pursuing this certificate
    • Two recommendation forms (academic and/or professional references)

    Current Clemson MHRD students or Clemson MHRD alumni:

    • Unofficial transcript(s) - official transcript(s) will be required upon acceptance
  • Program Requirements

    The Educational Leadership Certificate requires the completion of the four courses listed below. All courses are three credit hours and are taught asynchronously online. Courses may be taken in any order.

    EDL 9050 Theory and Practice in Education Leadership (summer course)
    Advanced organizational and leadership theory; major theories of organization and their applications in understanding the roles of governmental agencies in society.

    HRD 8120 Intercultural Workplace Learning Leadership (fall course)
    Examines leading the learning function across cultures and nations.

    HRD 8110 Leading the Learning Organization (spring course)
    Provides the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to successfully design, implement and lead an organizational learning function.

    HRD 8100 Foundations of HRD Leadership (summer course)
    Concepts of contemporary theories, concepts, practices, implications and influences on human resource development leadership. This course lays the groundwork for the pursuit of long-term personal development for meeting the demands for HRD practice within organizations.

    *Please note: Students have the option to customize the certificate and may substitute existing MHRD course offerings for HRD 8100, HRD 8120 and HRD 8110.

  • Financial Information

    Tuition and Fees
    The Educational Leadership Certificate is offered at our tier three online tuition rate - approximately $804 per credit/$925 per credit hour with fees.*

    Financial Aid
    For information regarding financial aid, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

    * Tuition and fees are subject to change. The information provided on this webpage is only an approximation.

  • Information for Current and Past MHRD Students

    Current MHRD Students
    Students in the Master of Human Resource Development (MHRD) program can concurrently enroll in the Educational Leadership Certificate. They would be required to apply three MHRD courses and complete EDL 9050 to qualify for certificate. This concurrent approach is only available to students who are enrolled but have not graduated with their MHRD.

    Current students must apply to the Graduate School as a Certificate student in order to receive the certificate and MHRD concurrently. Please reach out to Dr. Angie Carter, Educational Leadership Certificate and MHRD program coordinator, at

    Graduates of the MHRD Program
    Graduates of the MHRD program must complete EDL 9050 (3 credit hours) and three additional MHRD courses (9 credit hours) that do not appear on their MHRD transcript.

  • Certificate Faculty

    Ying Feng, PhD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development who holds a doctorate in Human Resource Development. Dr. Feng has conducted research on leadership behavior and women's leadership development and has worked closely with women leaders across Asia and North America to foster leadership skills and growth. 

    Angela Carter, EdD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development who has a doctorate in Adult Education and HRD and an ICF coaching certification in Leadership. Dr. Carter has conducted several leadership development, coaching, and mentoring programs in higher education and non-profit sectors.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I need to have a master’s degree to enroll in the program?
    As a post master’s certificate, students applying for the program must have completed a master’s degree or be currently enrolled in a master’s degree program.

    I graduated with an MHRD, can I apply those courses to the certificate?
    Students with an MHRD will need to take courses different from those on their transcript. We recommend these new courses: EDL 9050 (Summer 2021); HRD 8100, Foundations of HRD Leadership (Fall 2021); HRD 8110, Leading the Learning Organization (Spring 2021); HRD 8120, Intercultural Workplace Learning Leadership (Fall 2021 TBD); or HRD 8970, Special Topics in HRD

    Is the program offered online?
    Yes, this program is conducted 100% virtually. There may be some synchronous sessions conducted in the evening that are recommended but not required.

    When can I enroll?
    Students can enroll at any time. See application deadlines above in the Admissions Requirements section.

    What is the format of the courses?
    MHRD courses and EDL 9050 are offered in a compressed format. Courses are taken one at a time during First or Second Semester. For example, for the Summer term, the first course is taught in Weeks 1-5 and the second course is taught in Weeks 6-11. For detailed information on terms and dates, please view Clemson’s academic calendar.

    How long would it take me to complete the certificate?
    The certificate is designed to be completed in three semesters or one calendar year based on the recommended curriculum. Students who opt to complete alternative courses can complete the certificate in 2 semesters.

    If I am currently enrolled in a master’s degree program, am I eligible to apply for the certificate program?
    Students currently enrolled in the MHRD program, are eligible to apply for the certificate. Upon enrollment, MHRD students are required to successfully complete the 10 courses which comprise the MHRD program and the 11th course, EDL 9050.

    If I complete the certificate and decide to enroll in the Educational Leadership PhD program, what course(s) from the certificate could be transferred?
    Successful completion of EDL 9050 could be applied to the doctoral program.

    Once I complete the certificate and decide to enroll in the MHRD program, what courses from the certificate could be transferred?
    All successfully completed MHRD courses taken to fulfill the certificate’s course requirements may be transferred to the MHRD degree program.

  • Find Out More

    For more information regarding the program or questions associated with applying to this program, please contact Dr. Angie Carter, Educational Leadership Certificate and MHRD program coordinator, at

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