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Post-Master’s Certificate
in Leadership in Higher

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Courses start every Monday

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Take the first step in your National University journey

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240K+ Alumni Worldwide


In addition to exceptional professors and instructors, our institutions of higher learning need skilled managers and directors who are experts in a wide range of issues facing our most valuable institutions.This certificate supports your leadership abilities in a variety of higher education institutions and organizations. You’ll examine leadership across different functions, such as student services, strategic planning, and academic program and curriculum development. You’ll also explore the functions of leadership at different types of institutions, including public, private, for-profit, and non-profit. Finally, you’ll examine the leader’s role in other, non-academic operations related to legal and financial responsibilities.

Admission Requirements 

A conferred master’s level or higher degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.


For the Post-Master’s Certificate in Leadership focused on Higher Education, you must complete 6 courses (18 credit hours). The estimated time needed to complete this certificate is 13 months.

Course Details

Course Listings

In this course, you’ll explore the differences between leadership, management, and supervision as a context for the entire Leadership in Higher Education (LHE) specialization. You’ll ground your exploration in historical leadership trends and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. You’ll learn to include theoretical and applied considerations throughout the course, and you’ll also examine the roles of shared governance, change, and conflict management.

There are many functions within the area of higher education student services. You’ll explore these functions across the student lifecycle in a variety of delivery modalities. Some of the functions you’ll explore include enrollment, advising, academic support, accommodations, modifications, and persistence and retention through graduation. You’ll have the opportunity to examine these functions generally within higher education and specifically as they relate to your personal interests.

Higher education institutions in the United States are bound by different legislation and regulation. There are also different types of institutional and programmatic accreditation that leaders must consider. In this course, you’ll explore the implications of these different accreditations, regulations, and legislation with specific attention to risk management, institutional self-studies, and issues of intellectual property across different types of institutions.

The facilitation of learning is the core function of all institutions of higher learning. As a leader in higher education, you need to know how this core function is designed and maintained. In this course, you’ll explore academic program planning and evaluation, theories and principles of curriculum development, assessment of student learning, and the value of open educational resources and co-curricular activities. You’ll be able to tailor your work in this course to your current or future institutional contexts and goals.

Financial considerations in higher education can be complex. While accounting departments may be responsible for most of the details, educational leaders need to understand the scope of financial considerations across the institution. In this course, you’ll examine the budget specifics, budget cycles, and fiscal accountability of higher education institutions. You’ll also explore sources of revenue, including financial aid, grants, fundraising, and the regulations that govern these fiscal activities within higher education institutions in the U.S.

The operational complexity of higher education institutions grows exponentially with the size of the institution. In this course, you’ll investigate the typical departments and processes of higher learning before examining more specific operational aspects, such as human resources, data-based decision making, institutional effectiveness, environmental scanning, strategic planning, and continuous improvement. Throughout the course, your explorations will also take your specific interest in topics and types of institutions into account.

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The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Learning Outcomes

If you’ve earned your Master of Education degree, then our post-master’s certificate may move you past the head of the class. NU’s Post-Master’s Certificate in Leadership in Higher Education is designed to help you focus and develop your skill sets and knowledge in a particular area of education beyond the master’s level, without the need for a doctoral commitment or dissertation. You’ll not only enhance your understanding of major theories and practices in your specialty, but you’ll be challenged to think critically about the topics covered with the goal of applying what you learn to your professional objectives—all while gaining a wealth of experience from your mentoring professors.

Why Choose National University

  • Four-Week Courses
  • 190+ Degree Programs
  • Online or On-Site
  • Year-Round Enrollment
  • Military Friendly

We’re proud to be a Veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 240,000 alumni worldwide.

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“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”

-Francisco R., Class of 2016

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.