By honing key skills while still at Harris, students are better positioned to forge their careers as national and international leaders and policymakers upon graduation.

Ensuring Your Success as a Future Policy Leader

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100% of Harris students are eligible to pursue the Leadership Credential.

The Leadership Credential is a professional development program that complements the rigorous Harris academic experience by immersing students in coordinated co-curricular experiences.

Through completion of the Leadership Credential, Harris students build transferable skills: self-awareness, professional adaptability, project and program management aptitude, and communications expertise.

Key Benefits

  • A transferable skill set that is flexible across a variety of professional contexts
  • Better marketability for your job search
  • Preparation for real-world problem solving
  • Expertise in effectively communicating with colleagues and stakeholders
  • An enhanced ability to adapt to diverse work environments
  • Competency in project management
  • Experience working with individuals who have diverse backgrounds and goals
  • Entrance to exclusive Leadership Credential events
  • Honorary graduation regalia and a note on transcripts indicating completion of the program

How it Works

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Students gain the opportunity to develop connections with important leadership experts.

Students in two-year programs will complete Leadership Credential requirements over the course of their time here. MA students only need to complete Year 2 of the program as defined below. Prior to the introduction of the Leadership Credential in Autumn Quarter 2017, more than half of Harris students already regularly completed the program requirements.

Program Requirements

Leadership Credential requirements are organized around five core principles:

1. Professional Development: 60 professional development credits, earned through attendance at a variety of co-curricular events

2. Academic Training: 1 Harris Policy Labs course or leadership course offered by Harris

3. Mentorship: Participation in both years of the Harris Mentor Program

4. Community Service: 20 hours of community service (10 hours per year)

5. Leadership Development: Participation in the Peer Leadership Track (service as a New Student Orientation Leader or in a peer leadership role at a Harris student organization) or the Volunteer Leadership Track (service in a national or local professional organization for one year)

Typical Program Progression

Here's what your curriculum might look like as you pursue the Leadership Credential at Harris:

Year One

  • 30 professional development credits
  • 10 hours of community service
  • Participation in the Harris Mentor Program

Year Two

  • 30 professional development credits
  • 10 hours of community service
  • 1 Harris Policy Labs course
  • Peer or Volunteer Leadership service
  • Participation in the Harris Mentor Program


“It is important for us, as future policy leaders, to develop our leadership abilities and pursue opportunities to make a positive impact in our communities at all times. Getting involved empowered me and helped me to integrate fully into the Harris community. I built meaningful connections with my peers that enhanced my academic experience and will last for a lifetime.”

–Gregory Smith, MPP’17


Leadership credential - learn more

More Details
Are you ready to commit to ensuring your success as a future policy leader? Every Harris student is automatically enrolled in the Leadership Credential and will have the chance to earn it during their time at Harris.