2024 Best Online Organizational Leadership Certificates

By Dr. Brianna Anderson
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on July 8, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
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If you want to be an inspirational and shrewd leader in professional settings, an organizational leadership certificate could help you start or advance your career.

Best Online Organizational Leadership Certificates

Organizational leaders strategically coordinate individuals, teams, and resources to fulfill an organization’s mission and goals. These experts also lead organizational change by developing more efficient workflows, creating new initiatives, and revamping policies.

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All industries need caring and skilled leaders, so professionals who earn an online graduate certificate in organizational leadership may have plentiful career opportunities.

Universities Offering Online Graduate Certificates in Organizational Leadership Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Anderson University

Anderson University’s Certificate in Organizational Leadership can typically be completed online in 4 to 8 months. Anderson maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio to provide the opportunity to interact on a personal level with supportive professors. Classes are taught from a Biblical perspective, emphasizing ethics and servant leadership.

Anderson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a Certificate in Organizational Leadership. The program requires 9 credits that may be completed online or on campus. The curriculum includes projects and applied experiences. Credits earned in the program may be counted toward an MBA from Colorado State. GMAT and GRE scores are not needed to apply.

Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Creighton University

Creighton University offers an online Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership. The curriculum consists of 15 credits of courses such as Writing for Graduate Students, Strategic Orienteering and Execution Tactics, and Communicating and Leading Across Cultures. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for five start dates every year.

Creighton University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University offers an online Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership. This 16 credit program can potentially be completed in 8 months. Courses are 16 weeks long, and there are multiple start dates offered every year. Potential courses include Foundations of Leadership, Ethical Leadership, Organizational Theory and Culture, and Leading in an Intersectional World.

Eastern Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Mercyhurst University

Mercyhurst University offers an online Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership. The program requires the completion of 9 credits that may be applied to an MS in Organizational Leadership. The school’s rolling admissions process allows prospective students to apply for fall, spring, or summer terms. The program can potentially be completed in 9 months.

Mercyhurst University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Stephen F Austin State University

An Organizational Leadership Certificate can be earned at Stephen F. Austin State University. The program requires the completion of 12 credit hours, which can typically be finished in 2 semesters.

Potential courses include Managerial Communication, Executive Leadership, Negotiations and Dispute Resolution, and Organizational Behavior and Theory. One course may be completed asynchronously online, and the others feature class meetings on Zoom or on campus in the evenings.

Stephen F Austin State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Temple University

Temple University offers a 12 credit Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership. The program can typically be finished in 2 to 3 semesters. All courses are available online. Potential courses include Leading High Performing Teams, Leading Organizations, and Leading With a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Perspective. Credits earned in the program may be transferred into an MBA program.

Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth

The University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth offers an Organizational Leadership Graduate Certificate that can be earned 100% online. The program requires the completion of four courses. Possible options include Advanced Organizational Behavior, Management of Organizational Change, and Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Law. Most courses have assignment due dates but not set meeting times.

The University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University offers a Graduate Organizational Leadership Certificate that can be earned 100% online. The program requires the completion of 12 credit hours and may be completed on its own or in conjunction with a master’s degree. It provides opportunities to attend workshops and seminars and to participate in applied activities.

Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership. This flexible program includes four required courses and one elective. Each course is 8 weeks long. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning and practice-based projects. Credits may later be applied to an organizational leadership degree.

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Online Organizational Leadership Certificate Programs

Woman taking Online Organizational Leadership Certificate

Organizational leadership focuses on managing and motivating employees and teams to help companies and nonprofits achieve larger goals.

Experts in this field balance individual mentorship with big-picture strategizing. For example, an organizational leader could increase their company’s brand awareness by creating a new marketing initiative that leverages the talents of individual employees. This multidisciplinary field combines behavioral science, business, human psychology, and management theories.

Students who pursue an organizational leadership graduate certificate learn a broad range of leadership approaches that they can use to promote the success of employees with different backgrounds and work styles.

Graduate certificate programs in organizational leadership often cover these subjects:

  • Business communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Ethical leadership
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the workplace
  • Foundations of organizational leadership
  • Human resource foundations
  • Leading small groups
  • Organizational leadership
  • Strategic leadership
  • Talent management

These classes allow you to sharpen interpersonal skills like communication and collaboration. Some certificate programs also encourage you to intern with an organization or complete a capstone project. Students participating in these activities can further develop their leadership and research abilities.

Graduates of organizational leadership training programs have many versatile skills, like decision-making and team building. These abilities can make them appealing candidates for employers in a broad range of industries.

Here are a few types of organizations that often hire organizational leaders:

  • Construction companies
  • Corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Higher education institutions
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Startups

Many professionals with organizational leadership training secure employment with corporations as human resources managers, management analysts, and project management specialists. Others work for nonprofit organizations as administrators and philanthropy managers.

Students who want to work in education can pursue careers as higher education administrators, principals, and superintendents. Healthcare facilities also hire organizational leadership professionals as clinic directors and health service managers. Additionally, some graduates become management consultants. They can work for consulting firms or provide services on a freelance basis.

Organizational Leadership Careers & Salaries

Organizational Leadership Careers & Salaries

An organizational leadership graduate certificate can be an asset for many career paths. These programs help students deepen their understanding of business principles and develop strong leadership skills.

Current professionals work in management roles in numerous industries, including agriculture, business, construction, education, finance, healthcare, logistics, retail, and transportation. Your prior education and experience may also impact your qualifications for a particular field.

Many careers commonly held by professionals in this field offer potentially lucrative salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the median wages of some popular jobs related to organizational leadership.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Marketing Managers $140,040
Financial Managers $139,790
Compensation and Benefits Managers $131,280
Human Resources Managers $130,000
Advertising and Promotions Managers $127,830
Training and Development Managers $120,000
Medical and Health Services Managers $104,830
K-12 Education Administrators $101,320
General and Operations Managers $98,100
Management Analysts $95,290

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that management occupations will experience steady or rapid growth over the next ten years. For example, medical and health service managers have a projected growth rate of 28%, which is much faster than the average for all careers.

Other management positions expected to experience faster than average growth during this period include financial managers (17% job growth) and marketing managers (10%).

Organizational Leadership Certificate Curriculum & Courses

students taking Organizational Leadership Certificate

The specific coursework for an organizational leadership graduate certificate varies between colleges and universities. Most programs, though, offer similar classes that emphasize management approaches and soft skills. Here are some course examples:

  • Business Model Innovation: You’ll examine theories of innovation, creative business models, and methods for implementing ground-breaking ideas.
  • Contemporary Issues in Leadership: You’ll analyze current ethical and social issues that affect organizational leaders, and you can learn how to make strategic decisions.
  • Introduction to Organizational Leadership: This class covers fundamental leadership theories, power dynamics in the workplace, and case studies about notable leaders.
  • Leadership Theory, Application, and Reflection: You can gain advanced leadership skills and study the development of leadership theories throughout history.
  • Leading Innovation and Change: This course covers technologies and management practices that foster innovative thinking in the workplace and help organizations overcome crises.
  • Leading Small Groups: You’ll study team dynamics, meeting facilitation, and tactics for resolving group conflict.
  • Leading with a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Perspective: You’ll investigate the history of diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) programs, the impact of unconscious bias, and techniques to promote empathy in the workplace.
  • Modern Business Writing: This course teaches you how to adapt your writing style for different audiences and create a range of business documents.
  • Strategic Leadership: You’ll learn strategies to foster a positive workplace culture, generate change, and help employees adapt to new organizational structures.
  • Virtual or Remote Management and Communication: This course focuses on leading virtual teams, fostering collaboration and trust, and communicating effectively in online environments.

Some certificate programs offer a capstone project course that allows students to expand their research skills.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Organizational Leadership Certificates

Most graduate certificate programs only accept students who earned a bachelor’s degree, such as an online bachelors in organizational leadership or business leadership degree online or on campus. Depending on the program, you may also be required to submit these common application materials:

  • Official transcripts from every higher education institution you’ve attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors
  • Personal statement detailing your education, experience, and interest in the field
  • GRE or GMAT scores (not required by all schools)

Also, some organizational leadership programs require or prefer students to have several years of relevant work experience.

Organizational Leadership Programs Accreditation

University offering Organizational Leadership Programs

You can ensure you get a quality education by selecting an organizational leadership graduate certificate program from a regionally accredited school.

Schools earn this designation by passing a thorough assessment by a third party to ensure their educational services meet industry standards. Accredited programs typically offer a variety of support services for students, such as access to academic journals, counseling centers, and online tutoring. Also, graduate degree programs often only accept course credits from regionally accredited institutions.

You can verify the accreditation status of specific schools by visiting the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Organizational Leadership Certificates Financial Aid

You may qualify for financial assistance to help you cover expenses associated with your organizational leadership graduate certificate.

Some organizations have professional development resources for employees who want to continue their education. You can ask your current employer if they offer a tuition assistance or reimbursement program. Also, many colleges and universities provide grants and scholarships, though these options may be more limited for certificate students. You could also apply for grants from professional organizations related to your career goals.

The federal and state governments are other potential sources of financial support. Many graduate students take out federal student loans to fund their continuing education. Additionally, you might qualify for government grants or scholarships.

You can start investigating options for financial assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What Is an Organizational Leadership Certificate?

Training and Development Manager discussing with staff

An organizational leadership certificate is a non-degree program that allows students to improve their management and strategic planning skills. This certificate covers crucial business concepts and interpersonal abilities.

Certificate programs in this field typically include courses on business theory, change management, human behavior, and organizational psychology. You can also learn techniques for developing and implementing innovative ideas in the workplace.

An organizational leadership certificate can supplement a master’s degree in another field. Also, people who have already started their careers may choose to complete this graduate certificate to unlock new opportunities.

What Can You Do with a Certificate in Organizational Leadership?

Financial Manager discussing updates to the team

Organizational leadership training can open many career paths. Many current professionals use their graduate certificates to pursue management or mid-level corporate careers. For example, some organizational leaders become administrative directors, finance managers, or human resources managers.

Nonprofit organizations also frequently hire people with organizational leadership expertise. Some graduates work as fundraising managers or program directors. You may also qualify for management positions in construction, education, or healthcare. Additionally, some graduates work as consultants or freelance leadership coaches for various clients.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership?

Woman taking Online Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership

A graduate certificate in organizational leadership typically takes less time to complete than a master’s degree, but the exact timeline depends on the program. Most certificates require students to complete 12 to 15 credit hours. If you enroll full-time and take summer courses, you may be able to finish your graduate certificate in 1 year or less.

Many programs also let certificate students enroll part-time. This option can make it easier for busy working professionals and parents to continue their education, but part-time enrollment can also extend the length of the program.

What’s the Difference Between an Organizational Leadership Certification vs. Certificate?

An organizational leadership certification or certificate can enhance your resume, but these credentials have a few differences.

Organizational Leadership Certifications Organizational Leadership Certificates
  • Awarded by a professional organization or exam board
  • Earned by passing a test or completing training sessions
  • Often requires previous industry experience
  • Typically granted by an accredited academic institution
  • Requires the completion of 12 to 15 credits of graduate courses
  • Can be earned by people at any point in their careers

An organizational leadership certificate program is typically more rigorous and time-consuming than a certification.

Is an Organizational Leadership Certificate Worth It?

Marketing Manager brainstorming with the team

Yes, an organizational leadership certificate is worth it for many students. This program helps prepare you to lead change and oversee teams in organizations. You’ll study interesting topics like the history of organizational leadership, small group dynamics, and communication in the virtual workplace.

This training may help you qualify for positions in a broad range of industries, like business, insurance, and real estate. A graduate certificate in organizational leadership also enables you to gain essential interpersonal skills, such as active listening, ethical decision-making, and teamwork. These abilities can prepare you for consulting and management jobs.

Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 8% job growth for management occupations over the next ten years.

Getting Your Organizational Leadership Certificate Online

student getting Organizational Leadership Certificate online

Students and professionals who want to hone their business and management skills may consider an organizational leadership graduate certificate. This credential could help you start your career or qualify for a more advanced position.

You can also deepen your understanding of business concepts and practices. All industries need leaders who can implement organizational change and boost employee performance. As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that many management careers will have accelerated growth over the next decade.

If you want to prepare for a career as an organizational leader, you can start your journey by researching online graduate certificate programs from accredited institutions.

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