Executive Leadership, Certificate

This top leadership program is more than a business certificate. We’ll push you to examine yourself in the context of your work life and your personal life, and you’ll get the opportunity to put your leadership into action on an issue of importance to you.

More Information


About this Program

A History of Launching Great Leaders

In keeping with the Jesuit tradition of educating the whole person, Seattle University created the Executive Leadership Certificate Program more than 20 years ago. This seven-month business certificate program was designed to address what C-suite and senior level executives found lacking in their organizations -- wise and thoughtful leadership and insightful, well-informed, discerning leaders.  

Highly regarded as a stand-alone executive certificate program, it also serves as the first two quarters of the Leadership Executive MBA program and has become the top leadership training of its kind for future leaders in many of the region’s largest companies.

What Makes Us Stand Out?

Great leadership is more than the successful execution of managerial competencies. It involves deep self-awareness, insight into others, empathy, and humility. Developing those qualities requires introspection and reflection, two cornerstones of the education you get at Seattle U.  

This top leadership program is more than a business certificate. We’ll push you to examine yourself in the context of your work life and your personal life, and you’ll get the opportunity to put your leadership into action on an issue of importance to you.

Learning Outcomes   

The outcome is a deeper knowledge of leadership with:

  • Greater self-awareness, insight and confidence in yourself.
  • A keen understanding of how ethics and values guide executive decisions.
  • A stronger sense of how your actions can effect positive change.
  • Increased appreciation of the complex needs of a global community.

In small class settings and with one-on-one executive coaching, you’ll have the opportunity to discover how you’re perceived, who you want to be as a leader, and what leadership means in your life. Graduates consistently tell us that the program was a defining personal and professional experience, and one of the most transformative of their careers and even their lives.  

A Program that Works for You

The ELP includes a residential retreat, advanced experiential learning, team projects and the opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the area’s top executive coaches. Classes meet once a month in two- to three-day modules. 

Application and Admission Requirements

We evaluate each leadership certificate application and make decisions based on the criteria outlined below. The cohort model of this executive certificate program requires significant group work, so we also look for evidence of effective participation in team environments.

Four-year undergraduate or baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution or U.S. equivalent. Exceptions considered on an individual basis by the dean.

Official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended, including graduate programs. Transcripts from international institutions (including Canada) may require additional evaluation; see your recruiter for more information. Requirements and guidelines for international applicants.

Because of our experiential approach to education, applicants for this executive certificate program must have at least ten years of progressively responsible professional work experience, seven of which should be managerial in nature but can include management of people, products, programs, or projects.

Two recommendations from current or former supervisors using online evaluation forms supplied to recommenders by the university. Applicants without supervisors (i.e. entrepreneurs, business owners, CEOs) should consult with the recruiter for recommendation options.

Two- to four-page, double-spaced essay addressing prompts supplied in the application which, in addition to an explanation of the applicant’s interest in a certificate in Leadership, also serves as a writing sample.

While an initial interview is not required to submit an application, we strongly recommend scheduling a meeting with the recruiter before beginning an application to ensure the program meets your professional and educational goals (schedule interview). Applicants who have submitted an application but haven't yet met with the recruiter will be invited to do so before the application deadline.

A group interview for candidates that reach the final screening will be held following the application deadline. The group interview provides members of the admission committee the opportunity to meet applicants, and gives applicants an opportunity to meet potential classmates.

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take.

Graduate student Bowen Chen, from Shanghai China, studies in the library on campus for his finals in the Albers Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program

Top 5% World Business Schools

Albers is among top AACSB-accredited schools.


In the Nation

Seattle University’s Leadership Executive MBA degree —U.S. News & World Report, 2024


Best Undergraduate Business Program

On the West Coast —U.S. News & World Report, 2023

Top Training for Leaders

Gina Hall
Click to play the video


Great leadership isn’t about what you know, it’s about who you are. Our Executive Leadership Certificate program will help you cultivate the internal qualities of great leaders—insight, self-awareness, confidence, and humility. Gina Hall, CEO of Uplift Northwest and Executive Leadership Certificate ’19, looked around and chose Seattle University.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of the Executive Leadership Certificate program, which takes place over two academic quarters, is $33,400 ($18,200/quarter) for 2023. Tuition for this certificate in leadership is locked for the duration of the program and includes tuition, fees, textbooks and course materials, meals and lodging at residential sessions, continental breakfast and lunches on class days, and food and refreshments at various hosted events.

Financial Aid and Loans

There are two sources for loans for the Executive Leadership Certificate program which are not based on need, income, or credit:

In order to qualify for a loan, you must be a permanent U.S. resident, must not be in default on a prior federal student loan, and must have registered for the draft if required by law to do so.

To apply for a Federal Stafford Direct Loan, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. If you are offered admission to the Leadership Executive MBA program and your FAFSA is approved, the University will send you a financial aid eligibility letter.

For more information on Financial Aid options, please contact Student Financial Services at financialservices@seattleu.edu or 206-220-8020.


Veterans planning to use GI Bill benefits can find information on our Veterans Education Benefits page. For details and additional information, please contact our VA School Certifying Official at 206-296-5833 or va@seattleu.edu.

From Our Alumni

Nancy Sutherland, ELP '17

“I took those eight months in the Executive Leadership Certificate program to reflect on who I was, what I'm about, where I've come from, and where I want go from here. It was one of the most valuable things I’ve done in my career.”

Director of Portfolio Management Office, Expeditors International

Application Deadlines

Application Period Deadline Decision Date
*Early Decision* December 1 December 31
Second March 1 March 31
Final May 15 June 15

Submissions after June 15 will be evaluated space permitting.

Featured Faculty

  • Jeffery Smith, PhD
    Jeffery Smith, PhD

    Chair, Department of Management
    Professor, Department of Management
    Boeing Frank Shrontz Chair of Professional Ethics

  • Joseph Barnes
    Joseph Barnes

    Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Marketing

  • Marc Cohen, PhD
    Marc Cohen, PhD

    Program Director, Professional MBA and Online MBA
    Professor, Department of Management
    Professor, Department of Philosophy
    (shared appointment with College of Arts & Sciences)
    Genevieve Albers Professor, 2021-2024

  • Bradley Harlow, MBA
    Bradley Harlow, MBA

    Adjunct, Executive Education
    Executive-in-Residence, Center for Leadership Formation

  • Meenakshi Rishi, PhD
    Meenakshi Rishi, PhD

    Professor, Department of Economics
    Howard J. Bosanko Professor of International Economics and Finance, 2023-2026
    Past Director, International Development Internship Program

  • Teresa Rothausen
    Teresa Rothausen

    Executive Director, Center for Leadership Formation
    Professor, Department of Management

  • Erin Vernon, PhD
    Erin Vernon, PhD

    Associate Professor, Department of Economics
    Eva Albers Professor, 2022-2025

Contact Us

Judy Yu

Associate Director