A Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership adds valuable leadership expertise to your resume. This program focuses on leadership development through academic courses and hands-on service-learning.

Open to all eligible UGA students, the yearlong Leadership Fellows program offers students the opportunity to fine-tune their career planning skills and assess their personality, strengths and core values to achieve self-awareness—a key piece in identifying one’s leadership capabilities. During the second semester, Leadership Fellows examine effective leadership in organizational settings, and ultimately apply this learning in a service-learning project.

Participants in the program earn the Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership.

How to Apply

Complete an online application indicating your demonstrated leadership experience, including university activities, community service and work, as well as answer two essay questions.

There are two application periods for the Leadership Fellows: Applications for Spring Fellows open September 1, and Fall Fellows open December 1.

NOTE: This program is available to all eligible UGA students. During the August-September admissions cycle, we only accept applications for the Fellows program. During the December–January admission cycle, if you are a Terry student, you may apply to both the Leadership Fellows and Leadership Scholars programs, but you will ultimately be accepted to only one.


In addition to coursework, students are required to participate in these activities, which reinforce commitment to civic issues, service and volunteerism.

  • Program Orientation: Students meet other new members of the program, learn more about program expectations and commit to program requirements.
  • Challenge Course: Students attend a half-day challenge course to enhance team-building.
  • Fellows Service-Learning Project: During this semester-long project, students are assigned to teams of five to six and address a challenge faced by a community organization.
  • Corporate Site Visits: Students visit a company’s headquarters for a day each semester. Typically, students meet with senior-level executives who share the company’s leadership mission, learn the company culture and often tour the premises. Past visits included Fortune 500 companies like the Coca-Cola Company, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Delta Airlines and Walmart.

Co-Curricular Activities

Additional out-of-class activities focus on professional, networking and career development skills to complement a student’s academic growth. These include Executive of the Day, a Corporate Case Study and more. ILA students must attend at least two of these co-curricular activities each semester.

  • Executive of the Day: Individuals from corporate sponsor companies and organizations meet with students in small groups to share wisdom in their field of expertise and offer insight into succeeding in college and beyond.
  • Case Study: Students take an in-depth look at a fictional or real-life problem with a corporate sponsor. They research the issue, analyze the problem and make recommendations to company executives.
  • Student-led Service Initiative: ILA students host an annual event to give back to those in need. This program has positively impacted local nonprofits like Nuçi’s Space and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.


The core of our curriculum is a set of courses that include personal assessments, the study of leadership paradigms and the application of leadership scholarship to the understanding of self and organizational effectiveness.

Required Courses

  • ILAD 4100: The introductory course for all ILA students provides the tools and knowledge to complete an in-depth examination of self, as self-awareness is a key leadership competency. Fellows complete assessments and experiential exercises, learn about theory and research and analyze mini-cases to identify their personal preferences and leadership abilities.
  • ILAD 5000S: In this course, students discover and develop career management skills to examine and understand the process of developing and implementing a change initiative within a nonprofit organization. The first half of the class focuses on making progress toward career goals and exposure to professional experiences such as networking and professional communications. The second half of the course asks students to implement these learnings to initiate a client relationship and work plan that will be executed in ILAD 5100S: Organizational Leadership. This course consists of a one-hour session each week for the entire semester. As noted, the first half of the class focuses on career management tools, while the second half initiates engagement with students’ service-learning clients.
  • ILAD 5100S: This course examines how organizational leaders support, influence, develop and meet the needs of their followers in tandem with creating successful business outcomes. Students learn key leadership theories that develop skills related to employee motivation, development, engagement and empowerment, decision-making, managing conflict, leading teams, leveraging diversity and inclusiveness, creativity, communication and managing organizational change. Students simultaneously apply acquired knowledge and skills through the service-learning projects (SLP) begun in the previous semester.


Nine hours of additional electives are required to complete the certification.

Those who participate in UGA’s Honors Program receive honors credit for ILAD 4100 and 5100S.


When applying to the program, applicants must have:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.2
  • 45 hours of UGA or transfer credit (not including AP credits)

When ILA classes begin, applicants must have:

  • At least 2 semesters of undergraduate courses remaining at UGA

The ideal ILA candidate is:

  • Passionate about leadership development and growth
  • Conscientious and driven while also focused on developing positive relationships
  • Committed to being a values-based, impact-driven leader
Headshot of Noah Isherwood
  • Student Services Specialist, Institute for Leadership Advancement