The Leonard Leadership Scholars Program provides personalized leadership development through innovative courses, enriching extracurricular activities and challenging service opportunities.

Open to all eligible Terry majors, the two-year Leonard Leadership Scholars program initiates a discovery process, asking students to uncover their leadership capabilities by identifying their personality, strengths and core values. Scholars also have the opportunity to fine-tune their career planning skills and examine effective leadership in organizational settings.

In addition, Scholars take a course dedicated to best practices for effective service-learning project management. This learning is then applied to a one-year service-learning project supporting a nonprofit or underserved community.

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

Headshot of Noah Isherwood
  • Student Services Specialist, Institute for Leadership Advancement


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

Required Courses

  • ILAD 4100: Leadership and Personal Development
    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. Scholars complete assessments and experiential exercises, learn about theory and research and analyze mini-cases to identify their personal preferences and leadership abilities.
  • ILAD 5000: Personal Career Management
    In this course, students discover and develop career management skills. The application of learnings in this course is critical to success. Exposure to real-world experiences such as professional networking, job search strategies and self-marketing ensures students a successful transition from an academic environment to the business world.
  • ILAD 5010S: Service-Learning Project Management
    This course explores qualitative research, benchmarking, project management best practices and problem-solving. Scholars also conduct the research and design phase of their 12-month service-learning projects. 50% of the course is spent working on the service-learning project, while the other half is spent learning new curriculum around managing a change initiative. The course consists of two one-hour sessions each week for the entire semester.
  • ILAD 5100S: Organizational Leadership
    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.

Honors Program

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


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

  • Program Orientation
    Each spring, students meet other new members of the program, learn more about program expectations and formally commit to program requirements.
  • Junior Retreat
    This off-site weekend retreat, held in early January, focuses on refining personal missions and values and building deeper relationships with classmates.
  • Scholars Service-Learning Project
    Students work in groups to address a challenge faced by a community organization over a 12-month timespan. Past projects have helped over 38 organizations like the American Heart Association, the Boys and Girls Club and the Shepherd Center.
  • Challenge Course
    During the fall of their junior year, students attend a half-day ropes course to enhance team-building.
  • 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.


When applying to the program, applicants must have:

  • A Terry College major
  • 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 4 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

How to Apply

The online application is open from December 1-January 31. Thirty students are selected annually. Complete an online application indicating your demonstrated leadership experience, including university activities, community service and work, and answer two essay questions.

NOTE: This program is only offered to eligible students enrolled in a Terry College major. 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.