Course information

Registration Closes:
6 October 2020
Course Starts:
14 October 2020
8 weeks, excluding orientation
7–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online
USD $1,500
Payment Options
University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management


Effective leaders know how to adapt to various situations and challenges within an organization. Whether your team is new, transitioning through change, or is under pressure to perform, choosing the correct leadership approach is vital.

The Leadership Program from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) gives you the frameworks to do this. Guided by the Situational Leadership Model, the program offers an experiential learning process whereby you’ll get the opportunity to lead a fictional team through a number of different scenarios while assessing your role within that environment.

The curriculum focuses on three key areas: the self as a leader, leadership as a relationship with your team, and the environment in which teams are situated. Through these lenses you’ll develop practical strategies to build trust, lead through times of change and crisis, and motivate your team to reach their objectives.

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management Leadership Program was recently ranked as one of the top leadership certificate courses in the U.S. by CIO.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this program, you’ll walk away with:

    • A situational leadership decision-aid that you can use to guide your leadership approach
    • Practical leadership skills needed to motivate a team toward achieving business goals
    • The ability to apply personality theory to different leadership scenarios
    • Valuable insight from leadership experts, empowering you to overcome organizational challenges and drive team success

Is this program for you?

This leadership program is designed for professionals who want to enhance their careers, as well as those who are aspiring to step into a management or leadership position. It would also be beneficial to established managers or team leads who are looking to take on more responsibility, further build their teams, or develop their individual leadership style. The situational decision-aid you’ll walk away with is a useful tool for anyone who wants to align their leadership approach with the needs of their team and organization.

Course curriculum

 Learn to inform your leadership approach as you work through the weekly modules of this online program.

  • Orientation module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Situational leadership: An organizing framework
  • Module 2 Leadership and personality
  • Module 3 Leadership and communication
  • Module 4 Understanding leadership as a relationship with followers
  • Module 5 Leading teams
  • Module 6 Leading in times of crisis
  • Module 7 Leading change
  • Module 8 Creating a situational leadership decision-aid

As part of our commitment to your professional development, GetSmarter offers you a two-week period to change your course start date or request your money back if you’re not fully satisfied.

Learn in your own time

This UC Davis Graduate School of Management online short course is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc. Learn from industry thought leaders as you reflect and draw on theoretical material as well as practical strategies to define your own situational leadership theory.

Your Course Convener

The design of this online program is guided by UC Davis GSM faculty, as well as industry experts, who will share their experience and in-depth knowledge with you throughout the program.

Kimberly Elsbach

Kimberly Elsbach

Professor of Management, UC Davis

Guest Speakers

Robert Lorber

Robert Lorber

President, Lorber Kamai Consulting Group

Dr Keisha Liggett-Nichols

Keisha Liggett-Nichols

Faculty Director of impact programs,
UC Davis

Paul Bianch

Paul Bianchi

Robert A Fox Executive-in-Residence,
UC Davis

Cyrus John Aram

Cyrus John Aram

Executive Consultant and Lecturer

Joe DiNunzio

Joe DiNunzio

Executive Director, Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Earn a certificate from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management

Develop your leadership skills and earn an official certificate of completion from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 14 October 2020.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.