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Certificates of Leadership Excellence

The stakes are higher than ever for business leaders, and the ability to respond to change and act with purpose requires knowledge based on new skills, data, and ideas.  

Harvard Professional & Executive Development Certificates of Leadership Excellence (CLE) are specifically designed for leaders with the desire to advance their business management and leadership skills. In creating each certificate, we have carefully curated a set of leadership programs that builds core knowledge and skills.

Get Started on your Certificate of Leadership Excellence

Choose from one of the four tracks — Management Development, Executive Development, Strategy and Innovation, or Leading Teams — that meets your needs, and complete four of the designated leadership programs within 4 years to earn your CLE.

To get started click on one of the links below.  When you register for your first program, note your interest in the certificate to receive the appropriate discount.

Benefits of Certificate of Leadership Excellence

  • Receive a Certificate of Leadership Excellence from Harvard Division of Continuing Education Professional & Executive Development Programs 
  • Your Digital Social Badge to add to your LinkedIn profile
  • Ten percent discount on each CLE course upon completion of the first course
  • Receive exclusive invitations to world-wide Harvard Extension Alumni Association events
  • Unlimited, lifetime 20 percent discount on Professional & Executive Development programs
  • Subscription to Harvard Extension Alumni Association newsletter

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

Q: Is there an application process?

A: There is no application process for this noncredit certificate. Our registration is open enrollment, and is based on a first-come, first-served basis.


Q: When do I need to indicate that I am interested in pursuing the Certificate of Leadership Excellence?

A: We ask participants to indicate their interest for the Certificate of Leadership Excellence when completing their profile within our registration portal. Checking off this indicator will allow us to provide appropriate program updates. Please note, participants may edit their profile to indicate interest at any time.

Program Formats and Requirements

Q: Is there a residential requirement for this certificate?

A: No. Participants may complete the required programs online, on campus, or a combination of both.


Q: Do I need to follow a particular order of programs in order to achieve the Certificate of Leadership Excellence?

A: No, participants are encouraged to register for programs in the order that best fits their schedule and learning needs.


Q: Is there a recommended first program to take for the certificate?

A: No, participants are encouraged to choose the first program they feel best fits their current professional needs.


Q: Are there any prerequisites required for this certificate?

A: There are no prerequisites required for the noncredit Certificate of Leadership Excellence. However, prospective participants interested in taking a leadership development program that lists itself as “advanced” should consider their experience in this topic area or gain knowledge through the introductory version of this program.

Program and Certificate Duration

Q: How long do I have to complete the Certificate of Leadership Excellence?

A: Participants have 4 years from the start date of their first qualifying leadership program to complete the certificate.


Q: What is the shortest length of time it could take to complete the Certificate of Leadership Excellence?

A: There is no minimum time requirement for the Certificate of Leadership Excellence. There is a potential for participants to complete these in as little as two weeks, however, it is not guaranteed that Certificate applicable programs will always occur within weeks of each other. Participants are encouraged to review our Program Finder for program dates. 


Q: At what point does the completion timeline for the Certificate of Leadership Excellence begin?

A: As of 1/24/2024, participants have 4 years from the start date of their first qualifying program to complete the Certificate of Leadership Excellence.

Applicable Programs

Q: I have taken programs with Harvard Professional Development before, could those count towards the certificate?

A: Any qualifying programs taken January 2021 or later can be applied toward the Certificate of Leadership Excellence.

Please note, some eligible programs have changed as of November 2023. If you started your CLE prior to this date, please email us at with any questions


Q: Are there any exceptions to the programs required within each track?

A: Participants are only able to use the programs listed underneath each track. Participants are not able to substitute other programs within our program portfolio. 


Q: Can I transfer programs that I’ve taken with other Harvard institutions?

A: No. Only programs taken after January 2021 at Harvard Professional Development within the Harvard Division of Continuing Education can be counted toward the Certificate of Leadership Excellence.

Receiving a Certificate

Q: How do I request my Certificate of Leadership Excellence?

A: We ask that participants reach out to to request your Certificate of Leadership Excellence. Our team will verify that a participant has successfully participated in four of the necessary programs within the 4 year timeframe and issue the certificate, accordingly.


Q: Can I receive academic credits for this certificate?

A: No, the Certificate of Leadership Excellence and all its applicable programs are noncredit. If you are looking for a for-credit certificate The Harvard Extension School has undergraduate and graduate certificates as well as microcertificates.


Q: How long until I receive my certificate? 

A: Participants will receive a digital certificate 7-10 business days after the date of completion of their final program. 


Q: What am I certified in? 

A: The Certificate of Leadership Excellence does not certify or license participants, this is a noncredit certificate which shows successful participation in Professional Development Programs taken for no credit.  


Q: What is the difference between a Certificate of Leadership Excellence and the Certificate of Participation?

A:  Certificate of Participation is the participation in a single program. A Certificate of Leadership Excellence indicates a participant attended four distinct programs that went in-depth in the certificate’s topic. These Certificates of Leadership Excellence have been carefully curated.

Discounts and Pricing

Q: How much do the Certificates of Leadership Excellence cost?

A: The pricing of each certificate depends on the programs selected. The cost of each program can be found on the respective program pages. Our programs range in cost depending on the length and format (online or on campus).

Q: Are there any discounts?

A: Participants pay full price for the first program registration and receive a 10% discount on the additional three programs.

To take advantage of this discount, please email for further instructions.