The Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Certificate Program is an 18-credit, two-semester graduate certificate program designed to prepare women to take on leadership roles in government and nonprofit organizations; hold political office; and pursue advanced degrees, most frequently in law and public policy.


The program offers a unique combination of academic work in policy studies and analytical and research skills plus carefully supervised public policy internships, advising and professional development activities.

The program is located within the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Students take all courses as a cohort over two-semesters beginning in September. The program is also affiliated with the McCormack Graduate School’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy which offers opportunities for internships, conferences and forums, and advising with renowned scholars in politics and public policy.

Learn more about this program:

To receive more information and connect with the program manager, please click on inquire now .

Click here for more information on the Graduate Certificate in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy.


Please see Fee Schedule below.

Type of Fee Amount
Fee per credit $575
Returned Check Fee per semester** $28
Total for course*** $1725 (575 x 3 credits = 1,725)

Click here to browse our course listings.

*applicable when you register after deadline; non-refundable unless course has been cancelled

** applicable when checks returned unpaid

*** Courses can vary from one to six credits; this total represents a standard 3 credit course


The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Did you know?

University of Massachusetts has earned several awards for its distance learning programs, faculty and technology including:

  • UMass Boston's College of Management was recently ranked 32 for Information Management by QS TopMBA, highlighting the quality of our MSIT program and related specializations in the MBA.
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell’s B.S. in Information Technology Ranked Among Top Affordable Online IT Degrees by Get Educated
  • UMass Ranked Among Top 10 Best Colleges in Online Education in Communication & Public Relations Degrees, by The Best Colleges
  • UMass ranks 19th highest-rated university in the world by the Times of London.
  • UMass ranked 56th in the Times of London's Top 200
  • UMassOnline, UMass Boston President's Special Achievement Award, Valerie C. Haven, Sloan-C Awards
  • University of Massachusetts Ranked Among Top 28 Best Value in Online Education for Human Services & Psychology Professionals, by Get Educated
  • Ranked Top 10 Online Degrees Colleges- (Online Degree Reviews.com)
  • UMassOnline Awarded Public Sector of the Year by Mass Technology Leadership Council
  • Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program, UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Behavioral Intervention in Autism Program, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards
  • 'Excellence in Online Teaching' Award, Dr. Jeannette E. Riley, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards
  • 21st Century Best Practices Award, United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
  • Program of Excellence, University Continuing Education Association (UCEA)-Journalism Certificate
  • Excellence in Faculty Development, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Programming, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Teaching, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • UMass Amherst Isenberg MBA, Top 10 national rankings, #4 Best Professors (Princeton Review: Best Business Schools rankings)
  • 4th in Primary Care Education, U.S. World Reports
  • Excellence in Distance Teaching Education - United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)


  1. Application form. Apply online
  2. Statement of Purpose. Write a two-part essay:
    • In part 1 (no more than 300 words), give your reasons for wishing to attend graduate school.
    • In part 2 (at least 1,200 words), describe your specific interests and the type of work you would like to do in your intended field.
    • This essay should be typed on 8 1/2 x 11 plain paper; please include your name on each sheet.
  3. Official transcripts. Submit official transcript from every college and university attended (including evidence of a BA/BS degree from a college or university of recognized standing)
  4. Letters of Recommendation. Submit two letters of recommendation from persons who can address your academic ability. Download the letter of recommendation form
  5. Résumé/Curriculum Vitae. Include your résumé or CV
  6. Interview. Arrange for an in-person or telephone interview with the Assistant Program Director Muna Killingback.
  7. Application Fee. Don't forget the application fee of $60 for domestic students and $100 for international students.

Note: The GREs are NOT required to apply for this program, but they are required if you are applying for the Master of Public Administration-GLPP track.

Plan of Study: 

The academic program focuses on political structures and processes, the effects of public policies, women’s influence in politics, and the formulation and implementation of public policy. The role of gender, race/ethnicity, class, immigrant status, and other social positions in politics and policymaking is central to the program’s design, goals, and curriculum.

Core Seminars
Two courses, Women in American Politics and Policymaking (Fall) and Contemporary American Public Policy Issues (Spring) equip students with skills in advanced policy analysis as well as analytic and practical skills for understanding the role and impact of women in American politics and policymaking.

Leadership Development
The course on gender and leadership in organizations allows students to delve deeply into issues they will confront as leaders. Students’ leadership is also nurtured through a series of professional development workshops and career panels.

Research Methods
In this course, students learn to critically analyze various research methodologies used in public policy development. Students will utilize these research methods to write policy briefs on issues they select.

Public Policy Internships
The required internship provides a learning environment for a deeper understanding of the political and policymaking process and hands-on development of leadership skills. Students serve as interns in the offices of members of state senators and representatives or the U.S. Congress; in state or local government agencies; in nonprofit or advocacy organizations; or at academic centers or institutes.

Throughout the program, faculty guide students through the process of integrating theoretical knowledge gained through their coursework with practical skills learned in their internships.

Financial Aid: 

The program is eligible for federal financial aid, mostly in the form of low-interest loans. Two scholarship funds established by Massachusetts political leaders, Betty Taymor, and Polly Logan, enable the program to grant scholarships up to $2,500 to promising students with financial need. In addition, a grant from the Cummings Foundation provides paid non-profit internships to 10 students per year.

For more information or if you have further questions, please contact Financial Aid Services at 617.287.6300 or at finaid@umb.edu.