Gender, Leadership and Public Policy (Graduate Certificate)

The Gender, Leadership and Public Policy image shows women in politics and public policy in a classroom

Make a change. Make a difference.

Join a dynamic, diverse group of women from around Massachusetts, the nation, and the world in a challenging and exciting learning environment designed for women who want to make a change—and to make a difference.

The program prepares women to serve at all levels of government, take on leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, hold elected office, and pursue advanced degrees, most frequently in law and public policy.

Gender, Leadership and Public Policy graduate certificate students can also opt to apply for the Master of Public Administration program's GLPP track and, if accepted, can earn an MPA degree in an additional year.

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An Award-Winning Graduate Certificate Program

The Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Program (formerly known as the Program for Women in Politics and Public Policy) has been recognized with the following awards:

University Continuing Education Association (UCEA):

  • Innovative and Creative Program Award
  • New England Outstanding Credit Program Award

American Association of University Women (AAUW):

  • Progress in Equity Award (AAUW Massachusetts)
  • Honorable Mention, National Progress in Equity Award

Learn More

Contact our Assistant Program Director Muna Killingback for more information on the certificate program: 617.287.6785

Student Learning Outcomes

The Graduate Certificate Program in Gender, Leadership and Public Policy trains women for leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. Through thoughtful participation in and successful completion of a six-course (18 credit) program, graduates will be able to:

Utilize data to analyze historical and current political processes, institutions, and events, including social movements and to examine the role of women in electoral politics, public sector agencies, and other public leadership roles in a range of settings, including workplaces and communities;
Apply basic principles of policy making and analysis in governmental and nongovernmental policy settings, with particular knowledge of the state and federal legislative and budget processes, and determine opportunities and approaches for effectively influencing policy formation to create a more equitable and just society;
Analyze dimensions of leadership and authority in groups and organizations  - including the impact of gender roles and cultural assumptions – and utilize approaches from feminist and systems psychodynamics perspectives to become effective leaders in diverse organizational settings, including the public and nonprofit sectors;
Identify and assess fundamental concepts from a variety of research methods, including quantitative, qualitative, and participatory/community-based action research, and understand the value of these methods in the analysis and evaluation of existing public policies and the development of new public policies; and
Draw upon knowledge and range of skills acquired during an intensive internship in a nonprofit or public sector setting designed to promote their leadership development in the field of politics, broadly defined, and policy making.

Graduates of the program will understand and apply the theoretical and analytic concept of  “intersectionality” so that they can contribute to an understanding of how the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity and class shapes women’s lived experiences and their potential for leadership.

Hear Massachusetts State Representative Denise Garlick speak about her journey to political leadership. Representative Garlick participated on an interactive panel on women’s political leadership for both students in the Gender, Leadership and Public Policy Certificate graduate certificate program and the broader community. The event was part of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy's Leading Women Speaker and Film Series (PDF).