UMass Boston

Gender, Leadership & Public Policy Certificate

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Prepare for leadership roles by exploring policy impacts at the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, and class.

UMass Boston's award-winning Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy (GLPP) Certificate is one of the few programs in the country that explores the intersectional influence of gender, race/ethnicity, and class in the context of the larger policy environment. This certificate prepares students to serve at all levels of government, take on leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, hold elected office, and pursue advanced degrees in law, public policy, and other areas. GLPP graduate certificate students can also opt to apply for the Master of Public Administration (MPA)-GLPP track; if accepted, you can earn an MPA in only one additional year.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the GLPP graduate certificate program move into leadership positions in

  • the public sector, including elected or appointed positions in the legislature or government agencies at the municipal and state levels
  • nonprofit organizations focused on issues of advocacy
  • research centers and think tanks
  • the private sector including human resource offices, diversity programs, and corporate social responsibility initiatives

Many also continue onto further graduate studies, generally in law and public policy.

Women of Color and Public Leadership: Impacts and Successes

Watch the video of this June 2023 virtual admissions event for prospective students in the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy graduate programs (certificate and MPA-GLPP track). Entitled "Women of Color in Public Leadership: Impacts and Successes," the event had a special focus on BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and gender diverse communities and all their allies. MA Senator Liz Miranda was the keynote speaker. The event was co-sponored by the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition (MAWOCC).

For any questions or assistance, please contact Graduate Program Director Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson at

We invite you to "Request Info" (via the form on this page) to join our email list.

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Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of recognized standing or an international equivalent at the time of enrollment
  • A minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (or international equivalent) in all undergraduate work
  • Official transcripts for all institutions where you have earned more than 6 credits; if your transcript is in a language other than English, please include an English translation, validated by an official public translator
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • If applicable, request official TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Duolingo scores to be sent to the University of Massachusetts Boston

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall (extended to July 21 for Fall 2024 admissions); November 1 for spring (online certificate only)

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Core Courses (12 Credits)

  • PUBADM 619 - WPPP: Contemporary American Public Policy Issues 3 Credit(s)
  • PUBADM 623 - WPPP: Women in American Politics and Policy Making 3 Credit(s)
  • PUBADM 628 - Research Methods for Policy Analysis 3 Credit(s)
  • PUBADM 629 - Leadership and Organizations: Gender, Power and Authority 3 Credit(s)

Internship Courses (6 Credits)

  • PUBADM 622 - WPPP Fall Internship 3 Credit(s)
  • PUBADM 624 - WPPP: Spring Internship 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 18 credits from six courses including four core courses and two internship courses.

Internship: Complete 10-16 hours per week at their internship site, for a minimum of 160 hours during a minimum 4-month period, over the course of the academic year.

Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy (GLPP) graduate certificate students can also choose to apply for the Public Administration (MPA) - Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Track, and complete an MPA in just one additional academic year plus one summer.

Statute of limitations: Three years.


Graduate Program Director Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson
LA.NsiahJefferson [at]

Hearing on immigration and higher ed at Kennedy Institute.

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