The MLD Certificate

Certificate in Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences

The MLD Area at HKS offers courses in Leadership; Negotiation and Decision Sciences; Strategic Management; and Organizing for Social Change.  Watch our  Video Overview of the MLD Area Courses, Pedagogy, and the MLD Certificate Requirements.

The MLD Area created the Certificate in Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences (“The MLD Certificate”) to encourage students to be mindful about how MLD coursework can assist in their future public service endeavors and enhance their leadership potential.

MLD Certificate Requirements

  • Enroll in, and fulfill the full requirements of, a Harvard Kennedy School Masters Degree program (e.g., MPP, MPA, etc.)  See FAQs for full details on who can and cannot earn an MLD Certificate.
  • Submit the Online Form to Activate Candidacy for the MLD Certificate by November 1 of your graduation year
      • One-year program students must submit forms to activate their candidacy by November 1 of the Fall semester preceding their graduation (e.g., November 1, 2023 for May 2024 graduation).
      • Two-year program students may submit forms to activate their candidacy in the Fall of their second year, with a final deadline of November 1 prior to their graduation (e.g., November 1, 2024 for May 2025 graduation.)
    • We strongly encourage students to submit the activation form as early in their enrollment as possible, preferably before Fall course registration. Course selections on the activation form are non-binding.
  • Complete a minimum of twelve (12) MLD elective course credits
    • A full-semester course is equal to 4 credits. A half-semester module is equal to 2 credits.
    • Link here to see a table of eligible HKS courses.
    • Four of the required twelve course credits may come from non-HKS courses. Follow link here for full details on HKS cross-registration. Courses taken through cross-registration will require review and approval by the MLD Chair in order for them to qualify towards the MLD Certificate.
  • Obtain a minimum grade of B+ or better in each qualifying course.
  • Submit the Final Application for the MLD Certificate by May 1 of your graduation year, detailing your completion of the requirements above and providing a statement explaining your MLD training
    • The primary purpose of the statement of MLD training is to help students explain their MLD coursework to prospective employers or investors. Click here for guidance on statements of MLD training. A secondary purpose of the statements is for the MLD Area to learn more about how students are approaching their MLD training. The MLD Area Chair will read all of the statements and share insights gained with MLD faculty and staff for curricular planning. There will be no individual evaluation of students’ statements.

Confirmation of Certification. The MLD Administrator and Area Chair will review certificate applications and check them against students’ final transcripts. Prior to Commencement, students will receive an email confirming their certification.

Quick menu: Candidate Activation Form | Eligible HKS courses | About Non-HKS courses | Guidance on Statements of Training| FAQs