Engineering Leadership Program

The Engineering Leadership Program offers a Certificate in Leadership and Strategy, as well as a Minor. The Engineering Certificate in Leadership and Strategy is a sequence of for-credit courses, and a capstone experience. The Certificate’s curriculum encompasses the topics of leadership style and strategy, business and professional speaking, and organizational behavior. Engineering students take those classes side-by-side with students who are emerging leaders in the liberal arts and sciences college. Faculty within the College of Engineering teach courses on such topics as engineering ethics, engineering law, project management, technical team building, technology and globalization, and a seminar taught by the dean of engineering.

The Engineering Certificate in Leadership and Strategy requires the completion of 21 credit hours of coursework, typically satisfied by the completion of seven three-credit hour courses. Only 9 of the required 21 credit hours must be unique to the Certificate; that is, those 9 credit hours must not otherwise be counted to satisfy the student’s major or minor degree requirements.

The Minor requires the completion of 15 credit hours of coursework, typically satisfied by the completion of five three-credit hour courses. Like the Certificate, the Minor requires that only 9 of the required 15 credit hours be unique to the Minor; those 9 credit hours must not otherwise be counted to satisfy the student’s major or minor degree requirements
Upon completion of the Certificate and Minor’s requirements, students receive formal recognition on their transcript and a Certificate provided by Iowa State’s Registrar.

After completing the Certificate, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the various types of authority and the key concepts of leadership.
  • Knowledge of the structural, political, and cultural nature of organizations.
  • Proficiency in written, verbal, and non-verbal communication, and an understanding of the importance of interpersonal relationships in any leadership role.
  • The importance of ethical decision-making, diversity, and culture for effective leadership.
  • Engagement through mentored service to the University, a co-operative learning/work assignment, or a study-abroad experience.

How to enroll

Advising and information sessions

Advising and Information Sessions with leadership faculty are available for students interested in pursuing the minor or certificate. Students can enroll here:

Liberal Arts and Studies/Engineering Leadership Course Options

The College of Engineering offers 1 credit, eight-week leadership courses specific to engineering students. These courses are recommended for students who are enrolled in the certificate or minor, and those who are looking for an opportunity to explore the realm of leadership studies. Students do not have to be enrolled in the certificate or minor program to take courses. For more information regarding each of the following courses offered please visit:

Vermeer leaders

A unique partnership with Vermeer Corporation and the Leadership Studies Program provides leadership certificate and minor students to engage in a year-long, in-depth leadership experience focused on the fields of engineering, business and agriculture. Participants will take two semesters of courses together and travel as a cohort while learning more about multi-national companies. Applications are due Feb. 1. For more information please visit:

Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow: Fall Annual Leadership Conference

Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow is a leadership conference for the students in the College of Engineering at Iowa State University. This conference focuses on developing students in four ways:

  • Professional Development
  • Leadership in the Everyday World
  • Planning for the Future
  • Inclusive Leadership

For more information, please visit:


Contact your Academic Advisor for more info or Joel Johnson, Director, Engineering Student Services,