Engineering Leadership Certificate Program

Engineering Leadership Certification is a highly selective one-year program that will develop your unique capabilities to make an impact on the world and live a life of purpose and fulfillment. The curriculum covers competencies in self-management, teamwork, leadership, and professional skills. Graduates earn a designation on their transcript recognizing their demonstrated excellence in engineering leadership.


There are two required classes for the Certification program. ENGRG 3900, Essentials of Engineering Leadership (2 credits, spring) covers the foundational work of great leadership. ENGRG 3910, Applied Engineering Leadership (3 credits, fall) offers weekly experiential learning about different aspects of teamwork and leadership in a fun, challenging, and reflective environment. Both courses are approved for Liberal Studies credits.

In addition to coursework, Certification students work in small groups to design and implement a Leadership Project related to their skills and interests. Teams are formed in March and work on the projects continues independently through the summer, with a target completion date in November.

While most Certification competencies are covered in the two required classes, there are a few that students master through optional seminars or other classes they have taken.

Applying to the Program

The Leadership Certification Program will be on hiatus for the 2021 calendar year, and we will begin accepting applications again in the fall of 2021. 

in the meantime, please let us know if you are interested in the program or would just like to know more. 

Gabe Klee, CS '20

This program changed my whole perspective on how I view myself and those around me. This program should 100% be a core requirement for every engineer at Cornell!

— Gabe Klee, CS '20
Connie Li, '19

I would use three words to describe the Engineering Leadership Program: uncomfortable, stimulating, provocative. This program was unlike any other experience I've had at Cornell. By consistently asking me tough questions and pushing me out of my comfort zone, Erica and Rob taught me so much about myself and my capacity as a leader - growth I would have never experienced had I stuck with the status quo.

— Connie Li, Chemical and Biomedical Eng. '19
Winning pose

I’ve learned that my values build the foundation of a purpose much bigger than me. They imbue me with the courage and confidence to take worthy risks, practice accountability, and seize responsibility… my values have the capacity to make me determined and fearless. A key mantra we speak of in this leadership program is to develop bold, courageous leaders who will lead with purpose and authenticity. And right now, I feel that I’m on the cusp of something great.

— Arpit Sheth, CS '17
Team of Leaders

The single most important thing I’ve gained from the Engineering Leadership program is a clear sense of purpose… My hunger is to create something beautiful, innovative, and impactful. Also to be free and to keep growing as a person. The resulting purpose is to design technological products that enrich people’s lives, build a team and a company around them, and strive to make a dent in the universe.

— Spyros Maniatopoulos, ME PhD '17