Graduate Student Leadership Development Program

What are we about?

People are not always born as leaders -- in fact, very few are. Skills for leadership are often learned through a variety of methods including on-the-job mentoring, formal classroom preparation, and enrolling in a variety of leadership development workshops. Graduate students often find a need to develop these skills throughout their career.  Many graduates might alter their career path and need skills to allow them to fit into a variety of employment directions. Such skills are termed “transferrable skills” and leaders of the future must have these to be successful.   

The Graduate Schools of the 4 campus system of the University of Missouri have developed a Graduate Student Leadership Development Program (GSLDP) for highly motivated graduate students. The goals of the program are to have students gain both knowledge and skills important in their professional careers. Eight graduate students from each campus are selected to participate in the program each calendar year. Training sessions are two-fold:  1) students visit all four campuses for a one and a half day workshop; and 2) students participate in workshops regarding professional development on their own local campuses.


While all full-time (on-campus) graduate students can apply, doctoral students in the first or second year of study are given high priority.  The following tentative activities and topics are intended to be part of the program:

  • Identification of your leadership strengths
  • How others perceive your strengths and limitations
  • How your personality fits into your leadership style
  • Identifying your transferrable skills and how to use them to market yourself
  • Handling workplace conflicts
  • How to have difficult conversations
  • Balancing work and life
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship in your career
  • Sharpening your skills for the job search

Requirements and How to Apply

Full time, on-campus graduate students at any of the 4 UM system campuses are eligible to apply by completing the application and providing a 2-page resume.  The selected student must attend ALL sessions to continue with the program.  Completion of the application is considered a “signature of intent” to attend.  The student who completes this program must also participate in a leadership activity program at the University or community following the program for one year.  Such an activity may be as an officer for student government, a departmental based group, or a community organization. 


Students who complete the program will earn a UM Certificate in Leadership Development.

2017 Conference Dates

University of Missouri, Columbia : February 23-24, 2017
University of Missouri, Kansas City: April 20-21, 2017
University of Missouri, St. Louis: September 21-22, 2017
Missouri University of Science & Technology: November 16-17, 2017


Questions? Please contact Stephanie Lewis at