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Graduate Certificates | Youth Development and Leadership

Youth Development and Leadership

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The Graduate Certificate in Youth Development and Leadership prepares future and strengthens current professionals working with community-based youth development programs such as (but not limited to) faith-based youth programs/ministries, after-school programs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Boys and Girls Clubs, Communities in Schools, etc. The required courses are designed to strengthen the student’s understanding and application of critical aspects of community youth programs, including resource development and management, volunteer development, advisory committees and boards, organizational structure, human resource management, and current/emerging issues.


Applicants must meet one of these three requirements for admission to the graduate certificate program:

  • Be a graduate of an accredited four-year college or university, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at the time of graduation,
  • Be a degree student in good standing in a NC State University graduate program, or
  • Have a bachelor's degree.

Plan of Study

Four courses (12 credit hours) must be completed. Only 6 credits of any PBS or NDS course can transfer into our certificate program.

  • All certificate requirements must be completed within four calendar years, beginning with the date the student commences the first course toward the certificate.
  • Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on all certificate course work.
  • The minimum grade to receive certificate credit is "C."
  • Students may take up to nine (9) credit hours of coursework as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS)/Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) student before being accepted to the certificate program.
  • Transfer credit from other programs is not allowed.

Career Prospects

The Graduate Certificate in Youth Development and Leadership is an alternative to a full master’s degree program, providing advanced education to professionals who may not have the time or resources to devote themselves to a full master’s degree. Program coordinators, managers and directors find employment opportunities that entail understanding of resource management, volunteer coordination, staff management and financial leadership.

Nonprofits, community organizations, schools and churches often hire youth development professionals with understanding of both sides of the house—service-facing, and administrative-facing. Many professionals working with youth have a background in psychology or experience working with youths, but they lack the understanding of the leadership aspects necessary for advancement to management positions. The Graduate Certificate in Youth Development and Leadership provides graduate level knowledge and credentials required for career advancement.