Institute for Transformational Leadership

Leadership Coaching

Are you interested in this certificate but have more questions? Learn from program administration, faculty, and graduates at our upcoming Information Session on Wednesday October 1st from 6-7 PM. Space is limited, so click the 'RSVP Now' button to reserve your spot.

Program Description

Leadership coaching is needed today more than ever as a critical tool for organizational change. Change is essential for organizations to grow and adapt to today's rapidly shifting marketplace, yet people and organizations are naturally resistant to change. Leadership coaching can facilitate productive change in persons, teams, and systems by enabling leaders, managers, and employees to uncover potential that might otherwise go untapped.

At the same time, many organizations realize that the traditional hierarchical model of leading and influencing is no longer optimal to succeed in today's complex and dynamic marketplace. To adopt more relational, collaborative, and consultative models for leading and influencing, businesses are evolving to build coaching cultures that encourage organizational learning and adaptability. And leadership coaching has emerged as the best way to help individuals learn to think and work together more effectively.

The ability to coach leaders is a core competency for those helping organizations to develop. Through coaching, leaders learn how to optimize the value of teams and organizations. Leadership coaching helps clarify vision, beliefs, and values, and stretches the capacity to lead and influence. Leaders then become catalysts for change within their organizations.

Taught by academics and experienced practitioners, the highly competitive and ICF-accredited Certificate in Leadership Coaching program examines the links between coaching and organization development, while emphasizing coaching skill development on three levels: (1) learning about self as a coach and instrument of change; (2) creating productive and fulfilling relationships in the coaching role and; (3) understanding coaching within systems dynamics. Founded in 2000 as the first university-based leadership coaching program, the certificate program prepares participants for the Professional Certified Coach level of proficiency as established by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Program Objectives

The Certificate in Leadership Coaching is designed to help students:

  • Learn how personal transformation occurs, through your own experience of transformation
  • Increase your ability to reflect, notice, and self-correct
  • Gain fluency in the domains of language, body, and emotion
  • Understand leadership coaching as organizational intervention
  • Define and practice elements of the coaching relationship
  • Assemble a coaching toolkit
  • Apply the concepts of adult development theory to your coaching and use of self as coach
  • Understand and practice team and group coaching

Designed For

  • Currently practicing coaches and consultants seeking certification from the International Coach Federation, either internal or external to an organization
  • Accomplished organizational leaders seeking a career transition that will build on previous experience
  • Experienced human resources and performance management professionals seeking to expand their portfolio of skills
  • Coaches already certified by the International Coach Federation who would like to be more skilled in specifically working with leaders in an organizational context

Program Prerequisites

Applicants must have the following prerequisites to ensure the appropriate knowledge, experience, and mindset to succeed in the program:

  • A bachelors degree.
  • At least five years of education, training and/or professional experience in coaching, human resources, leadership, organization development, or a related field.
  • Openness to feedback; capacity for self-examination; willingness to challenge one's own beliefs.

Certificate Requirements

To receive the Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University, students must successfully complete all eight (8) required courses for a total of 15.20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), or 152.0 contact hours. The program must be completed in sequence as a cohort over the seven-month duration of the program.

Program Faculty

The Leadership Coaching faculty are multifaceted and diverse with respect to educational background, experience, expertise, and research interests. In addition to formal academic credentials and deep industry experience, all faculty have obtained the PCC or MCC designation from the International Coach Federation. We encourage prospective students to read more about our faculty.

Program Format & Schedule

The program includes 152 hours of instruction. Classes meet from 8:30 AM to 5 PM (4:30 PM on Friday) on three consecutive days, Wednesday through Friday, approximately once a month, with the exception of the third course, which is four days (Tuesday through Friday). Additional meeting times with learning team coaches are arranged to fit the schedules of participants. Classes cannot be taken independently of the certificate program. The certificate is a cohort program and participants are required to attend and complete all courses to earn the Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.

Supplementing the 19 days of in-person classes, participants will complete significant outside reading and written assignments throughout the program, complete supervised coaching of 3 clients for a period of 3 months each, and receive individual coaching by an assigned faculty member for 6 months. Estimated level of effort outside the classroom is 10-20 hours per week throughout the 6-month program. The program culminates with a written examination, a final coaching performance examination, and a final written paper of 15 pages in length. In addition to the amount of study of coaching content outlined above, participants are required to engage in significant reflection and self-examination to better prepare themselves for the deep, personal work needed to guide and support clients while in the program.

Program Materials

Course materials will be distributed in digital format and accessible through Blackboard, Georgetown's learning management system. Students must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.

Required Reading (subject to change per term)

Students are required to read all of the following texts. In some cases specific pages will be assigned for particular courses. All books are available through major booksellers and online retailers.

  • Co-active Coaching by Whitworth, Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House, and Phillip Sandahl, 2nd edition
  • On Becoming a Leadership Coach: A Holistic Approach to Coaching Excellence by Christine Wahl, Clarice Scriber, and Beth Bloomfield
  • Be Your Own Coach by Barbara Braham and Chris Wahl
  • Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart by Mary Beth O’Neill
  • Language and the Pursuit of Happiness by Chalmers Brothers
  • Holding the Center by Richard Heckler
  • Anatomy of Change by Richard Heckler
  • Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others by James Flaherty
  • The Extraordinary Leader by John H. Zenger and Joseph Folkman

Articles can be ordered online from Harvard Business Review:

Program Tuition

Program tuition for the Certificate in Leadership Coaching program is $11,995.00. Tuition is due at time of registration. A payment plan that allows participants to pay in installments over the duration of the program is available from the Office of Student Accounts. Withdrawals and refunds are subject to the Withdrawal and Refund policy.

The program also qualifies for Veterans Affairs Benefits for eligible students.

Tuition Payment Considerations

While non-credit professional certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, prospective students should consider the following for tuition payment:

  • Seek employer funding or reimbursement
  • Enroll in our interest-free payment plan
  • Use Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits/ GI Bill
  • Apply for a private education loan

Admissions Philosophy

The applications review committee is tasked with choosing applicants that can create a learning community that includes students who bring diversity, a desire to learn, and the time and commitment at this point in their lives for their own transformational learning. The interaction and contribution of our students is an important part of the learning in the cohort. With that in mind, we carefully choose qualified applicants who share our focus on coaching leaders and being attuned to the systems within which they lead.

We believe that effective coaches and leaders must engage in self-reflection and self-mastery as on-going practices - for development is a lifelong process. We hold that coaching must address the whole person: the mind, emotions, body, and spirit. Each of these is a source of wisdom and each domain is enriched by the other. We believe that each human being has a wellspring of innate intelligence from which deep qualities like presence, wisdom, common sense, resiliency, and peace of mind can emerge. From that belief, we coach leaders to see and respect the same wholeness in those whose lives they impact.

Before applying to the program, prospective students are strongly encouraged to view our program webinar. In reviewing applications, the committee takes a holistic approach in order to create a well-rounded and diverse learning community. Below are just some of the considerations, in alphabetical order, the committee uses when reviewing applications.

  • Academic coursework and degrees earned
  • Community engagement
  • Coaching experience
  • Essay Response
  • Geographic location
  • Leadership roles (professional and personal)
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Life experiences
  • Personal development
  • Work Experience

Admissions Process

The Leadership Coaching certificate program has a highly competitive and selective admissions process. For each cohort, an application review committee offers admission to a diverse group of students to enrich the classroom experience.

Applications must be submitted online through the application portal. During the application process, students are responsible for tracking the status of reference letters and required application materials. Students will be notified of their admission decision via e-mail within 6 to 8 weeks after the application priority deadline. Please ensure that your e-mail provider is configured to accept e-mail from the domain.

Application Materials & Deadlines

The Leadership Coaching program accepts three cohorts each year. For best consideration into the program, applicants must submit an application through the application portal (see below) prior to the close of business (5:00pm EST) on the application deadline. Priority application deadlines for each semester are as follows:

  • Aug 1: Application deadline for admission to Spring term (January start).
  • Dec 1: Application deadline for admission to Summer term (April start).
  • April 1: Application deadline for admission to Fall term (September start).

Before applying, applicants should view the program webinar, download the application checklist, and review the program FAQs.

Applicants are also encouraged to review cohort schedules to determine the time commitment expected to successfully complete the program.

To apply to the next cohort of the Certificate in Leadership Coaching program, please click Apply Now.

International Students

A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Please note that non-credit professional certificate programs are classified as part-time education programs. As a result, Georgetown University cannot sponsor international students for student visa (F-1) to enroll in certificate programs. However, prospective international students who enter the U.S. on a valid visa are eligible to enroll in courses. For more about travel visas, please see the section on international students under Frequently Asked Questions.

More Information

For more information or to speak with a program advisor, please complete the Request More Information Form, send an email to, or call 202.687.7000. Interested students are also encouraged to RSVP for an upcoming information session.

ACTP logo The Georgetown University Certificate in Leadership Coaching program is certified as an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) by the International Coach Federation.


Minimum Required:  8.0  Courses
    XCPD-040   Leadership Coaching as an Organization Intervention
    XCPD-041   Coaching to Create Breakthroughs: Defining and Practicing Elements of the Coaching Relationship
    XCPD-042   Flow of Coaching
    XCPD-045   Coaching to Stage Development and Leadership Presence
    XCPD-043   Coaching Teams and Groups
    XCPD-044   Coaching Integration Seminar: Leveraging Your Learning and Moving Forward
    XCPD-048   Final Assessments
    XCPD-049   Coaching Practicum

Institute for Transformational Leadership Information Session

October 1, 2014 6:00PM Details

Institute for Transformational Leadership News and Highlights