Program Overview

The Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML), a multi-course certificate program for PreK-12 school leaders, is an innovative collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Harvard Business School (HBS).

Bridging the fields of business and education, CSML integrates world-class faculty and research in managing teams and organizations with best practices in educational leadership, to provide school leaders with frameworks, skills, and knowledge to effectively lead and drive change improvement in schools. The CSML certificate is comprised of four courses, which can be taken independently or completed together in any order to earn a comprehensive certificate.

Explore the Courses

Sheila Durant

Leading Change

Gain the skills needed to successfully drive school change and help diverse stakeholders establish priorities and improve practice. Learn more.


Leading School Strategy and Innovation

Develop the skills to take a strategic approach to identifying challenges, analyzing the cause, incorporating innovation, and driving whole school improvement. Learn more.

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Leading People

Learn how to recruit, develop, retain, and inspire outstanding individuals and teams to deliver on the vision of the school. Learn more.

Professionals Leading Learning

Leading Learning

Learn how to create teaching and learning communities that support standards based excellent teaching in every classroom. Learn more.

A sample thumbnail image of two school leaders walking down a school hallway.

Upcoming Courses

February Term

February 15 - March 15, 2023

  • Application Deadline: February 3, 2022
  • Enrollment Deadline: February 9, 2022

Leading Change: $499

Leading School Strategy & Innovation: $499

Leading People: $499

Leading Learning : $499

Certificate at a Glance

Faculty Research World-class Harvard faculty research adapted to the PreK-12 school context
Online icon  100% online and interactive
Case Studies Features case studies of leaders from a diverse cross-section of schools and businesses from across the country
Global Networking Icon Global peer network of school leaders
Solutions icon Develop a toolkit and solutions that are tailored to improving your school
Sequence icon Select from four courses to develop your own learning sequence
Schedule icon Take courses at a pace that fits your schedule
  • “One of my biggest takeaways in that the way I approach my team is very different. I had always looked at leadership as a characteristic of who you are and never looked at it as an activity. It is not so much about who I am, but it’s about how I build that capacity in other people, so they can take the risk to take action.”

    Thea Stovell, Superintendent, Randolph Public Schools

  • “The Certificate in School Management and Leadership is a must for all leaders. The course uses short video clips and actionable research that is easy to relate to your own school and work. The course helps you to reflect on the changes needed at your school and how to proceed with the changes to ensure an equitable education for all students.”

    Erika Tonello, Assistant Principal, District School Board of Pasco County

  • “The cohort based learning of CSML has been instrumental to my growth and development. I have cherished learning from peers whose settings and philosophies of education are so different from my own, as well as those in schools and communities with similarities to mine. The combination pushed me to rethink approaches we currently use in our school, while simultaneously opening my eyes to radically new ways of addressing our challenges.”

    Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Head of School, Krieger Schechter Day School

  • “The most significant improvement that has resulted from my work in the CSML is the total comprehension of what it takes to be a true leader; the running of a business has many parts, its ripeness, its adaptive challenges, but more importantly, that leadership is a practice, and authority does not always have to lead.”

    Kristine Douglas, Head of School, Ellington Preparatory Academy of Arts and Sciences Charter School

  • “Harvard's "Leading Change: A CSML Course," served as a wonderful form of professional development. While enrolled, I eagerly anticipated each module as the readings, videos and peer-interaction served as an excellent springboard for critical thought, reflection and growth.”

    Mike Hayes, Principal, Indian Hill Exempted Village School District