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Management Development Program | MDP

6/4/17 to 6/16/17

3–7 Years of Administrative Experience

Tuition: $7,900 per person

Regular Decision Application Deadline: March 3, 2017

What You Will Learn

The Management Development Program (MDP) prepares you to become a better leader of your unit, department, or college, as well as a more valuable contributor to broader institutional goals.

Program Overview

As a middle manager in higher education, you face a distinctive set of leadership challenges. You are responsible for leading your administrative unit, crafting strategy, motivating staff, and allocating financial resources, but are also expected to enact the vision of senior leadership and mobilize support for broader institutional goals. To be successful, you must be adept at managing both “up” and “down” the institutional hierarchy.

Through real-world case studies, small group discussions, and interactive presentations, MDP teaches you to think beyond your own administrative area and lead in ways that support larger institutional objectives. You will gain a deeper understanding of how different units function and will be able to incorporate broader strategic considerations into your management decisions. MDP provides the tools and insight to think more strategically, balance competing demands on your time, and engage in more forward- thinking leadership.

PDF iconDownload a sample schedule here.pdf

Program Objectives
  • Understand the characteristics of effective leadership in higher education
  • Develop and lead high-functioning teams
  • Understand your optimal role in planning initiatives
  • Analyze financial data and understand how funds are allocated and budgets are created
  • Consider the ethical dimensions of educational leadership
  • Identify the conditions — both individual and institutional — that increase opportunities for professional development and personal transformation
  • Function as an effective change agent
Who Should Attend
  • Mid-level administrators in the early years of their careers
  • Deans, directors, and department heads
What People Are Saying

MDP was a life-changing experience.” — Halaevalu Vakalahi, Associate Dean, School of Social Work, Morgan State University; MDP’14

“MDP has helped me to look at my own administrative and leadership style in a whole new perspective. I intend to build on my current strengths using all the new concepts I absorbed.” — 2012 participant

“This was the best. The conversation was outstanding and I learned so much from the very competent group of professionals I was working with. And it was fun, to boot.”  — 2012 participant

“Our group formed a bond that was undeniable. I truly got as much—if not more—out of the small groups as the plenary sessions.”  — Amanda Hostalka, Chair, Stevenson University, Stevenson, MD

Faculty Chair

Joseph Zolner is lecturer on education and senior director of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education at HGSE. As HIHE Director, he is responsible for the quality, relevance and variety of professional development programs offered by HGSE for the higher education community. Previously, Zolner served as director of the Graduate Management Institute at Union College, NY and director of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Northeastern University, MA.


Enrollment Instructions

MDP is designed as a developmental experience for those with significant administrative responsibility in an institution of higher education who demonstrate high potential for making substantive future contributions. It is not designed for full-time faculty members or others without current administrative duties. A network of alumni and former participants are available to speak with you, many are from similar institutions or professionals with responsibilities comparable to your own.

Admission to MDP is competitive; we regret that we are unable to accommodate all qualified applicants. Your personal statement is a key part of the application. Effective statements provide a clear and detailed explanation of why MDP makes sense at this stage of your professional career and what you expect to gain from the program.

Step One
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.

Step Two
You will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)
  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)

Step Three
You will be asked to upload your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) as a single MS Word or PDF document. Please ensure that the document lists the following elements of your professional and educational background in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your most recent activities.

  1. Professional Experience
    For each position you have held, include:
    • Organization name
    • Dates worked
    • Title or position
    • A brief description of responsibilities
  2. Educational Background
    For each educational institution you have attended, include:
    • Dates you attended or date your degree was conferred
    • Degree earned
    • College or university name

Step Four
You are required to submit two letters of recommendation, one from your current supervisor and one from a professional colleague. Once you have submitted the online portion of the application (steps 1–3), you will receive links to forward to your recommenders. Your recommenders will need your last name and email address to log in to the application system.

Fees, Hotel Accommodations, and Policies

The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials, refreshments, and most meals. Participants receive a certificate of participation at the close of the program.

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms a reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. If funds are unable to be processed within these guidelines, a documented payment plan is to be sent via mail, e-mail, or fax, and received two weeks prior to the program start date.

Please click here for more information on hotel accommodations for on-campus programs.

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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