Information For:

Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML) FAQs

Planning Questions

What can I expect of the format and work involved for this certificate program?
CSML is comprised of four distinct yet interrelated courses, which may be taken individually or completed together to earn a comprehensive certificate. Leading Change, the first course to become available, will take place over four weeks, and will require an estimated three to five hours of work each week. The remaining courses are still in development. To stay up to date on CSML developments and future course offerings, please request information.

All courses in the CSML portfolio will be offered on the highly interactive HBS Online platform, created by HBS for an active, social, and case-based online learning experience. The experience is designed to be both rigorous and flexible. The activities are asynchronous but gated, meaning you can choose when within a given week you do them; however, you will engage with each module’s content and complete required assignments during designated time periods. This encourages cohort members to proceed through the learning experience together and supports peer-to-peer learning, a key component of the CSML experience. Click here to watch the platform demo.

When will CSML courses become available?
CSML is comprised of four courses, which together address topics most vital to leading successful schools. These four courses are:

  • Leading Change
  • Leading Schools
  • Leading People
  • Leading Learning

Leading Learning is currently in development and is expected to launch in 2021. To receive more information and updates about CSML courses, please click here.

What is the cost of the program?
We are pleased to offer a special introductory rate of $399 for each course until the next course becomes available. Tuition increases to $499 when the introductory period ends. 

Is financial aid available for this program?
Financial aid is not available for this program.

Are there on-campus or in-residence opportunities for participants enrolled in CSML?
CSML is offered as an exclusively online program and currently does not involve any on-campus participation.

Is it possible to participate in these courses from a different country? And from a different system and context?
Participants are not required to be working in U.S. contexts; however, instruction and case studies are drawn primarily from U.S. contexts. CSML is designed to be inclusive of diverse and international education leaders, and participation across time zones should not impact the learning experience. CSML is asynchronous but gated; learners choose when to access content (video and readings) and complete assignments as long as requirements are completed within an agreed-upon time period for each module.

Application Questions

Why am I receiving an error message during my application?
Applications are processed through HBS Online. The HBS Online platform, including the application and courses, is designed to work on an internet-connected desktop or notebook computer running either the Chrome or Firefox browser. Tablet computers and smartphones are not supported by the HBS Online platform at this time. Click here for helpful information to guide you through your application, or for support please email

Where is the email confirming my HBS Online account has been created?
If you don’t receive a confirmation email after creating an HBS Online account in your inbox, please check your spam or junk folder.

Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML) Credential Questions

What is the certificate that I will receive upon completion of an individual course?
Upon successful completion of an individual course, participants will receive a certificate of course completion as well as a letter confirming clock hours awarded (15 hours). These certificates of completion and certification of clock hours are issued jointly by HGSE and HBS upon completion of each of the CSML courses. 

What is the certificate that I will receive upon completion of all four courses?
Participants who successfully complete all four CSML courses – Leading Change, Leading Schools, Leading People, and Leading Learning – will receive the comprehensive Certificate in School Management and Leadership. At this time, we are also exploring digital badging and micro-credentials for the completion of the courses and full certificate program. As information becomes available, we will update the webpage and notify prospective participants via email. Please request information to stay up to date on CSML developments and future course offerings.

Do participants have the option to earn academic credit through CSML? Can course hour equivalents be provided?
CSML does not provide academic credit and instead provides a certificate of completion as well as a letter confirming the number of clock hours awarded per course. CSML does not provide course hour equivalents.

Does CSML offer graduate credits or a transcript?
CSML is a professional development program and does not offer graduate credits, an academic transcript, or grades.

Does the CSML lead to administrative certification? Does CSML qualify for my state-specific licensure program?
Participants should inquire with the accrediting board/organization of the certification/licensure that they are seeking in order to determine whether participation in CSML would meet their criteria. CSML has not currently sought approval from specific certification and licensure programs.

Does the completion of this program grant alumni status?
Participants in professional education programs are not considered alumni of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.