Political History and Leadership (Certificate)

At a Glance: program details

Certificate Map

Don't just talk about your career plans --- act on them now. Through courses and optional weekly dialogue series, learn from guest speakers from a variety of career fields. Take advantage of faculty members who work with you to prepare resumes and apply for internships, job opportunities and graduate school.

Program Description

The certificate program in political history and leadership provides students with a strong foundation in the history of politics and political thought, with a special emphasis on the role of leadership and citizenship. Students come to understand the complexities of real decision-making beyond the abstractions. The program prepares students for leadership in their careers.

Required courses combine academic study and mentoring contact with political, media and business leaders from the wider Phoenix area and Arizona communities, while electives drawn from a variety of disciplines are used to broaden the scope of emphasis.

The program offers scholarship and internship or job placement opportunities.

Program Requirements

The certificate requires 15 credit hours, of which at least 12 must be upper-division. At least six upper-division hours must be completed in courses offered by The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All courses must be completed in residence at ASU and with a grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or higher.
Required Courses -- 6 credit hours
Elective Courses (choose three) -- 9 credit hours
Choose 9 hours of upper-division electives from the list below.

Additional upper-division courses with relevant content may be used with the approval of the certificate co-directors.
Prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Enrollment Requirements

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate the practical skills necessary in policy-making, administration and organization, informed all the while by fundamental principles of democracy and republicanism.
  • Students will analyze major themes and ideas found in an array of primary sources on a topic related to political leadership in history.
  • Students will analyze ideas and questions raised by major political thinkers writing about democracy.

Career Outlook

Students become more marketable to employers and advance their career options when they have complemented their major program of study with this specialization in political history and leadership.

Students who complete this certificate often pursue employment as military officers, governor's office staff, members of congress, city council officials, county prosecutors, financial advisors and campaign strategists. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Management Analysts

  • Growth: 9.7%
  • Median Salary*: 95290
  Bright Outlook

Chief Executives

  • Growth: -8.2%
  • Median Salary*: 189520

Training and Development Managers

  • Growth: 6.5%
  • Median Salary*: 120000
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 3.1%
  • Median Salary*: 64540

History Teachers, Postsecondary

  • Growth: 1.3%
  • Median Salary*: 79400


  • Growth: 7.5%
  • Median Salary*: 135740
  Bright Outlook

Political Scientists

  • Growth: 6.6%
  • Median Salary*: 128020
  Bright Outlook

Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary

  • Growth: 3.7%
  • Median Salary*: 83770


  • Growth: 3.4%
  • Median Salary*: 48090

Urban and Regional Planners

  • Growth: 3.7%
  • Median Salary*: 79540

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.