LEAD in Social Work Certificate

The Leadership in Executive and Administrative Development (LEAD) Certificate Program educates students about leadership theories and practices and provides students with leadership experience. Learning about leadership gives students the skills that they need for middle and executive positions in social service organizations. An in-depth curriculum that emphasizes leadership, decision-making, client-centered management, team building, negotiating, budget and finance, and the successful management of grants guides our students in the direction of being able to successfully manage social service agencies.


  • All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants can apply prior to taking any LEAD courses, but in accordance with the regulations of the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) Regulation 8.011(7)(b), “Students are required to apply as soon as possible (and prior to completing the second course in the program), and must be notified as soon as possible whether they are accepted into the program.”
  • Applicants who are degree-seeking need to be accepted to the College of Social Work and Florida State University
  • All applicants must past the LEAD standardized exam with a score of 70% or better. This exam is taken online at the completion of ALL four required courses.

Required Courses

12 credit hours. Core courses offered at the Tallahassee campus and online.

  • SOW 5435:  Social Program Evaluation (3 credit hours)
  • SOW 5376:  Budget and Finance in the Social Services (3 credit hours)
  • SOW 5377:  Social Work Administration (3 credit hours)
  • SOW 5455:  Grant writing and Grant Management (3 credit hours)

**Students must also pass the LEAD Certificate Exam with an 70% or better and must complete the certificate within four years.

Twelve hours of certificate courses may be applied toward a Master’s degree in social work if the student is accepted. Only courses with a B or better grade can be accepted and can only be taken once.

To learn more, please contact Betty Lanese at (850) 644-5713 or blanese@fsu.edu.

View Course Rotation Information [PDF]

Applying for the LEAD in Social Work Certificate:

A completed application package shall include the following:

  • Complete online application form (below).
  • Proposed program of studies – please outline your curriculum plan for completing the certificate program (specify courses for each semester).
  • One (1) letter of support (academic or employment).
  • A statement of your career goals (5 page limit) addressing how the certificate/specialized studies program will aid in your accomplishing your goals.
  • A copy of your updated resume.

*The submission of an application does not guarantee admission to the program.

*Degree seeking student must be accepted to both the University and the College of Social Work.

*Non-degree seeking students can apply through the FSU Office of Admissions (850-644-3420) and then contact the College of Social Work for acceptance into the certificate/specialized studies program.