The leadership program application is now open. The application and recommendation letter deadline are Monday, May 10, 2021 at 12 noon (EST). If you have any questions, please reach out to

Applying to the SPA Leadership Program

Leadership student speaking

Offered by the School of Public Affairs, this 15-credit undergraduate program in leadership studies nurtures a select number of talented students in the skills and knowledge required to be effective leaders in their professional careers. Admission into the SPA Leadership Program is based on (1) your high school GPA, (2) two essays demonstrating interest in leadership in public affairs, and (3) one reference. The application period has closed.

Leadership students at a lecture

John F. Kennedy speaking at American University

Bringing Leadership Theory to Practice

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." Quote from the speech that John F. Kennedy had planned to deliver in Dallas before his assassination on 22 November 1963.

Program Goals