Integrative Leadership Graduate Minor

The Integrative Leadership Minor is open to all masters and Ph.D. students pursuing University of Minnesota graduate or professional degrees that permit a minor. In addition, students enrolled in degree programs that do not permit minors (e.g., JD, MD, PharmD, DVM, DDS, and LLM) may use the Minor’s requirements to pursue their own specialization or concentration in integrative leadership.

The premise of the Integrative Leadership Minor is that all professional and graduate students at the University of Minnesota have the potential to contribute meaningfully to collaborative efforts to address significant societal challenges. Students strengthen their knowledge, skills, and experience related to integrative leadership through participating in the Integrative Leadership Minor curriculum and community.

The required coursework prepares students to lead and contribute to cross-sector and other cross-boundary initiatives. It develops students’ critical thinking and skills related to: individual inputs (competencies and leadership) for shared action; listening and understanding across differences; techniques and tools for participation and collaboration; and the potential strengths and limitations of different forms of hybrid or collaborative action for societal impact. It prepares students to lead and foster collaborative action across boundaries of individuals, groups, organizations, sectors, and nations to solve some of the world’s most pressing and complex problems.

Integrative Leadership Minor Flyer

Integrative Leadership Minor Application


Master’s Students (9 credits)

Required: Integrative Leadership Seminar (3 credits)

Electives: 6 credits across the two elective categories (Individual Skills for Cross-Sector Leadership category and the Organizations and Professions category)

PhD Students (12 credits)

Required: Integrative Leadership Seminar (3 credits)

Electives: 9 credits across the two elective categories (Individual Skills for Cross-Sector Leadership category and Organizations and Professions category).

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Required coursework for the Minor:

Integrative Leadership Seminar: Leading Across Sectors to Address Grand Challenges (3 credits)

This course explores cross-sector leadership for public good from a variety of perspectives and provides an opportunity for students to work together to apply what they are learning. Students apply their learnings both individually and in teams through in-class exercises and a final, team based cross-sector initiative proposal project. After an introductory session where students analyze and present their thinking about specific case studies, we begin with an overview of underlying concepts, frameworks, and theories related to the study of cross-sector leadership for the public good, including collective, participatory, and integrative leadership as well as collective impact. The course moves to learning from practice - from specific, local examples of cross-sector work and from practicing one’s own skills in cross-sector planning and teamwork in the final team project.

Elective coursework for the Minor:

Individual Skills for Cross-Sector Leadership

Coursework in this category focuses on developing individual skills for successful leadership in cross-sectoral contexts. Upon completion of this coursework, students will: 

  • Learn how to recognize and articulate their own perspective or worldview, culture, and values and look beyond their own perspective and expertise for solutions to problems
  • Learn to constructively manage conflict and build commonality across diverse world views, needs, and perspectives
  • Learn and apply the skills of negotiation, conflict management, public engagement, systems thinking, persuasion, facilitation, and communication to work effectively across boundaries
  • Learn how to create contexts for individuals, groups, or collaborations to self-organize, express their viewpoints, define their own problems, and evaluate themselves

Organizations and Professions

Coursework in this category focuses on developing students’ knowledge and expertise about a particular sector. Upon completion of this coursework, students will: 

  • Gain an understanding about the requirements, vocabularies, resources, management, governance; and organizational expectations, problem solving strategies and traditions that are particular to a sector, profession, or discipline 
  • Gain an understanding of the unique constraints, strengths, and resources that a sector brings to cross-sectoral collaboration
  • Understand how various environments (cultural, political) shape organizational behavior and functioning within a particular sector 

**Note for students: Taking courses outside of your home school may require an application process.