Executive Certificate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the benefit of earning an Executive Certificate?

Your Harvard Kennedy School Executive Certificate is a significant enhancement to your résumé that recognizes your successful completion of multiple executive programs within a particular concentration area. It also makes you part of a global community of accomplished professionals committed to continuous learning and becoming more effective leaders.

What are the requirements to qualify for an Executive Certificate?

To qualify for the Executive Certificate, you must complete three programs within six years. At least two of your matriculated programs must be core programs listed within your chosen concentration.  The third may be any HKS Executive Education program of your choosing. Each program has its own program director, program fee, and admission requirements; you will need to successfully submit a new application for each program. 

How do I apply for an Executive Certificate? 

There is no application required to receive an Executive Certificate.  Once you have been admitted to your third eligible program, you will be able to indicate in our system which Executive Certificate you wish to receive at the conclusion of the program. 

What is the discount for the third program? 

You will receive a $500 discount on your third program.

Can I use Tuition Assistance towards the programs in my concentration area? 

If you are awarded tuition assistance, it may be applied towards a program within the concentration area. Please note, however, that HKS Executive Education has a limited amount of tuition assistance available, and most programs require a separate application for tuition assistance once you have been admitted. Please contact the Program Director for your program directly for more details.

Can I use Tuition Assistance and the Executive Certificate discount on my 3rd program? 

No, offers cannot be combined.

Do other Harvard University classes/programs qualify towards my HKS Executive Certificate? 

No, only programs taken through HKS Executive Education qualify towards your Executive Certificate.

Can I use one program toward two Executive Certificates?  Can I earn multiple Executive Certificates in one concentration area? 

No, each program can only be applied towards one Executive Certificate, and you may only earn one certificate per concentration area.

Can I earn an Executive Certificate in more than one concentration area? 

Yes, you can earn multiple Executive Certificates by completing three unique programs in more than one concentration area.

Is there a limit to how many programs or certificates I can complete in a year?  

To get the most out of the Harvard Kennedy School experience, we strongly recommend a short break between earning an Executive Certificate and attending your next program. The lessons learned at HKS take time to fully take root and applying them in real-world scenarios only strengthens their value. Further, due to high demand, HKS strives to ensure that there is space available to as many first-time participants as possible. Applicants who apply to more than four programs in one year will receive a more stringent level of review. 

How do I reference my Executive Certificate on my résumé /CV or LinkedIn profile? 

Here is the language you should include:

Awarded an Executive Certificate in {Concentration Area} for completion of [Insert Program Name] Program, [Insert Program Month/Year], [Insert Program Name] Program, [Insert Program Month/Year], [Insert Program Name] Program, [Insert Program Month/Year], John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Executive Education.

Where can I find more information about the Executive Certificate, including eligible programs, program fees, and application deadlines?

Learn more here.