Michigan Ross Leader Endorsement

Michigan Ross Leader Endorsement


What is the Michigan Ross Leader Endorsement?​

The Michigan Ross Leader Endorsement is designed to recognize the accomplishments of students who devote a large portion of their time at Michigan dedicated to becoming better leaders. To earn the credential, students complete the program requirements at their own pace during their degree program. The endorsement’s requirements expose students to a set of insightful workshops, reflections and experimentation, courses, and action-based learning activities. In addition, the curriculum aims to give students a competitive advantage during recruiting and at the start of their new careers by not only providing key experiences but reflective talking points and a LinkedIn credential that can be shared widely.

Key Benefits

  • Connect the dots on all of your leadership experiences at Michigan
  • Enhance your leadership skills by understanding yourself and knowing how to lead teams
  • Choose areas of leadership you want to grow and specialize in, and hone these skills through active experimentation and action-based learning
  • Standout to recruiters and have a cohesive story about how you are growing, experimenting, and reflecting as a leader
  • Jumpstart your career post-graduation by having the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a leader

Upon Program Completion, Receive

  • LinkedIn credentials
  • Printed certificate signed by the Michigan Ross dean and Sanger faculty director
  • Special honors cords to wear at graduation

Fast Facts

  • Open to OYMs and Full-Time, Weekend, Global, and Online MBAs
  • Many requirements are already part of the MBA program (leadership elective, Michigan Model of Leadership module, action-based learning project)
  • Students complete ~65 hours of requirements


Leader Endorsement Requirements

The Leader Endorsement is meant to be obtained throughout your academic career and includes a wide range of experiences, many of which are already part of Michigan Ross’ graduate degree programs. In total, the Leader Endorsement will take most learners approximately 65 hours to complete. View the requirements in full detail below.

student analyzing index cards

Leadership assessment and coaching

Our 360 leadership assessment along with opportunities to meet with a leadership coach will give you personalized advice about your leadership journey

student analyzing index cards

Four Sanger Flagship Programs

Crisis Challenge, Leading Inclusive Teams, Legacy Lab, Story Lab

Teacher explaining something to a group of student

At least one leadership elective

Dive deeper on a specific topic in leadership development as part of your coursework

Students writing on post-it notes

Capstone deliverable

Reflect upon all of your leadership development experiences and build a narrative of what you learned and the type of leader you are and strive to be

The Program

How it Works

  • Apply for the Leader Endorsement using the button on this page. After filling out the form, you’ll gain access to a Canvas page that you can use as a guide throughout your degree program.
  • Complete requirements on your own timeline. Submit your completion in Canvas as you go. The Canvas page will help you map out your timeline with a calendar and suggestions for when to fit the requirements into your academic journey.
  • At any time, meet with the Sanger team for further guidance. We will also hold periodic open office hours for those pursuing the Leader Endorsement.
  • Submit your capstone via Canvas when you have completed all of the requirements. Sanger will review, and then grant your final credentials!
Screenshot of online program interface

Our Canvas page provides a calendar, links, a checklist to submit, resources, and more.



Who Can Apply?
Full-Time MBA students
Weekend MBA students
Global MBA students
Online MBA students
One-Year Masters students

Application Timeline
Applications are rolling. You may opt-in at any time during your degree program; although we recommend starting as soon as possible.

We admit students into the Canvas module once per month. However, once you submit your application, you can begin participating in Sanger activities required for the endorsement right away. If you have any questions about the application and admission process, contact us at rossleaders@umich.edu.

Student holding up her certificate of completion with a smile.


Candidates for the Michigan Ross Leader Endorsement can receive leadership coaching as a part of the program. Coaching is a personalized development experience designed to advance your leadership skills through one or more sessions with a trained coach, revolving around a challenge/topic you bring. Leadership coaching helps students meet personal goals and deepen their self-awareness. Coaches listen deeply and ask powerful questions to help candidates find clarity and accountability. Candidates will be made aware of coaching opportunities while participating in the program.

Talking Points for Interviews

Mentioning your accomplishments during recruiting is one great reason to pursue the Michigan Ross Leader Endorsement. We’ve put together a list of talking points to get you started.

A succinct summary of the program:

  • As part of my MBA, I’m also pursuing the Michigan Ross Leader Endorsement. This credential is granted to a small number of accomplished student leaders.
  • To earn the Leader Endorsement, I will complete over 60 hours of activities not only related to evidence-based skill development but putting thought into action.
  • Some aspects of the program include self-leadership, a deep knowledge of the values important to me; how to lead diverse, equitable, and inclusive teams; leading under pressure; and influencing others.
  • The Leader Endorsement has a strong growth orientation. I have continually set goals for myself and I have run experiments to see how I can improve and grow while getting feedback from others.

Next, you will want to customize your talking points to what from the Leader Endorsement experience has been most powerful for you.

Here are some prompts you may want to reflect upon before your interview:

  • What is your evolving personal definition of leadership?
  • How might you leverage your experience using the Sanger Leadership Journey framework, especially during your Action-Based Learning experience, to showcase your growth orientation?
  • As your core values and purpose come into greater focus, how have they impacted your approach to leadership? What result has that created?
  • If your experience within the Leader Endorsement was a short story, what would your story be? Think about the (3) most impactful moments–what challenges have you overcome and what accomplishments have you achieved?
  • What are your greatest learnings about self-leadership, adaptive leadership, and the ability to lead effective teams?
  • What leadership behavior have you developed the most?
  • How has your reflection practice deepened?
  • How has your point of view on diversity, equity, and inclusion evolved throughout the program?
  • When in the program were you called to perform under pressure and delivered?
  • When in the program did you use effective communication to positively influence others?


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