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The Executive Coaching Certificate trains graduate students in organizational leadership and development.
Executive Coaching Certificate

This 15 credit, 12 month coaching certificate is one of the few programs of its kind offered at higher education institutions around the world.  It is a strong blend of theory and practice with seasoned practitioners supporting students to shape their own philosophy and practice in a powerful way.  Participants receive individualized feedback from an experienced Mentor Coach and create an e-portfolio demonstrating their competency. It will prepare those seeking International Coach Federation or Board Certified Coach certification. View our online information session.

This program is designed for:

  • HR professionals/organizational leaders seeking to apply coaching skills to their current role
  • Counselors and psychologists wanting to diversify their offerings.
  • Practicing coaches and consultants, internal or external to an organization, wishing to further develop.
  • Organizational leaders seeking a career transition.

What you can earn

  • Certificate

Where you'll learn

  • On our Minneapolis campus


When you can start

  • June 2016

Questions about this program

Crystal Conway

Department Assistant

(651) 962-4650


Program Details

For the Certificate

This introductory course focuses on developing a coaching approach to leadership, both personally and within organizations. Distinct from mentoring or management consulting, coaching approaches involve specific standards, practices and skills. Students actively learn models and techniques to develop their coaching competence, identify strengths and areas for improvement in the coaching practices within their organizations and understand their own coaching presence and style by practicing skills such as deeply listening to coachees/clients, asking powerful questions, building awareness, and giving direct feedback.

This course expands on the coaching theory and practice introduced in pre-requisite course, HRDO 616: Coaching Leaders.  Students will learn theoretical and psychological assumptions that will guide their coaching practice as they compare and contrast the philosophies, practices, and methods of four major coaching perspectives, or approaches.  They will actively practice and refine core coaching skills through both in and out of class coaching including establishing trust in a coaching relationship, listening at a deep level, making powerful observations about the client, giving impactful feedback and asking effective questions to expand client insight and awareness, and designing actions with clients.  In addition, students will examine various ethical dilemmas that can arise in coaching practice such as confidentiality and negotiating potential goal conflicts among others. Students will complete required hours of outside coaching practice and receive feedback from a mentor coach and peer coaching circles.  They will take on the role of scholar practitioners as they strive to deepen their skills.

This third course of the Graduate Coaching Certificate focuses on the development of mindfulness in one’s coaching practice.  Students deepen their coaching abilities as they learn advanced coaching methods and techniques, apply them in their practice with their peers as well as clients in their organizational setting. Students will complete required hours of outside coaching practice and receive feedback from a mentor coach and peer coaching circles.  Students simultaneously broaden their understanding of their client and the organizational context in which that client leads by exploring theories related to organizational and systemic factors and situations that add context and considerations in the coaching the whole person (e.g. Team, Gender, Diversity, Leadership, Culture, Change, Internal/External, Career management, Transition management) and incorporating their learning into their interactions with their clients.  Students will discuss important ethical considerations in coaching individuals from diverse backgrounds, and challenges within organizations encountered by individuals relating to such dimensions as gender, disability, ethnicity, and cultural background.

The focus of the final course in the program is to continue to help students deepen their coaching knowledge and skills, while helping them integrate and synthesize what they have learned over the duration of their experience so they can be best prepared to engage in the professional practice of executive coaching.  Students will be expected to research and demonstrate coaching approaches and skills that reflect their particular interests.  In addition, the course gives attention to a number of topics that are important to practice of coaching, including the role of executive coaching in organizations, evaluating the impact and outcomes from coaching, managing a coaching business or practice, and understanding one’s professional responsibilities for ongoing development, learning, and supervision.   Students will continue to complete outside coaching practice and receive feedback from a mentor coach and peer coaching circles.

In addition to in class coaching exercises, certificate students will complete a minimum of 21 hours of practice coaching outside of class during their program and will receive 37.5 hours of individual/small group feedback and support from a Coach Mentor to build their skills and competency. One of the advantages of this executive coaching program is that we strive to make the coaching practice work well for you.  The practice hours are spread out over 3 of the courses to help apply your learning as you go, and to make the timing more feasible for working professionals.

TOTAL 15 Credits

What Sets Us Apart

According to the 2010 Executive Coaching Survey, conducted by the Conference Board, 63% of organizations use some form of internal coaching, and half of the rest plan to.

With prospects for executive coaching professionals looking bright, we created an infographic to help you learn more about what sets the St. Thomas Executive Coaching program apart.


Diverse Perspectives

A joint offering from the Graduate School of Professional Psychology and Organizational Learning & Development departments, this program brings together the theory and research from multiple disciplines. Unlike most coach training programs that train students in one coaching model or approach, UST provides students grounding in multiple theories and approaches in the field and then supports them in developing their own coaching philosophy, practice, and voice that is grounded in the standards, competencies, and best practices for the field of executive coaching.


Practical Applications

Our courses are taught by scholar practitioners - skilled in academic theory and classroom facilitation as well as experienced practitioners who practice coaching daily. Coursework is designed to be interactive and have immediate application to students' current and/or future work as coaches. A significant aspect of the program involves mentored field work, supporting students as they apply and hone their coaching skills.


A Coaching Community

Current students and alumni of the program will join a community of professionals in this field of practice for on-going sharing, development and colleagueship. Workshops and events offered by coaching certificate faculty before, during and after the program provide a variety of opportunities to enhance your network, engage with colleagues, and deepen your learning.


The Value of a St. Thomas Degree

Calculating the cost of your degree can be challenging, as every institution approaches it a bit differently. At St. Thomas, we list our tuition cost as cost per credit.

In the 15-credit Executive Coaching program, the first course is 3 credits. The remaining four courses are 4 credits each.

St. Thomas is one of the few universities in the country that allows students to attend classes before their initial tuition and fee payment must be made. There are two payment options available: an Extended Payment Plan and an End of Term Payment Plan. Learn more about these on the University's tuition page.

If you are simultaneously enrolled in the HR & Change Leadership program, it may be possible for you to receive some financial assistance. To learn more, please visit our Graduate Financial Aid page.

We offer our students much more than just a degree. We offer the chance to be a part of a personal and professional network like no other, which means your graduate education will enrich your life and career long into the future.


Education (M.A., Ed.S., Certificate, Licensure)

On-campus Tuition (per credit) $825
Books and materials
(estimate per course)
One-time application fee $50

1 | Meet the basic requirements:

  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or the successful completion of a graduate level program from another institution
  • 2 years organizational experience (internal or external)

2 |  Submit the following application materials:

  • Application form and one-time $50 application fee.
  • Current Resume/CV, including 2-3 references.
  • Personal Statement.
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that  work was completed at the University of St. Thomas).
  • International Applicants:  (1) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English. (2) Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.

3 |  Complete an interview


Application Deadlines:

  • To apply to the June 2016 Cohort please submit all application materials by March 15, 2016.  Feel free to e-mail program and application questions to celcexcoach@stthomas.edu

When you can start

  • The next summer cohort begins June 2016

Starting your application?

© University of St. Thomas · Minnesota
1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 · education@stthomas.edu