A certificate in Collegiate Athletics for Senior Leaders will support you in navigating the challenges and opportunities higher education leaders face today in overseeing college athletics

Collegiate athletics is at a crossroads. While athletic programs can provide countless benefits to students, the campus community, and the institution, athletic programs are also complex enterprises loaded with potential challenges. Senior campus administrators in NCAA Divisions I, II and III must understand the tremendous change the athletics enterprise on their campus is facing, and be prepared to strategically respond to those challenges in ways that align with their institution’s goals and mission.

What Sets Us Apart

 Expert teaching faculty from Penn GSE
 Cohort model allows you to learn in community and expand your networks
 Deep, rich, and personal learning experiences made possible through live synchronous sessions

About the Program

Higher Education campus leaders should understand the roles and issues facing college sports in the 21st century. This course provides a holistic view of athletics' impact on enrollment and retention, institutional finances, diversity and inclusion, and the legal and risk management challenges it brings to your campus organization. This certificate will provide insight into the money, power, and political influence college athletics carries.

Program start


Certificate offered

Penn GSE Certificate in Collegiate Athletics for Senior Leaders


This program includes both live virtual sessions and asynchronous work to be completed at your own pace.


For information about group payment options or payment plans, please contact ProfessionalLearning@gse.upenn.edu.

Programs for Working Professionals

This certificate program, Collegiate Athletics for Senior Leaders, arrives at a time of tremendous upheaval in college sports and higher education. Built on the premise that engaging senior campus leaders on the complexities of the industry will strengthen their professional contributions, this program will provide you deep insight into whether today’s college athletics experience aligns with your university’s current priorities.

This program consists of 3 modules, each lasting 3 class sessions, plus a final report.

  • The Student-Athlete Experience
  • Finances, Legal Hurdles, and Governance - How the Enterprise Works
  • Politics and Pressure - The External Influences
  • Final Report: An audit and analysis of the athletics program’s key metrics with recommendations for the future.

Course workload: In addition to the virtual synchronous classes, there are approximately 2-3 hours of work in preparation for each class held.

Ideal candidates

This program is ideal for all presidential cabinet members, new presidents, provosts, deans, and other senior-level campus administrators. This is an excellent opportunity for those who desire career advancement to the highest levels of higher education administration. Understanding the money, power and politics surrounding your campus athletics program is essential.


Our Faculty

Karen Weaver

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Penn GSE Faculty Karen Weaver
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Advisory Team

Advisory Team

Audrey Anderson
Former General Counsel, Vanderbilt University (Division I); Counsel, Bass, Berry & Sims
J.D. University of Michigan

Scott Flanagan
Former President, Edgewood College (Division III); Senior Consultant, Academic Search, Inc.
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Denise Illitch
Chair, University of Michigan Board of Regents (Division I); Owner, Illitch Family Companies; President, Ilitch Enterprises, LLC
J.D., University of Detroit

Linda Oubre
President, Whittier College (Division III)
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania