The University of Toronto has launched a new Minor in Global Leadership that will begin in September 2023.
With a focus on interdisciplinary curricular and experiential opportunities, the tri-campus program aims to prepare students to become globally confident future leaders who recognize and embrace diversity, face challenges with empathy and champion respectful collaboration in a globalized world.
The program will initially be open to undergraduate U of T Engineering students, as well as undergraduate students at U of T Mississauga, U of T Scarborough, the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
The minor represents the third element of U of T’s Global U initiative, which also includes the Global Citizen and Global Scholar programs.
“The world needs ethical leadership now more than ever,” says Professor Joseph Wong, U of T’s vice-president, international, noting that U of T is a globally top-ranked institution that draws students from around the world.
“At the same time, opportunities are now global in scope so it’s imperative that our graduates be equipped with the competencies, open-mindedness, curiosity and skills to really lead with impact globally — both here and abroad. The Minor in Global Leadership is an exciting opportunity that offers a unique experience for students looking to develop that expertise.”
The minor will include a core series of three global leadership courses to be taken in students’ second, third and fourth years — each delivered by one of U of T’s three campuses.
“This is a great opportunity for students to gain global leadership experience, while working without disciplinary boundaries,” says Professor Elham Marzi (ISTEP), who will be leading the Year 4 capstone course.
“The way we teach at U of T is all about allowing our students to see a problem from all possible perspectives and empowering students to devise innovative and effective solutions.
“We also recognize that fostering multidisciplinary collaboration among our students during their time here at U of T is likely to better prepare them for the global workforce.”
U of T Mississauga will host the first of three courses planned for the program. Global Leadership: Past, Present, Futures “will address the evolving concepts both of globalization and leadership — juxtaposing, contextualizing and applying them to the challenges of the 21st century,” says Professor Spyridon Kotsovilis (UTM Political Science).
At U of T Scarborough, the department of management will be the home base for the program, offering the second core course, Global Leadership: Theory, Research and Practice.
“Students will do a deep dive into global leadership approaches through a set of diverse lenses, and explore and develop global competencies through experiential learning opportunities,” says Professor Lynn Tucker, associate dean of experiential and global learning at U of T Scarborough.
“They will engage with experienced leaders in a variety of sectors and grow networks so that upon completion of the program, they will be poised and confident to take the next steps on their unique learning and career journeys.”
The final course, a hands-on capstone project, will be based at U of T Engineering.
Students taking the minor will complete the three core courses plus elective courses within each participating division. The courses will be delivered online via synchronous and asynchronous methods and include regular in-person meetings, guest speakers and embedded co-curricular activities.
Beginning in the second week of March, first-year students will be able to apply to the new minor for a second-year start. Applications will be accepted until April 28 with decisions determined by June. Course registration begins in July.
The program is open to students from the participating faculties who have a modified GPA of 2.7 based on a student’s top 3.0 full-course equivalents (six one-term courses). Previous leadership experience is not required, but applicants are expected to have an interest in the study of leadership, global and cultural perspectives, and a willingness to engage with students from diverse backgrounds, experiences and disciplines of study.
Applications will include the submission of an unofficial transcript and a supplemental application that consists of two short-answer questions and two video questions.
Students interested in learning more about the Minor in Global Leadership can attend a virtual information session on April 12.
“We want to develop a real esprit de corps among the students as they move through this new program,” Wong says. “It’s the kind of network that these students are going to be able to draw on for the rest of their lives — a cohort of leaders who will help shape our global future.”