U of T launches new tri-campus Minor in Global Leadership

The University of Toronto is launching 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.

It will be available to students from different disciplines and 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,” said 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 program will initially be open to undergraduate students at U of T Mississauga and U of T Scarborough, as well as in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

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 will be the first global-focused program at U of T that intentionally brings students together from across our tri-campus, who are studying the full spectrum of our disciplinary offerings, as part of an annual intimate cohort,” said Lynn Tucker, associate dean of experiential and global learning at U of T Scarborough.

“This model opens up the potential for new opportunities and dialogue from which students who are pursuing a range of career pathways will learn together."

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,” said Spyridon Kotsovilis, assistant professor, teaching stream, in the department of political science at U of T Mississauga.

"Increasingly complex and global problems cross borders and affect people at all scales and levels, from the global to the local," Kotsovilis said. "We hope students will come to learn about current global challenges and what it takes to lead in efforts to address them."

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," Tucker said.

"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 the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering on the St. George campus.

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 on a rolling basis until the end of April 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. 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.

Students interested in learning more about the Minor in Global Leadership can attend one of three virtual information sessions on March 8, March 21 or April 12.

A launch event for the new minor will be held at U of T Mississauga on March 6, featuring remarks on global leadership by keynote speakers and reflections on leadership by student speakers representing each campus.

"We want to develop a real esprit de corps among the students as they move through this new program," Wong said. "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."