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The Penn State Leadership Institute is an innovative leadership retreat
designed for undergraduate students at University Park to build meaningful
connections with their peers.

This six-day leadership development experience fosters a collaborative and
engaging environment for students to grow as an individual, a professional,
and a community member. The Leadership Institute views leadership as a
process, not a position so leaders of any level of experience are encouraged
to apply.

What will I gain from this experience?

Participants of the Leadership Institute will engage in developing transferable
skills and a personal practice rooted in commitment to creating positive
community change.

At the end of the six-day experience, participants will:

  • Embrace and align their core values with personal interests and aspirations
  • Increase their capacity for empathy, working with others, and self-motivation
  • Develop their ability to forge meaningful relationships based on respect and support
  • Discover and explore an ongoing, active role in their community

Testimonies from 2018 Participants:

What was the most impactful part of the institute?

"The relationships that I have been very lucky to have been given the opportunity to make. I feel like I could have made some lifelong friends".

"Creating spaces for interaction and conversation between a more diverse range of PSU students. I really loved and appreciated this. This is NOT common at Penn State".

Important Dates

  • Applications Open: TBD
  • Application Deadline: TBD
  •  Participant orientation: TBD
  •  Penn State Leadership Institute: TBD

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is it?
    The Leadership Institute will typically take place the week after graduation each May.

  • Where is it?
    Camp Blue Diamond (transportation provided there and back to campus)

  • How much does it cost?
    The total cost per student is $100. If this directly impacts your ability to attend the Leadership Institute, please contact us at

  • Who is eligible to go?
    The Leadership Institute approaches leadership as a process, not a position. All students, regardless of their leadership experience at Penn State are encouraged to apply.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so participants are only able to go through this experience one time.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact us at or call 814-863-4624.

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Penn State Leadership Institute