Frequently Asked Questions About the Advanced Leadership Initiative
- What is the curriculum?
Differing from an executive education program, Fellows receive a unique core curriculum, and are also able to customize their program of study based on their own interest areas and experience.
- Is there a course or courses that all Fellows will be required to take?
There is a curriculum especially designed for Advanced Leadership Fellows consisting of an Introduction to Harvard, structured Think Tanks, a Global Conference or Field Immersion experience, and the Spring Semester Core Course.
- Can I audit classes for more than one semester?
Yes, Fellows may audit courses for two semesters. Fellows audit 1-2 available courses each semester, with faculty permission.
- Can I audit for one semester?
Yes, the Fellowship is designed to be rigorous but flexible to accommodate the needs of Fellows in this stage of their life.
- How many days per week am I expected to be in residence at Harvard?
To fully benefit from the program and all the intellectual resources at Harvard, Fellows are required to be in residence at least 3 days a week during the first semester (from late January through mid-May).
- Will Advanced Leadership Partners (spouses or partners) have the same access to program activities?
Partners are invited to attend all Advanced Leadership Initiative sponsored events such as organized dinners, Think Tanks, and the Core Course. Advanced Leadership Partners may also audit an available course each semester, with the instructor's permission. Advanced Leadership Partners do not present a project, however, many have collaborated with the Advanced Leadership Fellow in advancing his or her work.
- Will Fellows engage with students?
Fellows frequently lead study groups and connect with students with shared interests or through class projects. These study groups provide opportunities for students to learn from Fellows and to construct with them action plans and designs to intervene in improving social sectors around the world.
- What will happen when I finish the ALI Fellowship?
Completion of the program involves development of a written analysis and action plan for intervention in the chosen societal problem area. This may include Fellows' "business plans" for their next steps and the impact they expect to make during the next stage of their careers. Previous projects have included creation of a social venture or foundation, authoring a book or other form of thought leadership, or transforming an existing institution.
- Does Harvard provide housing while I am a Fellow?
Following the invitation to join the Fellowship, the ALI staff connect Fellows with Harvard Real Estate Services as well as private real estate offices that have worked closely with previous Fellows to help them find appropriate housing. Given the flexible nature of the Fellowship, some A.L. Fellows arrange extended stay arrangements with nearby campus hotels. The cost of housing and living expenses will be borne by the Fellow.
- Will there be parking available for Fellows and Fellow-partners?
For Fellows who may be commuting to their Fellowship, the Advanced Leadership Initiative will provide information on parking options. The cost of parking will be paid by the Fellow.
- Will I have a Harvard ID card?
Fellows will be provided with a Harvard identification card to access libraries, websites, and many of the resources of the Harvard community. Advanced Leadership Partners will be provided with a Harvard-affiliated ID, as well.
- Will I be able to access Harvard facilities such as libraries and gymnasiums as a Fellow?
With your Harvard ID, you will be permitted to access various Harvard athletic facilities. There may be separate fees for the use of certain facilities.
- What if I do not know precisely what my area of interest may be?
Fellows are not expected to have a fully developed idea of their post-Fellowship project when they enter the program. Through their coursework, Think Tanks, and Core Course, many Fellows define and develop their post- Fellowship project.
- What is required to be considered for an Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellowship?
Candidates for the Fellowship are asked to submit the required initial information at the "Introduce Yourself" section of the ALI website. Please attach a current CV, as well. The Selection Process for Advanced Leadership Fellows is detailed in the "Selection Process" section.
- When will decisions be made?
The Faculty Selection Committee begins to notify candidates in several Decision Rounds, beginning in June, with most decisions made by late August or early September. Each Decision Round, a small group of Finalists are considered by the Faculty Selection Committee. Finalists have earlier confirmed their ability to accept, fund, and join the AL Fellowship. Program costs for the AL Fellowship are comparable to a year of graduate study in a peer institution. The timing of the selection process provides Fellows with the time needed to prepare to join us at Harvard the following January.
- When is the introductory weekend?
The two and a half day "Introduction to Harvard" is typically held in early December preceding the start of Spring Semester classes which begin the following January.
- Are there fees outside of the Fellowship program fee that I will be responsible for?
Fellows will be responsible for the cost of any books or materials related to their specific course audits and any school or service-related fees such as parking. Fellows also pay the transportation and housing expenses associated with the Field Immersion or Global Conference.
If you have any further questions, please contact the Advanced Leadership Initiative Office.