Presidents Leadership Class
400 Norlin Library
363 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0552
T: 303-492-8342

The Presidents Leadership Class (PLC) is a scholar community with academic and experiential curricula with focus on leadership development based on program pillars and values. Skills are developed in interdisciplinary, academic, experiential and service environments and through exposure to key social issues and complex problems. PLC students are enrolled in all the schools and/or colleges across campus and participate in the PLC curriculum as a complement to their regular coursework.

The PLC is a program of CU Boulder and has a Board of Advocates representing Colorado business, educational, nonprofit and government communities.

Admission and Enrollment

Admission to the PLC is part of being welcomed onto campus and a feeling of belonging for incoming CU Boulder students. Most PLC students are admitted prior to the beginning of their first year at CU Boulder; however,  limited spots are reserved for qualified rising sophomores through a second point-of-entry application. Selection criteria include academic performance, mindset, a willingness to challenge oneself, and displays of empathy, humility and resiliency. Each year, 35-40 first-year students are enrolled, comprising both Colorado residents and non-residents. Instructions on how to apply to PLC are available on the PLC website. The application is part of the CU Boulder Scholarship Application through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. The application is due by February 15. To access the application, visit the Apply Now webpage.

PLC students receive credit for the General Education requirements for Social Sciences for PRLC 1810 and PRLC 1820 in their first year of PLC. Students are required to take three additional PLC courses (PRLC) with a few exceptions: PRLC 2820, PRLC 3810 or PRLC 3800 and PRLC 2930 (the complement course for the ALE experiential requirement).

Academic Program

The PLC provides students with unique academic courses, purposeful experiential education and real-life experiences that support:

  • Academic rigor and professional readiness.
  • Growth in critical thinking, research, analytical and synthesizing capabilities.
  • Development of innovative and practical creativity in problem solving.
  • Opportunities to apply new abilities of thoughtful implementation of sustainable solutions.
  • Cultivation and understanding of moral reasoning and ethical decision making.
  • Development of an appreciation for a community to which students want to impact and contribute to.

PLC provides opportunities by uniting the support of the university, local, statewide and national leaders. The academic curriculum is supplemented by a substantial experiential learning curriculum and professional development opportunities.

For more information on the PLC Curriculum Strategy and the research behind it, visit the Presidents Leadership Class website.

Required Courses and Credits

PLC students tend to declare and complete the Leadership Studies Minor (LSM), however, it is not a requirement of the PLC program. Courses in addition to the courses listed below have been added to the list of courses accepted to complete PLC. Information about the other courses and many academic/experiential opportunities available is on the PLC website.

The capstone course, LEAD 4000 is not required for PLC students but is required for the Leadership Studies Minor.

PRLC 1810Leadership Foundations and Applications I3
PRLC 1820Leadership Foundations & Applications II3
PRLC 2820Multilevel Issues in Leadership3
PRLC 3810Global Issues in Leadership3
PRLC 2930Leadership Internship1-3
LEAD 4000Leadership in Context and Emerging Challenges: A Capstone 14

Scholarship Programs and Opportunities

The PLC offers many scholarships to fully participating students over the course of their undergraduate careers. The first-year award is a merit award of $1,000 that is awarded upon selection into the program. The first-year scholarship is non-renewable and not awarded automatically after the first year. PLC students have the opportunity to apply or be nominated for a number of other scholarships to substantially help fund their undergraduate education upon their second semester in the program. Below is a list of available scholarships primary to PLC students. All PLC-allocated scholarships are dispersed through the Office of Financial Aid and are calculated directly against the cost of attendance.

  • William A. Douglas Endowment
  • FirstBank Scholars
  • Dr. Larry Allen Endowment
  • Flanagan & Walker Scholarships
  • Hoelscher Memorial Scholarship
  • Annabelle K. Lutz Voss Scholars
  • Tim Pestotnik Scholarship
  • Leo Hill Endowment
  • The Ruyle Family Scholarship
  • PLC Enrichment Fund Scholarship
  • PLC Student Staff Fellowship


Show only these courses...

PRLC 1810 (3) Leadership Foundations and Applications I

Introduces fundamental principles of leadership and ethics. Emphasizes application of the principles for self-development and organizational effectiveness.

Requisites: Restricted to students in the Presidents Leadership Class (PPLC) only.
Grading Basis: Letter Grade
Additional Information: Arts Sci Core Curr: Ideals and Values
Arts Sci Gen Ed: Distribution-Social Sciences

PRLC 1820 (3) Leadership Foundations & Applications II

Explores challenges to leadership at the community level such as drug abuse, poverty, decline of infrastructure, care of the aged, etc. Gives particular attention to the development of effective leadership responses to community difficulties at university, city, state, and national levels.

Requisites: Restricted to students in the Presidents Leadership Class (PPLC) only.
Grading Basis: Letter Grade
Additional Information: GT Pathways: GT-SS3 -Soc Behav Sci:Hmn Behav, Cult, Soc Frame
Arts Sci Core Curr: Contemporary Societies
Arts Sci Gen Ed: Distribution-Social Sciences

PRLC 2820 (3) Multilevel Issues in Leadership

Studies multilevel issues that originate in organizational settings but carry community and global implications. Encourages students to fully explore the complexity and interrelatedness of issues with a special emphasis on leadership and ethical implications.

Requisites: Restricted to students in the Presidents Leadership Class (PPLC) only.

PRLC 2930 (1-3) Leadership Internship

Students analyze the leadership styles within a host organization, examine how successfully an organization fulfills its mission and further refine their own theories of what constitutes effective leadership. Students also complete a meaningful project over the course of the internship. Department enforced prerequisites: PRLC 1810 and PRLC 1820 and PRLC 2820.

Repeatable: Repeatable for up to 6.00 total credit hours. Allows multiple enrollment in term.

PRLC 3800 (3-4) Global Inquiry for 21st Century Leadership

Introduces students to the ways in which leadership and sustainable development theory converge, challenges students to examine these issues in specific contexts around the world, and provides them with practical training in cross-cultural competency and leadership skills.

Requisites: Requires prerequisites PRLC 1810 (minimum grade C). Restricted to Presidents Leadership Class members.
Recommended: Prerequisites PRLC 1820, PRLC 2820 or ENLP 3100.
Grading Basis: Letter Grade

PRLC 3810 (3) Global Issues in Leadership

Examines the challenges to leadership posed by major global issues. Problems in the areas of human rights, hunger, disease, large-scale collective violence and environmental deterioration are explored with a special emphasis on the development of effective, long-term leadership strategies. Department enforced prerequisites: PRLC 1810 and PRLC 1820 and PRLC 2820.

PRLC 4010 (3-4) 21st Century Leadership

An advanced course that focuses on critical analysis of leadership principles and techniques. Designed to provide theoretical and hands-on experience for individuals who wish to function in leadership roles at high levels of competence in the workplace and in the civic arena.

Requisites: Requires prerequisite courses of PRLC 1810 and PRLC 1820 (all minimum grade C). Restricted to students in the Presidents Leadership Class (PPLC) only.

PRLC 4081 (3) Icons of the American Republic

Examines the founding period of the United States through the events, political concepts and individuals depicted in the art exhibited in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The course includes a visit to the U.S. Capitol Building, the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, the floor of the U.S. Senate, and an exploration of the legislative process.

Requisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (Juniors or Seniors).
Recommended: Prerequisite PSCI 1101 or PSCI 2012 or PSCI 2223 or PSCI 2004.
Additional Information: Departmental Category: American