Emerging Leaders Program FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Emerging Leaders Program.


What experience do I need to apply to Emerging leaders?

The Emerging Leaders Program is intended to help participants develop their personal leadership skills as well as introduce them to a number of core management concepts and topics. It is open to students from all disciplines. 

What is the timeline for applications and acceptance?

Applications are accepted, and interviews scheduled, during an admission window. Interviews are conducted by Health Leadership Academy staff and faculty through a video conference chat. The decision of the selection committee will be issued directly to the applicant as soon as possible following the interview.

Once accepted into the program, you will make your program payment.**

As the start date of the program approaches, candidates will receive a detailed welcome package, including an agenda,  preparatory materials for review and completion including pre-program assessments. 

** rates are based on current status as a student or professional 

What are some tips to structure my application for successful acceptance?

  • Speak to, and channel, your leadership experience (personal, professional, and educational experience is pertinent)
  • Speak authentically 
  • Demonstrate why this program will serve you and what unique contribution you will bring to the program.  

What is the difference between the Shift, Pathfinder, and Emerging Leaders Programs?

All HLA programs have a health leadership focus.

Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is designed to be an intensive, 1-week virtual leadership “boot camp.” ELP is “teams-centric,” meaning the majority of the exercises you do are done in groups to strengthen your ability to lead teams and focus on building relationships with team members while developing your skills. The intensity of the program is designed to help you understand your unique leadership style. 

Pathfinder Program is much more individualistic and focuses more on personal and professional growth. It is a virtual leadership program stretched over 8 weeks. You can apply what you learn over the course of 8 weeks to your work. It is designed to help you master your leadership skills and put what you are learning into practice within a small group.

Shift Program introduces design thinking as a method through which health leaders can innovate, solve existing problems, and imagine new health futures. It is a virtual leadership program that takes place over 12 weeks with 6 live sessions. Like ELP, Shift has a teams focus, but like Pathfinder, it is stretched over a longer time frame allowing for more reflection as you work to solve a current health challenge. 

How can this program support my summer employment opportunities?

Employers are increasingly seeking new graduates with the leadership capabilities covered in the 1-week program including the ability to work effectively in and across teams, communicate effectively with others and be creative thinkers and effective implementers.

We encourage participants to discuss the program with their employer or potential employer. If your employer requires more information or is interested in sponsorship, please connect with our Manager, Amanda Calzolaio, at calzolaa@mcmaster.ca.

What does the program fee include?

The total fee for the program is $3,995(+HST) for professionals and $2,995(+HST) for students. This fee includes access the HLA virtual platform and course materials, a number of psychometric assessments, and one-on-one coaching sessions with facilitators. For in-person programs, the fee also includes some meals, and transportation to and from activities. The fee does not include hotel accommodation.

Is financial assistance available for this program?

The Health Leadership Academy has a limited number of Exceptional Leadership Scholarship Awards available for ELP participants. Scholarships are distributed based on academic merit and an application process. Scholarship applications are considered late in the admission window and as such acceptances may be issued, and deposits due, before a decision about scholarships will have been reached. 

McMaster University students may also qualify for financial support through university scholarships or bursaries or aid and awards.

All applicants are encouraged to contact us at hlainfo@mcmaster.ca to discuss their individual situation.

What is the program schedule?

The live program is 8 days (Sunday to Sunday), but there are activities and events in the week leading up the program and in the weeks that follow the conclusion of the program. Some of these activities are mandatory and others will be optional. A full program schedule will be made available to program participants two weeks before the program begins.

The program will follow a general 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (Eastern) schedule. Most days will follow the same general pattern, with time for team meetings in the morning, followed by live sessions with facilitators, frequent breaks throughout, and more time for team work in the afternoon. Some days will include optional evening social and networking events with guest speakers. 

While the schedule can be rigorous at times, participants have found the intensive nature of the program to be an extremely rewarding experience.

A detailed schedule will be released to admitted individuals prior to the start of each program.