Boost your skills & profile with a Diploma in Social Innovation or Global Leadership from the University for Peace, established by the General Assembly of the United Nations


**The next Diploma cohort begins on July 1st, 2024!  Connect with your global cohort and build your network before your first course with a group orientation and on-boarding session. Experience this learning journey alongside a community of peers that will be with you throughout! Spots are limited, so reserve yours by sending us an email at centre@upeace.org.**


A practical, flexible program to help you create deep impact

Take 5 online, live virtual or face-to-face courses to complete your diploma. With just one required course for each diploma, you choose the subjects and timing that work best for you and help you meet your goals. Join an international cohort with highly qualified, accessible facilitators. The program also includes 3 one-on-one coaching sessions to help you address your challenges and ensure that your learning translates into action!

Which Diploma program is right for you? As the first step on your journey, learn more about the Diploma in Social Innovation or the Global Leadership Diploma!

What makes the UPEACE Diploma program unique? 

You’ve got plenty of professional development options to choose from these days. Why choose UPEACE? Here are just a few reasons. 

diploma benefits


The world looks to the United Nations for solutions to complex problems everywhere; from ending conflict and alleviating poverty, to combating climate change and defending human rights. As a UN-established institution, the University for Peace works tirelessly to contribute to world peace and progress. Our Diploma programs give you the skills to have positive impact on this world, contributing directly to this mission.

THREE Complimentary Coaching Sessions

Why coaching and how does it work?

Ensure a successful program with one-on-one mentorship sessions to start you off on  the right foot. Begin your program with your first coaching session, have a second session after you finish up your first course and a third session after your second, with the option to add additional coaching sessions as needed. As you start your diploma, we’ll ask you to share your profile, professional challenges, and goals for the program. Based on your answers, we’ll match you with one of our qualified coaches to meet with you at the outset of the program, and then twice more as you progress. In completely confidential, hour-long sessions, they will help you think through what you need to do to move forward in your life and career. From problem-solving to strengths-finding, they will ensure sure you get the most out of your Diploma program.

Why do people take a UPEACE Diploma program?


Who is in the UPEACE Diploma programs?

You’ll join a truly dynamic, global classroom with people from all over the world who are working in a host of different professional sectors. Need we say more? The networking possibilities are endless! 

The Diploma journey – a sample

Meet Sophia, a 30-year old professional who dreamed of starting her own social enterprise in her hometown in Brazil.

Here’s how she did it throughout her 5-course Diploma experience –

Alumni testimonials – hear what they have to say!

A 1-minute video from nonprofit founder, Liliana Nuñez, a Global Leadership Diploma alum:

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Testimonial - european woman


We offer two executive Diploma programs, one in Social Innovation and another in Global Leadership. The courses you can take to complete either Diploma are similar  with the exception of the required course that has a social innovation or leadership focus. 

 Which one is right for you? Check out the below to see which profile is an ideal fit.  How do you see yourself?

 Global Leadership Diploma

  • As an aspiring leader in your organization or business
  • As a global citizen working in an increasingly small and interdependent world
  • With a soft skill focus and an understanding that what makes you human makes you strong
  • Interested in creating a culture of creativity & strengths-based teams in your organization
  • A flexible learner – interested in online learning or available to study fully onsite at the UPEACE campus in Costa Rica

Diploma in Social Innovation

  • As entrepreneurial and growth-oriented
  • Excited to start your own organization or social business, or launch an impact-oriented project within your existing workplace
  • Itching to solve a pressing problem in your community or the world
  • In transition and working on your ‘next steps’
  • An independent learner who loves the flexibility of online courses, whether or not you’re available for onsite options at the UPEACE campus in Costa Rica

FAQ’s about the Diploma Programs

There are 4 different enrollment periods throughout the year. This gives you the opportunity to begin your learning journey with a group of likeminded individuals who will be with you throughout the experience! You’ll first come together during a group orientation and on-boarding session with the UPEACE team to provide an overview of the Diploma program and answer any questions you may have.

The 2023 Diploma enrollment deadlines are as follows:

  • April 15, 2024
  • July 1, 2024
  • September 15, 2024

Though you start with a group , you’ll build your own, unique path based on the courses that interest you and meet your needs. The required course can be taken at any point in the program.

The average completion time is a little over a year; however, we choose to give everyone 18 months because we know you’re busy and have things competing for your time! We’ve specifically designed the program to be flexible, so that you can take time off from coursework when needed. If you have a lot of time to dedicate and can take more than one course at a time, you can breeze through the program in as little as 6 months.

Each course syllabus includes a list of the minimum requirements that must be accomplished in order to receive a certificate of completion for the course. In general, for live virtual workshops you must attend all sessions and for online courses you are responsible for answering weekly forum questions and completing a final assignment. We encourage everyone to discuss special circumstances with the course facilitator. You are not graded in this program, as the goal is for you to take away practical skills that you can apply. For each individual course, you’ll receive a certificate upon successful completion. At the end of your full 5-course program, you will receive a Diploma. Participants in the diploma program are allotted one ‘free retake’ if you are unexpectedly unable to complete a course.

The University for Peace was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and has the UN logo included right in our own, tying your diploma to a recognized and admired world institution. This is not an academic degree, but a professional development certificate, showing employers and peers that you have taken the time and energy to invest in deepening your knowledge in these important areas. Alumni routinely add the credential to their CVs, include it on their LinkedIn page, and share with employers and across social media to celebrate their sucess.

Coaching will deepen your learning journey and help ensure that you set goals for yourself within the program, and do all that you can to meet them. Our coaches will partner with you to develop your strengths, identify any challenges and co-create a path forward. At the outset of your diploma program we will personally match you with a coach that we feel will resonate with you and your profile. All of our coaches come from the UPEACE network, so you may be matched with someone that will later be a course facilitator or pop up elsewhere in the program. Every one has been hand-picked based on their ability to listen empathetically,  their professional profile and their strong knowledge of the program itself. You can think of your coach as a mentor – someone who wants to understand your strengths and challenges, and help you find the best way forward.

Live virtual workshops focus on the synchronous, or ‘live classroom’ component of learning. Attendance in the live sessions is required and is where most of the learning occurs. There are also readings and videos to deepen your understanding of topics between sessions. Session times are announced very early, and you can review the timing to make sure that it fits for you. These courses generally require less work to be done outside sessions and don’t include an in-depth final project, so the overall time investment is a bit lower.

Online courses, emphasize asynchronous, or ‘offline’ learning. Weekly modules are opened in the online learning platform, Moodle, so that you can go through the materials on your own time. There are forum questions to respond to weekly, and you’ll build toward a final assignment to show how you plan to implement what you have learned. These courses include non-mandatory weekly live webinars that you are highly encouraged to attend to connect with your colleagues and facilitators. Webinar times are announced approximately 1 week before the start of the course, as we take into account the time zones of the participants to try to allow for the most participation possible.

Onlive vr Virtual

The diploma programs are made for busy professionals, and you are expected to have other things going on in your life! Time commitments vary from course to course (we cover this in our introductory call!), but you can expect to spend approximately 5-10 hours on coursework per week, per course.

Not exactly! Because you pick all of your courses and build your own journey, you’ll notice many of the same people throughout your program, but you won’t have the same cohort in each class. All of our courses are also available to take individually, which adds new faces to each session. Throughout your 5 courses, you will have many opportunities to meet interesting, like-minded people from all around the globe and create deep connections. Our alumni tell us these relationships can endure far beyond the end of the program!

Definitely! In fact, we offer a special program for people that want to get both their Global Leadership Diploma and Diploma in Social Innovation! If you want to maximize your potential as a changemaker and your learning with UPEACE, take 9 courses to complete both programs. Ask us for details, but some of the benefits include, getting a special rate, extra coaching sessions, and many more courses to choose from as you put together your learning journey!

Yes, we do! We recognize there are many unique circumstances and want this impactful learning program to be accessible. We will work with you to find a payment plan that makes sense. For example, in the past, we have split the fees into 5 payments including the deposit, with payments tied to when you begin courses (so that you can postpone if you aren’t ready). Feel free to send us sample plans, or we’re happy to jump on the phone to discuss what works for you.

The two programs are actually quite similar and that is by design! Focus your research on the required course – if you are looking to learn more about entrepreneurship and write a business plan, the Diploma in Social Innovation is for you! If your goals include developing your leadership potential, we recommend the Global Leadership Diploma. Love all of the options for required courses? Then it’s truly up to you, and you should think through what will compliment your professional profile best. In other words, which title would you prefer on your resume for future employers?

Still can’t decide? Maybe you should do them both (see ‘Can I take more than the 5 courses required for the Diploma above’)!

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