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Frequently Asked Questions

Bentley University offers a unique four-year, co-curricular program for women applying for admission as first-year students, the Women's Leadership Program. The program is open to students who identify as female.

What is the Bentley Women's Leadership Program?

Bentley University offers a unique undergraduate program focused on preparing and empowering young women to lead. During the four-year co-curricular Women’s Leadership Program, students gain insights and strategies for self-advocacy that address bias, maximize opportunity, and advance leadership potential. At the same time, they develop key communications competencies and become collaborative relationship builders who can communicate with influence. Prospective first-year students apply as part of the admission process — the program is open to students who identify as female.

How can I apply to participate in the Women’s Leadership Program?

To apply, students must complete two additional questions for Bentley University on the Common Application. The application is reviewed by the Admission Committee during the application decision process. If you submitted your Common Application, but did not answer the additional questions and would still like to apply for the program, you can submit the application here

Selection is based on leadership potential demonstrated in the student's Bentley application and is identified through essays, recommendations and/or extracurricular activities. Decisions are announced as part of the regular decision process.

Applications for the class of 2024 are now closed. Decisions will be posted in late March on your BentleyConnect account. If you have any questions about the status of your application, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at ugadmission@bentley.edu or 781-891-2244.

I am applying to Bentley early decision. Is the application process for the Women's Leadership Program different?

The selection process for the program occurs as part of the regular decision process. Students who are admitted early decision are notified about Women's Leadership Program decisions in late March.

How is the Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business involved in the Women's Leadership Program?

The Women's Leadership Program is powered by the expertise of Bentley's Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business (CWB).

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Is the Women's Leadership Program open to transfer students?

As a four-year program, the Women's Leadership Program application is open to prospective first-year students only. Bentley offers students many other opportunities related to leadership and advancing gender equality.

Several Bentley student groups focus on programs and events related to gender and gender equity:

Bentley also has many opportunities for students to gain leadership skills:

Can current students apply to participate in the Women’s Leadership Program?

As a four-year program, the Women's Leadership Program application is open to prospective first-year students only.

Current students can apply to participate in the one-semester Fellowship, which is offered every spring semester. The Fellowship provides men and women real-world leadership preparation through an understanding of workplace diversity issues and best practices. Bentley offers students many other opportunities related to leadership and advancing gender equality.

Several Bentley student groups focus on programs and events related to gender and gender equity:

Bentley also has many opportunities for students to gain leadership skills:

I have seen the term WLP Leader associated with this program, what does it mean?

Students participating in Women’s Leadership Program are WLP Leaders. During the admission process, these students demonstrated strong leadership potential and were selected to participate in the program.

What are the program components of the Women’s Leadership Program?

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 by year.

The program includes:

  • Orientation
  • Forums Addressing Gender Equity Issues and Workplace Dynamics
  • Forums Building Leadership and Communications Skills
  • Two Related Elective Courses
  • Meeting with Corporate Mentors
  • Corporate Visits
  • Individual Leadership Journal and Personal Leadership Blueprint
  • Community Events
  • Student Final Presentations as part of Authentic Leadership Module
Do I need to attend program events in order to keep the Women's Leadership Award?

The Women's Leadership Award includes participation in the Women's Leadership Program. In order to ensure WLP Leaders gain the skills, confidence, and strategies that will prepare them as leaders, they are required to participate in a diverse set of programs over the course of four years. View a detailed breakdown of the program requirements by year.  

Since the program was not in place prior to fall 2017, students who received the Women's Leadership Award and are part of the Class of 2019 or 2020 are invited but not required to participate in program events.

What do students gain as participants of the program?

The learning outcomes for students participating in the Women’s Leadership Program:

  • Develop an understanding of the value and impact of diversity to the success of a company.
  • Gain an awareness of the current social and workplace issues that are affecting gender and workplace diversity.
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  • Develop a broader understanding of leadership.
  • Develop an understanding of the value and impact of gender intelligence and gender diversity to the success of a company.
  • Recognize the importance of inclusive leadership and the organizational tools used to foster inclusion, advance women, and promote diversity.
  • Become self-aware of their unique strengths as leaders and how to use these strengths as inclusive, authentic leaders and team players.
    • Understand the value and impact of authentic leadership and followership.
    • Gain insight and embrace their authentic selves. Students gain both internal and external self-awareness.
    • Develop a personal vision for leadership.
    • Develop a unique value proposition as a leader.
  • Experience meaningful mentoring relationships with professionals and peers.
  • Enhance communications competencies that advance leadership potential — CWB Leaders are collaborative, relationship builders, and can communicate with influence.  Skills development focus is on:
    • Interpersonal communication
    • Conflict management
    • Collaborative problem solving
    • Negotiation
    • Executive presence
    • Public speaking/Presentation skills: speaking up and being heard
    • Networking
  • Inspire curiosity and interest in continuously shaping themselves as leaders by learning about themselves and others.
Is there a minimum GPA requirement for students who receive the Women’s Leadership Award?

In order to remain in the program and maintain the financial award, WLP Leaders should be enrolled as full-time students and demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.

The program requires two related elective courses. What courses are included as part of the program?

The program maintains a list of Bentley courses from which you can choose. Prior to registration each semester, any additional special topic or experimental courses that will be offered and are included as part of the program will be announced.

Will the Women’s Leadership Program be listed on my transcript?

The program is not included as a transcript annotation. WLP Leaders should highlight the program on their resumes.

Do students who participate in the Women’s Leadership Program live in the HerStory: Women Leaders of Today defined community?

Students in the Women’s Leadership Program have the same residential options as all other incoming students, including the option to live in the HerStory: Women Leaders of Today (HerStory).  Located in the Trees Complex, HerStory is a first-year residential community that provides a space for women to interact with and live amongst others who share passion for gender issues.

Am I able to study abroad as a participant of the Women's Leadership Program? 

Yes! Many of our WLP Leaders study abroad and it does not affect your standing in the program.

  • Will my Women's Leadership Award apply when I study abroad?
    Yes, Bentley will apply your award while you study abroad as long as you are a full-time student and you are abroad during the fall or spring semester. 
  • Are there any Women's Leadership Program requirements while I study abroad?
    Yes, WLP Leaders who study abroad will be asked to observe and document their experiences, relative to gender norms/stereotypes and diversity, in their leadership journals. Example questions include:
    How diverse is the environment at the school?  In the city? 
    How are women viewed by society? 
    Do you feel you are treated differently because of your gender/race/other social identity?
    You will be asked to write an essay about your experiences and share it with the WLP via a blog on our Blackboard site. Each spring/fall, we will hold an event where students can share photos, observations, and insights from their experiences with other WLP Leaders.
Are there other leadership programs at Bentley?

Depending on a student’s interests, there are many ways Bentley students can gain leadership experiences and skills. 

Still have questions? Please contact Dorothy Polatin, Student Programs Manager.

Hope Leonard Headshot
The women’s leadership program has introduced me to women of all different backgrounds and many different perspectives, which has allowed me to become more open-minded and really learn how to listen to others. This program has taught me that sometimes the best way to lead is to take a step back and simply listen to others.
Hope Leonard '21
WLP Leader and Marketing Major