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NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar

The Emerging Leaders Seminar (ELS) is an annual professional development event that provides effective leadership, educational and transitional programing for more than 200 current graduate assistants and interns from NCAA membership schools, conference offices and affiliate organizations. The three-day program educates, develops and connects selected participants, and can increase the likelihood for rapid career progression within college sports.

Key dates

  • Sept. 23, 2019 - Application opens (8 a.m. Eastern time)
  • Nov. 4 2019 - Application closes (Noon Eastern time)
  • Feb. 5-7, 2020: Program dates (Indianapolis, IN)

At ELS, you explore the role of NCAA governance, including the differences in the divisions and the role of conference offices, and you also get the opportunity to identify, and network with, key decision makers within college athletics.

You will also explore topics such as self-awareness and group dynamics, and along with a large group of your peers, evaluate their impact on the leadership within athletics departments. Through this exposure, you will return to your current role with the applicable skills and knowledge that will help you succeed in the next steps to becoming a college athletics professional.

The 2020 Emerging Leaders Seminar will be held Feb. 5-7, 2020 at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis. The application opens Sep. 23, 2019, and the deadline to apply is Nov. 4 2019, at noon Eastern time.

Cost of Attending

The NCAA will cover the cost of: hotel accommodations, meals during the programs and program materials. Participants are responsible for travel to and from the seminar, as well as any incidentals.


Applicants must currently be an intern or a graduate assistant within athletics departments at member schools, conference offices, NCAA affiliate organizations or the NCAA national office. Individuals must also have completed a bachelor’s degree.

Contact us

For more information about the Emerging Leaders Seminar, please contact NCAA leadership development via email at

Check it out

Previous participants of the Emerging Leaders Seminar talk about how the program developed their careers in college sports.