The growing urgency of environmental concerns around the world highlights the need to equip rising scientists with high-impact leadership and communication skills in order to effectively engage in interdisciplinary problem-solving. However, opportunities for authentic interdisciplinary professional development training for student scientists are not extensively available within single-institution programs. This study evaluates the impact of the Monterey Area Research Institutions’ Network for Education (MARINE), a regional cross-campus professional development program aimed at preparing graduate students for interdisciplinary leadership positions in environmental problem-solving. An online survey was conducted to evaluate students’ perceptions of whether MARINE effectively enhanced leadership, improved collaborative relationships, and prepared students for interdisciplinary environmental problem-solving. Overall, MARINE participants emphasized practical skill development, exposure to careers outside of academia, and interinstitutional networking as the most valued outcomes of the cross-campus professional development program. Based on survey results and the demonstrated practices of MARINE, we recommend a set of 4 key design principles for institutions to consider when creating future cross-campus professional development programs: (1) a student-led governance framework to ensure that the program’s focus is centered on topics and issues that participants find most relevant, (2) event planning committees that engage the larger pool of graduate students from across the network in authentic leadership, (3) professional development opportunities focused on interactive forms of activity, and (4) an annual colloquium for students to apply their training in leadership and interdisciplinary communication. Greater application of these practices and principles in cross-campus programs may present new opportunities for preparing rising leaders to take an active role in interdisciplinary problem-solving.