Business Essentials


This online certificate program incorporates consolidated, highly focused curriculum to provide you with a solid understanding of four key business concepts and how you can apply them at work.


At least one year of college completed and a current resume

Deadline to Apply

Not accepting applications at this time

Duration and Format

11 weeks online

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Boost your business IQ.

Make better business decisions and gain skills to help you succeed in four key business areas: accounting, finance, management, and marketing.

The Business Essential Certificate is ideal for recent graduates, working professionals, and students looking for a flexible and time-efficient way to gain essential business skills boost your job performance, improve your business, or explore new opportunities. You will:

  • Increase your business fluency
  • Gain important skills valued by employers
  • Learn business tools and best practices
  • Gain a competitive advantage on the job or in the job search
Program Highlights
  • Curriculum specifically designed for non-business majors

  • Essential business concepts devoted to accounting, finance, marketing, and management

  • Flexible, self-paced, online format

  • Curated videos and online discussions led by UVA faculty

  • Real-world case studies featuring a Fortune 500 company

Who is this for?

Business Essentials is ideal for anyone who is looking for a flexible, time- and cost-effective way to gain key business competencies, including:

  • Current or recent college graduates
  • Working professionals
  • Entrepreneurs or small business owners
  • Individuals considering future graduate-level study in business

This program has rounded out my education...complementing my engineering knowledge with knowledge of how these technologies function in real-world markets. It is rare that people possess knowledge in both of these fields... It gave me a huge advantage in my career.

William Vieth (Engineering '14, Law '19)

Law Clerk, Desmarais LLP


Curriculum covers four key business competencies.


  • Organizations and the role of the manager
  • Organizational design
  • Competitive strategy
  • Business models
  • Competitive environment
  • Understanding firm performance
  • Decision making
  • Competition
  • Role of business in society


  • What is marketing?
  • Marketing mix
  • The consumer behavior
  • Consumer decision process
  • Global marketing
  • Marketing research
  • New product development
  • Product life cycle
  • Segmentation, targeting and positioning
  • Branding/brand equity/rebranding
  • Pricing
  • Supply chain management
  • Promotions/marketing channels
  • Ethics and marketing
  • Different types of marketing specializations


  • Role of accounting within organizations
  • Walkthrough of the financial statements–definitions and discussion of key items
  • Role of the balance sheet (key assets, liabilities, and component of owners’ equity)
  • Role of the income statement (overview, revenues, expenses, margins, SG&A, and others)
  • Statement of cash flows and working capital
  • Case study–tracking resources and measuring performance within organizations
  • Using financial information for planning, decision making, and control


  • Introduction to corporate finance
  • The financial system
  • Analyzing financial performance and financial ratio analysis
  • Financial mathematics: the time value of money
  • The investment decision (how organizations spend money)–decision tools, computing future cash flows, and making decisions
  • The financing decision (how organizations raise money)–risk vs. return and capital structure
  • The dividend decision (how organizations distribute money)

Program Faculty

Adam S. Koch
Adam S. Koch
Hear my name

Associate Professor of Commerce,Area Coordinator—Accounting,Director, Business Essentials Certificate

Mark A. White
Mark A. White
Hear my name

Richard D. Wood Associate Professor of Commerce,Director, McIntire Business Institute

Kathy Crosby
Kathy Crosby

Affiliated Staff - Instructor

Jeremy Marcel
Jeremy Marcel

Associate Professor of Commerce