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.


Non-business majors with at least one year of college completed

Duration and Format

11 weeks online

Deadline to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

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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
Online Format

Self-paced within each module

Program Cost


Session Start Dates

January, May, or September


Program Highlights

  • Curriculum specifically designed for non-business majors

  • Essential business concepts in four key areas

  • Flexible, self-paced, online format

  • Faculty-curated videos and online discussions


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.


  • What is marketing?
  • Marketing mix
  • 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 components of owner 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


  • Learn the fundamentals of core investing and financial concepts


  • 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

Program Faculty

Mark A. White
Mark A. White
Associate Professor of Commerce
Director, McIntire Business Institute
Kathy Crosby
Kathy Crosby
Adam S. Koch
Adam S. Koch
Associate Professor of Commerce
Area Coordinator—Accounting
Jeremy Marcel
Jeremy Marcel
Associate Professor of Commerce
Area Coordinator—Management

Take the Next Step

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and there is no fee to apply. The next session begins in September. 

Request Information
Apply Now
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