Earn an online business graduate certificate

Delivering real-life business skills that advance careers

Our portfolio of graduate certificates help you conveniently and quickly build the high-demand, practical business skills today’s employers seek to advance your career and add value to your organization.

Quick Facts

  • High-level graduate course content
  • Taught by highly ranked faculty
  • 12 credit hours per certificate
  • Fully online with flexibility to fit your schedule
  • Approximately $4,000-$10,000 tuition
  • 8-24 months to complete
  • Stackable credit toward our online degree programs

Starting with a graduate certificate

If you’ve already earned an undergraduate degree and don’t need a full master’s degree right now, our 12-credit-hour online graduate certificates are designed for you. These certificates are built around specific skills or competencies you can use for personal improvement and professional advancement. And they’re designed for maximum flexibility.

Graduate certificates are stackable. Once complete, you can stack each certificate into any of our online graduate degrees. So if you decide to pursue your master's degree at a later date, you're already partway there.

Certificates Offered
Application Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree: Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • Professional resume: This should include personal information (name, address, telephone number, and email address), educational background, work experience (start and end dates for each position and a brief description of responsibilities), educational training, professional associations, and leadership experiences. Please limit your resume to two pages.
  • Brief personal statement: A 500-word or less statement describing your interest in the certificate program.
  • English proficiency scores (international students only): If you are a non-native English speaker, you will need to upload your TOEFL or IELTS scores directly to your application. Review the Graduate College’s English proficiency requirements for more details on possible exemptions.
Application Deadlines
  • January start: Apply by December 14
  • March start: Apply by February 14
  • May start: Apply by April 18
  • August start: Apply by July 18
  • October start: Apply by September 19

For more information visit the individual certificate of interest page via our Program Finder.

How to Apply

To apply for a graduate certificate program, you'll need to start an online application through the University of Illinois Graduate College.

Business Graduate Certificates

Business Analytics

The Business Analytics Graduate Certificate offers learners in-demand business analytics skills including strategy, methods, tools, and applications that are widely used across business disciplines. Learners will study and use analytic languages, build data preparation and communication knowledge, and expand their business analytic mindset through exposure to theory, strategy, and application. 

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Digital Marketing

Upskill and advance your career by mastering the latest digital marketing tools, techniques, and strategies. In the Digital Marketing Graduate Certificate, you'll learn from our top faculty experts, gaining the skills you need to make data-driven decisions and create effective, targeted campaigns.

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Entrepreneurship and Strategic Innovation

In a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, leaders require innovation skills. Thinking flexibly and developing an entrepreneurial mindset are critical to thriving in uncertain business environments. This Entrepreneurship and Strategic Innovation Graduate Certificate addresses how to recognize and question assumptions and constraints so learners can identify and capitalize on opportunities. Learning to change the rules of the game by creating innovative value propositions and discovering new market positions for sustained competitive advantage are some of the actionable lessons in this certificate.

5-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Financial Management

The Financial Management Graduate Certificate covers the fundamentals of strategic financial management, including financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance. Students will learn to evaluate major strategic corporate and investment decisions, understand capital markets and institutions from a financial perspective, and develop an integrated framework for value-based financial management and individual financial decision-making.

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Global Challenges in Business

The Global Challenges in Business Graduate Certificate prepares students for the global challenges that businesses face in the 21st century. The global marketplace now and in the future spans emerging markets, a world connected by social media, and rapid technological advancements. This certificate covers how business strategy is formulated and implemented in the global arena in all its complexities.

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Managerial Economics & Business Analysis

The Managerial Economics & Business Analysis Graduate Certificate prepares students to effectively manage and operate a business by developing their understanding of the market characteristics and economic environment in which they operate. Students will build a solid understanding of the operation of markets, understand how to assess the macro-economic environment with examples of real-world events, and finally, develop an analytical framework to combine the power of theory and data to make effective business decisions.

5-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Mergers & Acquisitions

The Mergers and Acquisitions Graduate Certificate provides learners with a well-rounded knowledge of key concepts that form the foundations of a successful M&A deal. Learners will learn how to use financial accounting and finance to express the economic realities of complex organizations, as well as the deal structures and transactions that shape the design of these organizations. The coursework includes a project that is a real-life investment banking case assignment, simulating the work that a Wall Street investment banking firm would deliver to a global, highly sophisticated client.

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Strategic Leadership & Management

In the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership & Management program, you'll develop the capabilities, confidence, and mindset to elevate the performance of individuals and teams, shape strategy, and drive competitive advantage for your organization. You'll learn how from top MBA faculty - getting frameworks and tools, knowledge and skills that will position you as a standout leader and manager. With the new capabilities you develop, you'll be ready to lead and to start making a difference on the job right away - and throughout your career.

5-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Value Chain Management

The Value Chain Management Graduate Certificate focuses on the core activities of an organization that create value. This includes applying a financial perspective of accounting for costs and how financial and non-financial accounting information facilitates strategic performance measurement. You’ll also review the role of operations management and process improvement and how to synthesize information to make decisions for organizational initiatives. You’ll also learn how marketing works in the business world and how various marketing elements interact to create value for consumers and ultimately maximize value for an organization.

5-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Accounting Graduate Certificates

Accounting Data Analytics

Organizations collect masses of data. Accounting professionals who know how to uncover, analyze, and communicate insights from those data to drive decision-making are in high demand. In the Graduate Certificate in Accounting Data Analytics program, you will develop standout data analytics capabilities, and perform at the leading edge in the fast-changing field of accounting.

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Accounting Foundations

Accounting professionals record, report, and analyze the financial transactions of an organization. This Accounting Foundations Graduate Certificate will help you grow in your technical knowledge of financial and managerial accounting while also shaping professional skills like critical thinking, communication, leadership, and decision-making. Led by top-ranked faculty in the field, you'll study the principles, concepts, and methods that govern professional accounting.

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

CPA Pathways

The CPA Pathways Graduate Certificate will enhance your technical knowledge and skills in financial accounting, taxation, and accounting data analytics. The program not only builds the expertise you need to excel as a Certified Public Accountant, it prepares you to sit for the CPA exam. Our accounting faculty review the contents of the CPA Exam regularly to ensure that the curriculum in this program is up-to-date with the latest requirements.

8-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online


The Taxation Graduate Certificate develops leaders who understand the U.S. federal tax system as it relates to individuals, employees, and sole proprietors; the U.S. federal income tax treatment of corporations and pass-through entities; state and local income tax laws prevalent in the U.S.; and the tax treatment, issues, planning techniques, and underlying government policies involved in doing business internationally.

12-24 Months | 12-Credit Hours | 100% Online

Will my certificate say “online”?

No, it will say [Title of Certificate] earned from Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

What is the time commitment per week?

Generally, you will spend 10-15 hours per class, per week.

Are classes synchronous or asynchronous?

Each course has two structural components.

One component is the self-directed, asynchronous part of the course, which will help you develop the baseline, foundational knowledge. That material comes in the form of pre-recorded videos, which you can watch at your convenience, as well as complementary readings.

The second component is what we call the high engagement part of the course. This is an additional layer that goes on top of the foundational, baseline knowledge. It is an expansion of the depth and the breadth of the first set of materials. It involves weekly live sessions, where you will be in a virtual classroom with faculty and your classmates. Faculty will be presenting additional materials or case analysis. During the live sessions you will have the opportunity to ask questions, and to present your work, either individually or as a group.

Apply to a Graduate Certificate Program Today