Graduate Certificate in Business Administration programs provide business education credentials and opportunity for professional development. Whether you seek enhanced management qualification to potentially advance in a current career or to build a foundation for a future MBA, graduate business certificate programs are one way for working professionals to gain core competencies in business theory and application. As a stand-alone, add-on or stepping-stone, there are many reasons to consider earning a graduate certificate in business administration!
Graduate Certificate in Business Administration programs are typically shorter term programs that target business and management-based courses in approximately 15 to 24 course credits. While they are not degrees, graduate level business administration and management certificate programs might be designed for either the business or the non-business student. This may make them a wise credential for aspiring and current professionals.
The total length of business administration graduate certificate programs will vary depending on the university, the number of courses you take and whether you study full time or part time. For instance, if the school offers an 8-week session and you take one class per session, it might take you 16 months to complete your program.
Prospective applicants to Graduate Certificate in Business Administration programs are required to have earned their undergraduate degree from an accredited college. Some grad schools may also require undergraduate prerequisite coursework in subjects such as statistics and economics.
Other prerequisites may depend on the program. Students who consider working towards a graduate business certificate might be either:
For students whose undergraduate degree is business: Other graduate business certificate programs may be suitable for graduates who have earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but aren’t quite ready to pursue the Master of Business Administration.
For students whose undergraduate degree is non-business: Some general graduate business certificate programs are designed for students who want to build managerial competencies and seek a basic knowledge of business functions without completing an MBA program.
Students enrolled in a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration programs might benefit both in terms of boosting their knowledge and acquiring potentially transferrable skills. Also, through completion of a business certificate curriculum, students may have satisfied the foundation course requirements in an M.B.A. or other master’s programs in business. What you will notice on GradSchools.com is that you might search by type of program – Business Prep or Executive Business Administration. In other words, not all business certificate programs are created equal though each one may have value!
7 Things You Might Learn in a General Graduate Business Administration Certificate Program
FACT: Some general managers advance to higher level managerial or executive positions. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance
Essentially, you might look for three types of graduate certificate in business administration programs:
Essential functional business knowledge: Some graduate students form other disciplines use a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration to obtain essential business knowledge to possibly enhance current management responsibilities or understand a specific component of business organizations but they cannot dedicate the time or are not interested in an M.B.A. Some of the core topics in business fundamentals students might study could include:
Prepare for MBA: Other students are interested in pursuing an MBA and a graduate certificate in business administration provides some preparation and possible, transferable credit. Sometimes these programs are referred to as Business Prep certificates or Pre-MBA certificates. You might also find a certificate that includes CPA exam prerequisites.
Enhancement of Specialized Skill-sets: Additionally, some experienced business or Master of Business Administration graduate students use a certificate program to enhance their capabilities in a specific area. These programs are sometimes referred to as ‘Executive’ or Post-Masters Certificates, since they are designed for senior or mid-level managers with experience. Some of the topics students might study could include:
Aside from choosing whether you are looking for preparatory or executive graduate certificate programs in Business Administration, you can refine your search preferences to include: campus, hybrid or online program formats. While distance-learning has a reputation for being convenient, many universities offer evening and weekend classes to accommodate the working management executive, so you might not want to rule it out. Hybrid programs blend campus and online courses, so you may find a university that appeals to you with this option as well. Initiate a search by location to determine where the closest accredited program is offered in your city, or use the state and country tabs to find business grad certificates in your preferred area.
Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies
Some Graduate Certificate in Business Administration programs may say ‘accredited’, but you want to examine what they mean.Institutional accreditation: means that one of the regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has accredited the business college or university.Program accreditation: means that the standards of quality teaching and curriculum have been met. The three main specialized accrediting bodies for business administration degree programs include:
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB): AACSB International accredits degree programs in business administration and accounting at bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels.
Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP): ACBSP accredits business, accounting and business-related programs at the associate, bachelors, masters and doctorate degree levels worldwide.
International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE): The IACBE accredits business programs that lead to associate, bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.
The other accreditation you might want to look for is the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). They are the accrediting body for project management and related degree programs.
Graduate Certificate Business Administration programs offer students the recognition, credibility, as well as practical business or management abilities to take into real world settings. Whether you want to learn a specific financial analysis software, gain motivation strategies to make your staff more enterprising and your organization more profitable or get the basics of entrepreneurship, take the next step. A Graduate Certificate in Business Administration may be the key to continued success!