Program Overview

Certificate in Agile Practices

As Agile becomes mainstream, organizations will value those employees who understand and are able to use Agile approaches to work together effectively. Whether you are a team member, Scrum Master, project manager, coach, or leader, you will benefit from a deep understanding of Agile methods and how to effectively apply them in a team environment.

Northwestern University has been reviewed and approved as a provider of project management training by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Our Certificate in Agile Practices satisfies the 21-hour agile training prerequisite to sit for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® exam.

Northwestern University has also been approved by PMI to issue professional development units (PDUs) for our project management courses. We offer several electives for PDUs to maintain your PMI® certifications. Our faculty members are industry experts in applying Agile frameworks and leading Agile projects and will share their best practices with students. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend learning to fit your needs.


Registration is open for Winter 2018:

  • PROJ_PMI 403-0 Agile for Practitioners — Register by Monday, January 8


View full course schedule here. Save your seat today!

What is Agile?

Northwestern instructor Anthony Mersino discusses the fundamentals and value of Agile project management methods.

Program Goals

  • Communicate the benefits of using Agile frameworks vs. more traditional or waterfall approaches
  • Establish the structure for a successful project through the use of Agile frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban, eXtreme Programming (XP), and Lean
  • Identify key concepts of Agile project analysis and design including requirements gathering techniques like Story Mapping and User Stories
  • Assemble, motivate, coach, and lead an Agile team
  • Understand how to manage the scope, schedule, budget, and quality of Agile initiatives
  • Explain how to leverage leadership skills required by Agile methods, including high-bandwidth communication, interpersonal skills, facilitation, and collaboration
  • Define the key Agile concepts covered on the PMI-ACP® certification exam
Northwestern University has been reviewed and approved as a provider of project management training by the Project Management Institute (PMI), and has been approved by PMI to issue professional development units (PDUs) for all of our project management core courses and electives.

Project Management Institute (PMI)
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Student Profile

Julie Cowan, Marketing-Communications Manager, Northwestern University Office for Research

Julie Cowan

As the marketing and communications manager for Northwestern University’s Office for Research, Julie Cowan tackles projects ranging from content creation to user experience to graphic design. All research projects at the University touch the Office for Research at some point, which places communications from more than 12 research support offices and 53 University Research Centers under the purview of Cowan’s department. These creative projects have one thing in common—the need for strategic project management.

“I thought the class was fantastic. The instructor was phenomenal,” said Cowan, whose class was led by career agile coach and SPS instructor Anthony Mersino. 

Learn more about Julie's experience in Agile for Practitioners and how Julie is now implementing agile practices in her department.

Program Audience

This program is useful for a wide range of participants who are interested in adopting Agile principles and practices.

  • Business analysts, testing professionals, and others who are considering joining an Agile team
  • Experienced project managers who currently use traditional techniques and are seeking to incorporate Agile practices, or to become Scrum Masters or coaches
  • Managers and leaders who need to support Agile teams
  • Career-changers who want to learn Agile best practices and join an Agile team
  • Project managers who are seeking PMI-ACP® certification, or certified individuals who are seeking PDUs to maintain their certification

Certificate Requirements

To earn the Certificate in Agile Practices from Northwestern University, students must complete one core course and two electives. Students may choose from agile-specific electives, or they may choose from the general project management elective pool. To earn the agile training contact hours required to sit for the PMI-ACP® exam, students only need to complete the core course.

Core Course

  • PROJ_PMI 403-0 Agile for Practitioners*
    • Course length: four days
    • Offered in fall, winter, spring, and summer
    • Offered in-person at the Chicago campus 

Elective Courses

  • PROJ_PMI 350-0 Leading and Coaching Agile Teams
  • PROJ_PMI 360-0 Agile Estimating and Planning
  • Any general Project Management elective course

To earn a certification from the Project Management Institute, such as PMI-ACP® certification, you must sit for their exam and meet their eligibility criteria.

*Formerly known as Agile for Project Management Professionals. Course name change effective Spring 2017. All course content and certificate requirements remain the same.


PMI, PMI-ACP, and the PMI Registered Education Provider logo are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Core Courses:

  • PROJ_PMI 401-0 Essentials of Project Management
  • PROJ_PMI 402-0 Applied Project Management (On Campus)
  • PROJ_PMI 402-DL Applied Project Management (Online)
  • PROJ_PMI 403-0 Agile for Practitioners

Elective Courses:

  • PROJ_PMI 204-0 Developing People and Teams
  • PROJ_PMI 211-0 Soft Skills for Project Managers
  • PROJ_PMI 225-0 Power Excel Skills for Project Managers
  • PROJ_PMI 315-0 Risk Management
  • PROJ_PMI 345-0 Practical Project Planning
  • PROJ_PMI 350-0 Leading and Coaching Agile Teams
  • PROJ_PMI 360-0 Agile Estimating and Planning
  • PROJ_PMI 365-0 Supporting an Agile Transformation