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Program Overview

Business Essentials

Business Essentials Certificate Program

The Business Essentials certificate program is designed for those who are new to a business environment or who lack an academic background in business. This program offers foundational courses in accounting, finance, marketing and organization behavior, providing students with an understanding of essential business principles and practices. Individuals who come from a liberal arts background may be especially interested in this program, which will enable them to learn about the basic principles of business in a real-world context.

This program was formerly titled Business Practices.

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About the Business Essentials Certificate Program

Business Essentials Goals and Courses

Business Essentials Tuition

Post-baccalaureate students at Northwestern's School of Professional Studies pay per course. For more information about financial obligations and tuition, please visit the Tuition page.

Admission for the Business Essentials Certificate

In addition to completing an online application, you'll also need to submit a few supplemental materials. A list of requirements for admission including application deadlines and tips on how to apply can be found at the Admission page.

Business Essentials Registration Information

Whether you're a first-time registrant or current and returning student, all students register using our online student registration and records systems. Important information about registering for courses at SPS, including registration timelines and adding or dropping courses in which you are already enrolled, can be found on the Registration Information page.

Find out more about the Business Essentials Certificate

Program Courses:Course Detail
Intro to Financial Accounting <> ACCOUNT 201-CN

The content of this course is designed to provide students with a firm understanding of the financial accounting process, to include identifying, recording and communicating accounting information to external users. The course will discuss Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and explain how their framework fosters the relevance and reliability of financial statements. Students can expect an introduction to the techniques of accounting and the accounting profession with an emphasis on organizing information for decision making and the information needs of creditors and equity holders. Topics include financial statements, transaction analysis, accrual accounting, cash management, inventories, receivables, long-term and intangible assets, liabilities, stockholders' equity, cash flow statements, and financial statement analysis.


View ACCOUNT 201-CN Sections
Intro to Financial Accounting <> ACCOUNT 201-DL

The content of the course is designed to provide students with a firm understanding of the financial accounting process, and to include identifying, recording and communicating accounting information to external users. The course will discuss Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and explain how their framework fosters the relevance and reliability of financial statements. Students can expect an introduction to the techniques of accounting and the accounting profession with an emphasis on organizing information for decision making and the information needs of creditors and equity holders. Topics include financial statements, transaction analysis, accrual accounting, cash management, inventories, receivables, long-term and intangible assets, liabilities, stockholders' equity, cash flow statements, and financial statement analysis.

This course is conducted completely online. A technology fee will be added to tuition.


View ACCOUNT 201-DL Sections
Intro to Macroeconomics <> ECON 201-CN

This course is an introduction to economics with emphasis on macroeconomics. The course covers aspects of general economics that everyone should know, including how the market system works, how prices are determined, why shortages and surpluses occur, and why some people earn high incomes and others earn low incomes. Topics include: supply and demand, competition vs. monopoly, inflation, unemployment, recessions, booms, fiscal and monetary policy, budget deficits, international trade, and exchange rates. Prerequisite: two years of high school mathematics or MATH 101.


View ECON 201-CN Sections
Introduction to Macroeconomics <> ECON 201-CN

This course familiarizes students with the basic principles of macroeconomics including the role of the government, the role of banks, the importance of interest rates, and the effects of policies involving trade, tax, and other concepts. A variety of economic topics will be covered, including why auction markets are so common, why countries would desire to trade with one another, how currencies are valued and traded, why shortages and surpluses occur, and why some people earn high incomes while others earn low incomes. Also discussed will be classificatory and taxonomical concepts and the role of classifications and rankings. Topics include: supply and demand, competition vs. monopoly, inflation, unemployment, recessions, booms and recessions, fiscal and monetary policy, budget deficits, international trade, and exchange rates. A basic understanding of descriptive statistics, while helpful, is not required.


View ECON 201-CN Sections
Introduction to Finance <> FINANCE 202-CN

An introductory course covering the basic concepts and models used in finance. Explores the mathematics and spreadsheet modeling techniques used in evaluating various financial assets, including stocks and bonds. Also surveys the risk-return tradeoff in financial markets and how investors gauge risk, as well as the basic concepts of Markowitz's mean-variance portfolio theory. The nature and impact of interest-rate risk on financial institutions is considered, and the duration of a financial asset is introduced in this context. Introduces the efficient market hypothesis and its implications for personal investing and corporate finance. Prerequisite: MATH 101, STAT 202, or college algebra, statistics, financial accounting, microeconomics, and macroeconomics, or equivalents. Carries business credit.


View FINANCE 202-CN Sections
Introduction to Finance <> FINANCE 202-CN

An introductory course covering the basic concepts and models used in finance. Explores the mathematics and spreadsheet modeling techniques used in evaluating various financial assets, including stocks and bonds. Also surveys the risk-return tradeoff in financial markets and how investors gauge risk, as well as the basic concepts of Markowitz's mean-variance portfolio theory. The nature and impact of interest-rate risk on financial institutions is considered, and the duration of a financial asset is introduced in this context. Introduces the efficient market hypothesis and its implications for personal investing and corporate finance. This course combines classroom lecture and discussion with an online component. In-class meeting session dates are 4/7, 4/21, 5/5, 5/19 and 6/2. This course is open to Business Leadership year two cohort students only.


View FINANCE 202-CN Sections
Principles of Marketing <> MKTG 201-CN

Marketing structure and processes whereby products proceed from the place of production to final use or consumption. Sales management, retailing, foreign trade, advertising, channels of distribution for marketing different types of products, activities of wholesale and retail middlemen and other important marketing institutions, cooperative marketing, market risk, sources of marketing information, price determination, governmental activity related to marketing, cost of marketing, and general critique of market structure.


There is no available section.
Principles of Marketing <> MKTG 201-DL

Marketing structure and processes whereby products proceed from the place of production to final use or consumption. Sales management, retailing, foreign trade, advertising, channels of distribution for marketing different types of products, activities of wholesale and retail middlemen and other important marketing institutions, cooperative marketing, market risk, sources of marketing information, price determination, governmental activity related to marketing, cost of marketing, and general critique of market structure.

 

This course is conducted completely online. A technology fee will be added to tuition.

 

 


View MKTG 201-DL Sections
Organization Behavior <> ORG_BEH 301-CN

The interaction of individuals in formal organizations; theory and research integrated with cases and exercises to develop an understanding of the dynamics of motivation, communication, group decision making, leadership, intergroup relations, power, and conflict. Students are encouraged to apply this knowledge to managing relationships with superiors, subordinates, and colleagues in their own work settings, this course is paired with an afternoon session of BLP/ORG BEH 311-CN taught by Marina Davis, and the in-class meetings are on alternate Saturdays:1/13, 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, and 3/10. This course is part of the Business Leadership year one cohort.


View ORG_BEH 301-CN Sections
Organization Behavior <> ORG_BEH 301-CN

The interaction of individuals in formal organizations; theory and research integrated with cases and exercises to develop an understanding of the dynamics of motivation, communication, group decision making, leadership, intergroup relations, power, and conflict. Students are encouraged to apply this knowledge to managing relationships with superiors, subordinates, and colleagues in their own work settings.


View ORG_BEH 301-CN Sections
Strategic Planning and Management <> ORG_BEH 367-CN

This course covers basic principles of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the management process. Class discussions, lectures, and case studies are used to develop skills required to assess an organization's position, establish its vision for the future, and develop and implement strategies to achieve success. Prerequisite: ORG BEH 301 or equivalent.

 


There is no available section.
Entrepreneurship & Technology ORG_BEH 369-CN

This course focuses on early-stage companies (including, but not only, startups) and how they are structured, financed, managed, scaled, and sold. It is an example-driven course that requires research outside class. While the course focuses on technology companies, this is interpreted broadly to include telecommunications, financial technology, medical technology, hardware innovation, and other topics; this is not a sector-specific course focused on "pure tech" (e.g. social media startups, ad tech, etc.). This is a case-driven, highly-collaborative course with a Socratic, conversational classroom environment, and it includes a midterm exam and a final project.


View ORG_BEH 369-CN Sections
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