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Professional Development Certificate Programs

Upgrade your skills. Advance your career.


Fall quarter will commence on September 24th. Courses will be offered online, remotely, and on-campus in accordance with University guidelines. Please refer to the Schedule Notes for course delivery information.


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Certificate programs to advance your career


Learn online or on campus

Upgrade your skill set and advance your career in one of the wide range of day, evening, and online certificate programs offered by Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. You'll learn from a faculty of industry leaders and earn a credential from a top university. Choose from a wide range of programs in areas such as analytics, technology, finance, and management.

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Choose from programs in these areas


Dr. Gregg

I had a fantastic experience learning and working at Northwestern. The mentoring environment is very good and the institutional support was overall great. ”

Dr. Robert Gregg, Grantsmanship for the Research Professional
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Find out more about professional development programs at Northwestern

For more information about our Boot Camp programs (AI, Coding, Data Science and Visualization, Cybersecurity, and UX/UI) please visit the Northwestern Boot Camps site.

Frequently Asked Questions


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What are professional development programs?

Professional development programs are structured learning opportunities designed to help you advance your career by developing relevant knowledge and applicable skills within your field. Northwestern University’s  School of Professional Studies offers professional development courses, seminars, workshops, and certificate programs for twenty-four different topics, from grantsmanship to business analytics certificates.

What will I gain from enrolling in a professional development program?

Professional development certificates and programs are a great way to demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and gain skills for improving your job performance. Earning a credential from Northwestern University, ranked #9 nationally by U.S. News and World Report, can help advance your career either by increasing your value in your current position or making you a more competitive candidate when applying for a new role. Thanks to rapid technological developments across industries, it is more important than ever to stay up to date with what’s going on in your field; keep up with the latest trends and best practices by exploring professional development courses that teach you how to incorporate these innovations into your everyday work. Northwestern also provides a foundation for networking with similarly motivated individuals, which can develop into future collaborations, mentorship relationships, and job opportunities.

How long does a professional development program last?

The duration of a professional development program depends on its structure. Most professional development programs consist of a multi-course series that can be completed within a few quarters. Other programs take the form of a multi-day workshop or seminar which may occur over a single week or weekend. If you are outside of the Chicago area or prefer to learn remotely, be sure to look for online professional development programs, which blend the convenience of distance learning with the benefits of live interaction through virtual sync sessions.

Who are the instructors for Northwestern’s professional development courses?

Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies is proud to offer professional development courses taught by leading industry professionals. Because of their practical experience in the field, instructors bring the current best practices and real-world insights to the classroom and are poised to help students apply their learnings to workplace challenges in real time.

Will I receive a certificate or credential upon completion, and is it recognized by relevant professional organizations?

While all professional development programs make great additions to your resume, not all offer a formal certificate or credential upon completion. However, even those that do not may count towards continuing education units or professional development credits required by certain institutions.  Some programs, such as the SHRM exam prep or CFP exam prep courses, also prepare students for exam certification by field-specific membership organizations. To learn more about the outcomes for your selected program, please visit the program home page or contact an enrollment advisor.

Are there any networking opportunities available through Northwestern’s professional development certificates?

As many alumni will agree, one of the greatest benefits of Northwestern’s professional development certificates and courses is the chance to connect with other skilled members of the same field. Whether you’re taking a course online or in person, you’ll have the chance to hear from and collaborate with your peers to gain the benefit of their experience. After completing your program, you will also gain access to Our Northwestern, an online database of other alums that you can connect with for networking and interviewing purposes.

Can the professional development certificate be customized toward my specific career goals or interests?

Many of our professional development programs contain multiple tracks so that students can select the trajectory that best fits their experience, interests, and availability. The project management program, for example, contain three tracks based on experience level, while the philanthropy and non-profit program consists of three tracks that students choose based on their area of experience or topics of interest. Visit an individual program page to learn more about the different options within the curriculum.

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