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Online Undergraduate Certificate Programs

Upgrade your skills and your resume

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Online certificate programs to advance your career


Build pathways to professional or academic advancement in one of a range of fully online certificates. Undergraduate credit courses are designed to ensure robust and engaging learning experiences with the high level of academic rigor that Northwestern is known for. You'll learn from a faculty of industry leaders and earn a credential from a top university.

With a Northwestern SPS online certificate, you can upgrade your skill set and advance your career, or apply credit earned to one of five SPS online bachelor's degrees. Contact an enrollment adviser for more information.

Why choose a Northwestern undergraduate certificate?



Build in-demand skills and upgrade your resume.

Experienced, professional faculty

Gain practical skills and the latest insights from a professional faculty of industry leaders.

Flexible online classes for working professionals

Engage in online courses designed for robust learning experiences and student’s busy schedules.

Select the program that aligns with your goals


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Find out more about online undergraduate certificate programs at Northwestern


Frequently Asked Questions


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What is an undergraduate certificate?

An undergraduate certificate is a program consisting of related courses designed to help students advance professionally or academically. Concentrating on applicable, in-demand topics, undergraduate certificate programs are a great way to build resume-worthy skills as well as earn credit toward one of five Northwestern online bachelor’s degrees to expand your options in the future.


How do undergraduate certificate programs differ from undergraduate degree programs?

While these programs may have courses in common, undergraduate certificates differ from undergraduate degree programs in two primary ways. First, undergraduate certificate programs require fewer courses for completion than an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, meaning that they are generally shorter in duration and less expensive. Second, students who complete an undergraduate certificate program receive a certificate of completion, rather than a formal degree.


What are the benefits of undergraduate certificate programs?

Undergraduate certificates have benefits in several areas—professional, personal, and academic. Looking to kick-start or advance your career? An undergraduate certificate demonstrates your prowess and drive to current or future employers, helping you stand out from the crowd and achieve your goals. Plus, the asynchronous online format accommodates your busy schedule and allows you to learn on your own terms. If you are interested in earning a degree, an undergraduate certificate from SPS also offers a valuable pathway by giving you experience in college-level courses and building up credits that can be applied toward a Northwestern bachelor’s degree.


Who should apply to an undergraduate certificate program?

Consider applying to one of SPS’s undergraduate certificate programs if you are:

  • A working professional, with or without a bachelor’s degree, looking to advance your career or increase your job prospects in an adjacent field
  • A motivated learner who wants to experience with college-level courses before committing to a bachelor’s degree program—and gain professional credentials in the meanwhile
  • A busy scholar seeking the flexibility of an online certificate program from a top university


Can I complete an undergraduate certificate online?

Yes; Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies currently offers seven online undergraduate certificate programs. Choose from in-demand topics including artificial intelligence, programming, data science, business essentials, human resources, leadership, and strategic communication. Beginning in Fall 2023, SPS will also offer undergraduate certificates in corporate communication and branding as well as research and analytics as concentrations within the strategic communications bachelor’s degree. All Northwestern’s online undergraduate certificate programs are delivered asynchronously for maximum accessibility and flexibility.


What are the prerequisites for an undergraduate certificate?

All applicants to Northwestern’s undergraduate certificate programs must have a minimum of a high school diploma or foreign equivalent. Interested applicants that have earned a bachelor's degree or foreign equivalent are also eligible to apply for admission. Please visit the undergraduate certificate admissions page for more details or to begin your online application.

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