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Leading-edge programs delivered online, in-person, or customized for your organization

Our commitment to developing and providing transformative educational experiences does not stop with a degree. The changing world of business requires leaders who continually evolve to meet new challenges. Professional and Executive Education at Gies College of Business provides continuing education that empowers senior executives and high performing managers to achieve their potential.

We offer courses for individual learners through our online courses and our traditional classroom-style residential courses. For corporations, faculty experts build custom learning experiences to meet the needs of employees. 

Online Courses for Individual Learners

Our collection of high-level online business courses addresses topics relevant to rising leaders, managers, and directors with an array of backgrounds. Complete these courses at your own pace. Learn in a fully-engaged online classroom, where collaboration with renowned faculty and eager colleagues returns leaders to their organization with a renewed sense of purpose. Each course lasts three weeks with 10-15 hours of self-paced coursework and three live sessions per course. You can register for courses individually or the entire four-course collection.


Certificate in Business Management and Administration

MBA Essentials
April 29, 2020 Course Launch

Gain skills in strategic leadership and innovation, process improvement, marketing management, and managerial accounting.

Highlights Managerial Accounting

Principles of Managerial Accounting
2020 Dates Coming Soon

This course is an executive-level introduction and exploration of managerial accounting principles and applications.

Highlights Process Management

Strategic Leadership & Innovation
2020 Dates Coming Soon

This course builds skills in team leadership and adaptive organizational design to enhance leaders’ effectiveness in a fast-moving business world.

woman typing on laptop at table

Principles of Marketing
2020 Dates Coming Soon

This course explores the principles of marketing management and how it complements other business disciplines to create value.

Process Improvement

Operations Management
2020 Dates Coming Soon

This course will prepare you to deploy process improvement strategies in alignment with other functions of your organization.

Residential Programs for Individual Learners

Learn the content that is driving innovation in today's business world in a traditional classroom setting. Our residential programs are available to all individual learners and held across the Midwest. If you are interested in a residential program, please view our list of upcoming courses

Customized programs for your organization

We specialize in custom engagement that addresses your specific business challenges. A program director works with you, your organization, and our renowned team to access course modules that meet your needs. Our team can even provide specialized content to enhance your existing in-house talent programs. These programs focus on a number of areas, including:

Icon for Business Ethics
Business Ethics

Icon for Business Model Innovation
Business Model Innovation 

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Icon for Innovation Management
Innovation Management

Invest in your team with custom courses taught by faculty experts

Our courses are taught by the same Gies College of Business faculty who teach in our top-ranked degree programs. These faculty members represent a diverse collection of backgrounds that includes significant experience as practitioners, leading researchers, and renowned teachers. They have the knowledge and expertise relevant to today’s business leaders.

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Associate Professor of Accountancy & PwC Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor of Business Administration, Bruce and Anne Strohm Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor of Accountancy and Fred & Virginia Roedgers Faculty Fellow in Accountancy

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Professor of Business Administration and A Robert & Helen P Fellowship

Professor of Accountancy and Associate Head and A.C. Littleton Professor of Accountancy

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Learn More 

Contact us today to learn about our online, in-person, and customized programs for professionals and executives.

Carlos Torelli

"Our innovation and expertise in the delivery of education via a high-engagement online classroom provides an ideal learning environment. This experience transcends geography and busy schedules, so professional learners gain knowledge to support their continued success."

Carlos Torelli, Executive Director, Professional and Executive Education

Gies News and Events

Virudachalam uses numbers to improve lives of most vulnerable

Oct 10, 2019, 08:33 AM by Aaron Bennett
Instructor of Business Administration Vanitha Virudachalam: "I enjoy doing math, but I like it when math has a practical and tangible impact."

Some people have a passion for numbers. Nothing makes them happier than solving for “x,” contemplating “y,” or developing the complex theorems that will solve some theoretical problem twenty years from now. Vanitha Virudachalam, however, is not one of them.

Vanitha Virudachalam 07“I enjoy doing math,” said Virudachalam, instructor of business administration at Gies College of Business, “but I like it when math has a practical and tangible impact.” For her, numbers mean nothing unless they’re meeting a human need.

That’s why Virudachalam enjoys the study of operations. More specifically, she enjoys looking at the complex systems that we all encounter in the public sector. “I have always wanted to work on problems that can improve the lives of people who are most vulnerable,” she explains.

She witnessed that vulnerability first hand during a summer internship for a non-profit organization in Rio de Janeiro, visiting the mountain slums and seeing how abstract policies affected real children struggling on the streets. “I learned a lot about the world from that internship.”

Back home, she continued to delve into the complex systems that shape people’s lives. Her master’s thesis at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy examined how smarter capacity utilization could lower healthcare costs, while her dissertation at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania explored performance-based incentives in public sector jobs.

With her studies officially complete, she’s excited to be teaching at Gies. “I think it’s a really great environment to start my career, where I’ll have supportive colleagues who I can talk to about interesting problems,” said Virudachalam.

She also likes the fact that Illinois is a public school that’s open and welcoming to all. “Most of my education has been at public schools,” says Virudachalam, who was well-acquainted with the school, long before setting foot on campus. “I grew up hearing about the University of Illinois, because it’s such a gem in the Midwest,” said the Tinley Park, Illinois, native. “I never imagined getting a job here.”

Virudachalam will be teaching a course on data analytics, where she looks forward to the daily give and take of the classroom. “When you’re teaching you get to interact with a whole variety of backgrounds and hear different perspectives,” says Virudachalam. “I think, especially when you’re dealing with more real-life problems, that can lead to a really rich and interesting discussion and help you think about things you haven’t thought of before.”

She’s also excited about mentoring students who are searching for their purpose in life. She remembers a time, not too long ago, when she stood at a crossroads, with her master’s complete and no real clear plan ahead. That’s when she says two professors at Harris supported her, encouraging her to pursue a PhD. “I certainly benefited from a lot of people investing in me and believing in me throughout the course of my career,” says Virudachalam. “I hope I can do that for students as well.”