Adults learning in a classroom

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
August 6, 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

U of I network supporting future entrepreneurs in Chicago

May 26, 2020, 10:28 AM by Aaron Bennett
When Gies Business alumnus Carter Cofield (ACCY '13, MAS '14) decided to begin donating five percent of all revenue from his business to various nonprofits supporting entrepreneurship, The Gray Matter Experience was first on his list.

The University of Illinois alumni network is flexing its muscle, and that could mean a bright future for the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in Chicago.

Britney Robbins didn’t major in business at Illinois, but she’s made entrepreneurship her mission. Robbins is the founder and CEO of The Gray Matter Experience, an entrepreneurial experience program for high school students in Chicago. Through a 12-week series of workshops, participating students learn business concepts from entrepreneurs and professionals. The hope is that students will use that knowledge to create businesses to help impact communities on the south and west sides of the city.

Cofield Robbins“I really have a passion for working work with youth,” said Robbins, who graduated from Illinois with a degree in creative writing. “Both my parents were entrepreneurs, and I wanted to teach students the same lessons my parents taught me. I saw the economic disparity across Chicago, and I really just wanted to create a pathway for more students of color to learn about entrepreneurship.”

One of the ways Gray Matter teaches students these life-changing skills is through guest speakers. One of those speakers happened to be Gies College of Business alumnus Carter Cofield (ACCY ’13, MAS ’14), who runs a successful financial planning business in Chicago.

“When I started my business, Cofield Advisors, Britney asked me to come speak at Gray Matter,” said Cofield. “It was one of the most intelligent groups of high schoolers I’ve ever spoken to. I gave them some insights and tips, and to this day I never forgot how smart they were.”

So when Cofield decided to begin donating five percent of all revenue from his business to various nonprofits supporting entrepreneurship, The Gray Matter Experience was first on his list. He presented a $1,500 check to Robbins’ nonprofit in January, and he hopes that gift will make a lasting impact on the lives of Chicago’s youth.

“I would not be where I am today if people didn’t give to me first,” Cofield said. “I literally never thought it would be possible to do what I’m doing. The time and mentorship is invaluable. I also think the quicker you dissociate money with success, the better off you’ll be. Money will not be the number one factor in my life.”

The gift was a blessing for Robbins, who knows how difficult it can be to run a nonprofit. She’s thankful for the University of Illinois network and the connection with entrepreneurs like Cofield who help support each other.

“For me, it’s been cool to see the power of the U of I network,” said Robbins. “Being in Chicago, there’s such a strong network of Illinois alumni. Most anytime I meet anyone from U of I, it’s a great level of support. They are happy to provide whatever help and resources they can.”

Cofield, meanwhile, wouldn’t be where he is today without the support from the University of Illinois and Gies College of Business. Gies is where he got his first taste of entrepreneurship, something he never thought possible growing up on the south side of Chicago.

“The experience at Gies mirrors the real world,” he said. “They let us out in the wild, and looking back, it was a tremendous blessing and jump start into the business world. By the time I started my business, I was used to working hard, setting my own schedule, and meeting deadlines. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the U of I, I would’ve never gotten to this point.”

Thanks to a ton of hard work from Robbins and her staff along with support from entrepreneurs like Cofield, things are already starting to come full circle for The Gray Matter Experience. The nonprofit now has five fully incorporated, teen-run businesses in its portfolio, two of which are revenue positive. The program started just four years ago, and Robbins says four students who completed Gray Matter are now enrolled at the U of I.

“We’d love to create a pipeline for students to go to the U of I,” Robbins said. “We’re able to have success, in part, because of help from fellow alumni like Carter. He’s been a huge resource for providing tips and support, making sure participants have sound business models, and just being a resource for our students.”

For more information about The Gray Matter Experience, visit, or follow them on social media at @graymatterexp.