Image of Business Instructional Facility

Apr 21, 2022 Accountancy Alumni Business Administration Faculty Finance Student

Gies launches fully online, stackable graduate certificates

Furthering its longstanding commitment to break down barriers to business education, Gies College of Business is launching a pair of fully online, credit-bearing graduate certificates, the first ever offered by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. These 12-credit-hour certificates are designed to reach learners who already hold an undergraduate degree and who don’t want, or need, a full graduate degree. Instead, the certificates – in Accounting Data Analytics and Strategic Leadership & Management – are built around specific skills or competencies that learners can use for personal improvement and professional advancement.

“These online graduate certificates are designed for maximum flexibility,” said Brooke Elliott, EY Professor and Executive Associate Dean of Gies College of Business. “As we enter a post-COVID world, learners are demanding more flexible, complementary alternatives that address specific skills – skills that can be continually updated throughout a career. They don’t necessarily desire a full degree, but they do value the option to potentially apply those credits to a degree at a later date. These certificates have it all.”

In addition to these first two certificates, Gies plans to launch up to six more within the next year in areas such as marketing, innovation, managerial economics, and more. Each certificate program can be completed online in as little as four months and will be fully stackable into any of Gies’ three online degree programs: the Master of Business Administration (iMBA), Master of Science in Management (iMSM), and Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA). Since they carry full University of Illinois credit, the hours completed can also be transferred to other universities within the US and around the world.

To maximize access, the certificate programs will have multiple start dates throughout the year. Courses offer flexibility to meet adult learner needs, and the course material can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Courses include both an asynchronous component hosted on the Coursera platform and highly engaging live sessions led by the University of Illinois’ top faculty.

“These graduate certificates are an important next step toward achieving our vision of delivering life-changing access to business education,” said Jeffrey R. Brown, Dean of Gies College of Business. “They are ideal for learners who simply want short, standalone credentials in a specific area. And it also provides them with an option to stack those credentials into a larger degree program so they’re not repeating courses or paying unnecessary tuition. It’s an incredible value-add that fits perfectly with the trends we’re seeing in workforce demands.”

Applications for the first two graduate certificates opened April 15, and classes will start in August. In order to apply for admission, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (in any discipline) and include a resume and brief personal statement. Interested applicants can learn more here.