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Undergraduate Certificates | Business Essentials

Business Essentials

Entrance Exam: Not Required
Poole College of Management

The University Online Business Essentials Undergraduate Certificate is offered to any currently enrolled undergraduate NC State student who is not enrolled in Poole College of Management and to any currently enrolled non-degree studies (NDS) student at NC State University. This 12-credit-hour certificate provides students an opportunity to learn marketable business skills.

The University Online Business Essentials Undergraduate Certificate prepares graduates for opportunities that require knowledge of financial and managerial accounting and business processes. These topics are covered in the two core courses, meaning all graduates of the program are prepared to work as account managers, program coordinators and financial services managers. Additional electives are selected to develop depth of knowledge in one or two areas of business.

Please visit the Poole College of Management's website for application deadlines and more information regarding the Business Essentials program.


This certification is available to any currently enrolled non-Poole NC State students and non-degree studies (NDS) students. Students must apply for the certificate here (opens in new tab). A 2.0 cumulative GPA is required to apply and to complete the certificate. A 2.0 GPA and grade of D- or above is required for all classes taken towards the certificate.

Plan of Study

The University Online Business Essentials Certificate requires 12 credit hours (four courses). Students pursuing university certificate programs are considered non-degree studies (NDS) students for the purpose of university registration; NDS students may register for a maximum of 6 credit hours per semester. Thus, the University Online Business Essential Certificate may be completed in as little as two semesters.

Career Prospects

One of the greatest strengths of a business certificate is its versatility. Depending on their elective selections, graduates gain expertise in specific areas. Students who develop skills in the areas of personal finance and understanding of income taxes are prepared to work as financial advisors, portfolio managers and insurance agents. Those that choose the marketing elective open doors to opportunities in digital marketing, traditional marketing, social media marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). Students interested in working with people and processes may choose to prepare for a role in human resources, and still others deepen knowledge in operations and supply chain management to advance their career in the operations side of business management.

Regardless of elective concentration, graduates gain the foundational knowledge necessary to advance their career at an established place of employment or to pivot to a new career path.