Specialize with certificates or a joint degree

If you have interest in a specific subject area, you can give your resume a boost by completing a professional certificate as part of your MBA or by adding a Master of Science in business analytics (available in-person only). Explore these options, including how and when to apply.

Certificates in finance, leadership, and marketing

Certificates are interwoven with MBA coursework, so you don't need to take any extra courses. Because they're delivered through the Iowa MBA Program courses, tuition per class is the same. Course credits count toward the required elective courses and help you focus on what you're interested in. Earn a professional certificate in:

  • Finance—Managerial Finance plus four electives
  • Leadership—Leadership and Personal Development, Management in Organizations plus three electives
  • Marketing—Marketing Management plus four electives
  • Innovation—Three required courses plus two additional electives

The finance, leadership, marketing, and innovation certificates have no separate admissions criteria for Iowa MBA students, but you need to apply so we can ensure the certificate(s) appears on your transcript. Learn more about how and when to apply for these certificates.

Business analytics certificate

If you're looking to add a certificate in business analytics to your arsenal, the process is slightly different from the other certificates. The application, admissions criteria, and course credit method is different. Learn more about applying for the business analytics certificate.

The business analytics certificate is available fully online and through in-person instruction at the three program sites (Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Des Moines).

Important information about applying

To earn the certificate, you must apply and be accepted into the certificate program before completing your third business analytics course. If you neglect this important step, it is possible that some of your classes may not be applied towards your certificate. Details below

Explore this certificate

MBA/Master of Science in business analytics joint degree

Combine the Iowa MBA Program with a Master of Science in business analytics, and round out your business skills with data analysis and insight expertise.

In the joint MBA/MS, each degree program accepts, or cross-counts, courses from the other, which in effect cuts the credits you need by five courses. That’s 15 credit hours, the equivalent of about a year’s worth of classes, or about $10k in tuition.

The MS in Business Analytics is available through in-person instruction at the three program sites (Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Des Moines) with many courses also available online.

Explore the program

Innovation Certificate

Innovation requires an entrepreneurial mindset and an understanding of collaborative processes. Add an Innovation Certificate to your MBA and gain skills to generate innovative solutions to problems, push innovation forward at your company, and develop new ventures.

This certificate can be completed 100% online, and courses may occasionally be offered through evening and weekend courses at our campus locations in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Des Moines.


The Innovation Certificate requires:

All of these:

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation—ENTR:9100
  • Strategic Management of Technology & Innovation—ENTR:9450
  • Managing the Growth Business—ENTR:9500

One of these:

  • Agile Project Management—BAIS:9140
  • Entrepreneurial Finance—ENTR:9200
  • Project Management—MGMT:9185

One of these:

  • Dynamics of Negotiations—MGMT:9110
  • Leadership & Personal Development—MGMT:9120
  • Maximizing Team Performance—MGMT:9220


When and how to apply

Planning ahead is important when you're seeking a certificate or joint degree. The requirements can seem complex, so talk to your academic advisor to ensure your plan of study is in alignment.

Certificates in marketing, finance, leadership, and innovation

There are no admissions criteria for certificates, but you do need to notify us of your intentions in order to ensure the certificate(s) appear on your transcript. Even if you've taken all of the courses for a certificate, it won't appear on your transcript unless you express your intent.

Timing: You must notify us of your intention to earn a certificate prior to degree application deadlines.  These deadlines are typically mid-February for spring, June for summer, and September for fall.  Late notification of your intention to earn a certificate could result in late fees.

How to request: To have the certificate added to your transcript, just email your academic advisor.

Policies: Current Iowa MBA students can pursue multiple certificates at the same time. A 2.75 GPA or better for all five certificate courses is needed for successful completion of the certificate.


Business analytics certificate

The business analytics certificate works differently from other certificates and has its own admissions requirements. See admissions requirements.

Course credit: The business analytics certificate will accept up to nine semester hours of business analytics courses from the Iowa MBA, which will count toward the certificate's required 15 semester hours. Only Iowa MBA courses that are part of the business analytics certificate curriculum will be accepted. See course list.

Timing: Choosing electives with your certificate in mind will help you maximize the number of credits that will apply to both the MBA and the certificate. You must express your intent to add the certificate before the completion of your third business analytics course (9 s.h.). Expressing intent before your third course ensures that we can count all of the business analytics courses you've taken towards the certificate.

How to express intent: To have the certificate added to your transcript, just email your academic advisor.


Joint MBA/MS (business analytics)

Admission to both programs (MBA and MS) is required to pursue the joint MBA/MS in business analytics.

Even if you've already been fully admitted to the Iowa MBA Program, you must apply and be admitted to the Master of Science in business analytics to earn the joint degree. See the MS admissions requirements.

Timing:  You must apply to the Master of Science program before completion of your third business analytics course (9 s.h.). Choosing electives with the MBA/MS in mind will help you maximize the number of credits that will apply to both the MBA and the MS. Once admitted to the joint program, your academic advisor will help you outline a MBA/MS plan of study that lets you graduate in the fewest number of semesters.

How to apply:  Apply separately to each program. See Iowa MBA admissions and Business Analytics admissions pages for details.