No business degree? No problem.

It happens all the time. You earn a bachelor's degree in one area, and find your calling in another. So how do you fill in the gaps?

There's a lot of pride involved in working your way up in an area where you don't have formal education. Maybe you earned an anthropology degree, but numbers pique your interest more than bones. Or perhaps your English Lit degree landed you by accident in a marketing job, and you can't imagine doing anything else. It's time to layer solid business fundamentals on top of your non-business background.

The Business Fundamentals Certificate is a five-course program designed to give you a broad introduction to the core principles of business. You'll have a chance to dive into the disciplines: marketing, management, finance, and accounting. You choose your fifth and final course; either business analytics or strategy.

Credits you earn can count toward the Iowa MBA through the Professional MBA Program, which has a separate application process.

At a glance

Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Quad Cities

Complete five courses (four required courses + one elective)

Predominantly 12-week courses, meeting one night a week 6:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., no Fridays. Other formats: online, weekend (4 weeks), and workweek (1 week).

Time to complete
As little as 1 year

$9,975 (Five courses at $1,995 each)

No entrance exam required. See details.

Business Fundamentals Certificate courses

Required course

  • Marketing Management—MBA:8110
  • Management and Organizations—MBA:8120
  • Corporate Financial Reporting—MBA:8140 
  • Managerial Finance—MBA:8180

Elective courses (select one)

  • Business Analytics—MBA:8150
  • Foundations in Strategy—MBA:8300


You don't need to have taken business courses ahead of time, and there's no entrance exam for our certificates. A bachelor's degree is required.

Entrance exam None
Start times Fall, spring or summer semesters
Minimum undergraduate GPA 2.75
Work experience At least 18 months, earned after your bachelor's. You should be fully employed when you apply; exceptions may be made if you're transitioning employment.
English proficiency Required for non-native English speakers; waivers available. TOEFL iBT 100+ or IELTS 7.0 (no sub-score <6.0).
Earning multiple certificates One at a time only. You'll need a 3.0 GPA or better in each certificate to be admitted for another.
Fees $40 application fee once admitted into the program; $75 document fee billed in your second semester.
How to apply Apply online. Select "Professional and Executive Education" and "Professional Certificates." You'll be asked to upload your resume and unofficial transcripts (see details). International applicants must provide TOEFL/IELTS scores or be eligible for a waiver.

Application Deadlines for Professional Certificates

Spring 2018 January 2nd
Summer 2018 May 4th
Fall 2018 August 5th


Next Steps