Getting in

In general, you don't need to have taken business courses ahead of time, and you can start in any semester. An entrance exam (GMAT or GRE) is not required for professional certificate students.

There is a $40 application fee. The fee is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card only. We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards.

How certificates work

Most certificates are earned 100% online, but a few courses may be offered in-person in Des Moines annually. Courses are either 8 or 11 weeks and meet one night per week: No Fridays, no weekends. You can complete certificate programs in 1 year to 18 months, depending on the certificate you choose.

Application dates and deadlines

Notification of admission decisions will begin on October 15 for spring term, February 15 for summer term, and April 15 for fall term.


Classes start: May

Priority deadline: February 15

Final deadline: May 1

Application closed


Classes start: August

Priority deadline: April 15

Final deadline: August 1

Application now open


Classes start: Late January

Priority deadline: October 15

Final deadline: January 1

Application closed

Minimum requirements

You'll need to meet all of these criteria in order to be considered for admission to one of our Professional Certificate programs.

  • A bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA above the minimum
    • Business Analytics and Business Fundamentals: 2.5 GPA or higher
    • Finance, Innovation, Marketing, and Leadership: 3.0 GPA or higher
  • The required months of work experience (see below). This is defined as full-time work experience gained after earning your bachelor's degree. You should be fully employed when you apply; exceptions may be made if you're transitioning employment.
    • Business Analytics and Business Fundamentals Certificates: 12 months minimum.
    • Finance, Leadership, and Marketing: 18 months minimum. The 18 months minimum work experience for the Leadership Certificate will be waived for current UI Pharmacy students.
    • Innovation Certificate: If you are a current University of Iowa degree-seeking graduate student, no work experience is required. If you are not a current University of Iowa graduate student, 18 months is required.

    How we define professional work experience:

    Time spent working in a business environment with significant individual responsibilities, including some decision-making authority and personal accountability for the results of those decisions, post-undergrad.

    Professional backgrounds can vary, and we're looking for your work experience to demonstrate skills in independent problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking, time management, and management of people or teams. If you're a non-traditional student, we may be able to consider work experience gained before your bachelor’s.

Because our certificates are classified as non-degree and part-time, the university cannot sponsor international students for F-1 student visas or J-1 visas. I-20 or DS-2019 documents will not be provided.

Application checklist

Here's what's needed to apply:

  • Completed online application
  • Resume
  • Transcripts (unofficial copies are sufficient to apply)
  • International applicants: TOEFL/IELTS score report (or be eligible for a waiver)
  • Statement of purpose

Start your application

Certificate cost

Stand-alone certificate courses are $2,250 each. The cost of each certificate depends on the number of courses required.

Students pay one university fee, a one-time Records and Documents fee. University of Iowa graduates who earned a degree prior to Fall 2016 get to skip this fee. If you begin with the certificate and later enroll in the master's, you'll pay only one records fee.

See Required Courses

Earning multiple certificates

You can earn more than one certificate, and can even enroll in more than one certificate program at a time. You'll need a 3.0 GPA or better to be awarded the certificate.