California Online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration Programs

Online graduate certificate in business administration programs offer students a short-term foundation to a future MBA or to learning targeted business and management skills. Some business administration certificates are designed for students who have earned an undergraduate degree and seek professional development to potentially stand out in a competitive work environment. Earning a graduate certificate in business administration online may be a convenient way to bring your newly learned competency into a present or potential future workplace.

What is an Online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration?

Online graduate certificate in business administration programs are not degrees, but rather, are considered add-on credentials to a degree. Earning a general business administration certificate online may fine-tune corporate management skills and develop communication and team building skills. On average, a graduate business certificate may entail about 15 to 18 course credits, which is a variable depending on the school and the program.

DID YOU KNOW? In a survey about their education level, 14% of Litigation Claim Representatives and Independent Insurance Adjusters reported having a post-baccalaureate certificate.[i]

Who are Online Business Administration Certificate Programs Designed For?

Prospective applicants to online business administration graduate certificate programs are typically required to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and maintained their GPA. Some students may have earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. The specific requirements of each program are determined by each graduate school, so make a note to verify these details.  

·      As an Add-On: Some students may have a Bachelors in Business degree and are seeking add-on theoretical knowledge or specific techniques that they might be able to take into a current work environment.

·      As a stepping-stone: Other students may start with an online business administration certificate and then transfer the credits to a Master’s in Business degree such as the Master of Business Administration.

·      As a Foundation: Some online students may have earned non-business undergraduate degrees and may be able to complete an online graduate certificate in business administration to learn the core competencies of business and potentially continue in an MBA degree program.

How Long Might It Take to Earn a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration Online?

The total time it might take to earn an online graduate certificate in business administration might vary, as it often depends on how many courses one takes per session. For example, if a session is eight weeks, and you take one class per session, you might be able to earn an online business administration certificate in about 16 months.

Online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration: Potential Curriculum

Online graduate certificate programs in business administration may be general and conceptual (preparatory for MBA) or specific and technical (e.g. logistics, taxation). Some graduate schools may set up their online business administration certificate programs where a student chooses from a menu of courses that are offered in a masters-level program such as the MBA, so that the credits successfully earned may be transferred to that master’s degree program.

Potential topics that might be covered in a general online business administration certificate might include[ii]:

  • Financial Management
  • Leadership
  • Management Theory
  • Business Decision-Making
  • Human Resources Management
  • Accounting
  • Corporate Ethics

10 Potential skill-sets that might be cultivated or learned in online graduate certificate programs in business administration[iii]:

  1. Active listening
  2. Coordination
  3. Monitoring to be able to take corrective measures
  4. Social perceptiveness
  5. Speaking effectively
  6. Critical Thinking
  7. Reading Comprehension
  8. Time Management
  9. Negotiation
  10. Active learning

Why Choose an Online Business Administration Certificate Program?

When it comes down to it, students may choose an online graduate certificate in business administration for the convenience and the potential for lower tuition.[iv] Studying through a distance-learning format may mean different things to each university. Usually, the courses are delivered through computer-based educational software systems. If you are someone who travels for work, needs to study after hours, has a family, or lives too far from an accredited online business school, this may be just the option you need to fulfill your academic goals. Look for terminology such as:

  • 100% online or partially online (may involve scheduled visits to campus)
  • Synchronous (live streaming lectures) or Asynchronous (pre-recorded lectures)
  • Participation through online group discussion boards
  • Self-paced, modules
  • Digital tools such as video conferencing, emails, chat
  • Virtual libraries and online publications, textbooks

Find Accredited Online Graduate Certificates in Business Administration

At the institutional level, savvy business students might look for regionally or nationally accredited business schools and universities. At the program level, online graduate certificate business administration programs may be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) or International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

Take the Next Step

Earning your business administration certificate online may be a great way to develop your inner executive, or turn your potentially career-enhancing certificate into a more advanced professional credential when you are ready. Browse our sponsored listings. Then use our on-page navigation to take that next step. Just “request info”. It’s easy to get started.


[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1031.02 |[ii] nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=88877 |[iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1021.00 |[iv] OCS-2016-Report.pdf |

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