McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University
Business Enterprise Certificate
Although many of our students ultimately pursue an advanced business degree, they will still spend several years in the work force before going back to school. This Certificate program is aimed at those who are intent upon having a career in business but who want to improve their ability to make a contribution as soon as possible after finishing their McCormick degree. This educational experience gives them the orientation to make that possible.
The Business Enterprise Certificate involves a combination of business courses and work experience that will augment any McCormick degree program.
|Cooperative Engineering Education Program Participants||Non Co-Op Students|
|Number of Courses *||4||6|
|Work Experience||co-op certificate||six months **|
|Total Credits ***||50||52|
Students in the Cooperative Engineering Education Program must take four courses for the Business Enterprise Certificate; non Co-Op students must take six courses.
Courses must come from the approved courses list, and including at least one accounting course.
- Business Institutions (BUS_INST) 260 will fulfill the accounting course requirement.
- Alternately, via an approved curriculum petition, Accounting 201-CN (through the School of Continuing Studies) or an accounting course from another university may satisfy this requirement.
A Faculty Steering Committee determines which courses qualify as approved courses.
Non-co-op students must complete six months of internship experience for the Business Enterprise Certificate. (Co-op students will not be required to complete an internship, as their co-op work experience completes this requirement.)
Each internship must consist of 12 weeks of industry experience of a technical nature in a small, mid-size, or large corporation. These internships may take place in different companies, and during each internship the students will participate in an evaluation process with their supervisors.
The students must register for the McCormick Internship course, which carries no academic credit and for which students pay no tuition. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their ability to:
- Apply knowledge of technical or business principles to one’s work;
- Collect, analyze and interpret data;
- Design a system or process to meet desired goals;
- Function in a multidisciplinary team;
- Identify and solve organizational problems;
- Take professional and ethical responsibility;
- Communicate effectively in writing and speaking;
- Be aware of the relationship between this organization and the broader community;
- Become aware of the need for life-long learning;
- Apply one’s knowledge of contemporary issues; and
- Use modern technical tools for solving business problems.
Students will also be given the opportunity to evaluate the quality of the learning experience provided by the employer during each internship.
Normally, 48 units are required to earn a BS degree from McCormick. This certificate requires additional units, even if all requirements can be met in fewer units. Students completing a dual degree within McCormick must have six additional credits (i.e., 56 for co-op or 58 for non-co-op students).
- Co-op students must complete 50 total credits to complete this program; non-co-op students must complete 52 total credits.
- The Faculty Steering Committee determines which courses qualify as approved courses, and set other administrative rules for the Business Enterprise Certificate Program.
Courses on the approved list fall into the following areas:
- Economics and finance
- Organizational behavior
- Law and government
Other than having one accounting course, there is no further stipulation of topics for the remainder of the courses required for the certificate.
Download the official approved list
Approved Course Listing (PDF) This listing also details course prerequisites.
Earning Your Certificate
1. Declare Your Intent
As soon as you have a plan in place to complete the requirements for the certificate, complete the Declaration of Intent to Pursue Business Enterprise Certificate Form (PDF).
- The form can be amended as necessary. Filing the form will help the Office of Undergraduate Engineering monitor your progress. Upon filing the form, you will also have more time to make sure you complete all requirements.
- This form must be returned to the Office of Academic Services, Tech L269, before the beginning of your last quarter at Northwestern.
2. File to Receive Your Certificate
The Petition to Receive the Business Enterprise Certificate Form (PDF) is required to officially earn the certificate. This form should be completed and returned to the Office of Academic Services, Tech L269, with the Industry Work Experience report no later than the end of the second week of your last quarter at Northwestern.
Questions about the Business Enterprise Certificate should be directed to the Office of Academic Services, Tech L269, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Engineering