Undergraduate Study
Certificates & Minors
Business Enterprise Certificate

The Business Enterprise Certificate enables students interested in a business career to gain the tools and knowledge to make a substantive contribution immediately upon finishing their McCormick degree.

Please note that this certificate program is not offered to new students beginning in Fall 2019.

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The certificate involves a combination of business courses and work experience that will augment any McCormick degree program.

Number of Courses

Co-op Students: 4
Non-Co-op Students: 6

Work Experience

Co-op Students: Co-op Certificate
Non-Co-op Students: six months

Total Credits

Co-op Students: 50
Non-Co-op Students: 52

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Required Courses

Students in the Cooperative Engineering Education Program (Co-op) 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 include 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.

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Work Experience

Co-op students are not required to complete an internship, as their co-op work experience completes this requirement.

Non-co-op students must complete six months of internship experience.

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 student will participate in an evaluation process with their supervisors.

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 their 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 their knowledge of contemporary issues
  • 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.

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Total Credits

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.

Co-op students must complete 50 total credits to complete this program; non-co-op students must complete 52 total credits.

Students completing a dual degree within McCormick must have six additional credits (56 for co-op or 58 for non-co-op students).

The Faculty Steering Committee determines which courses qualify as approved courses, and set other administrative rules for the Business Enterprise Certificate.

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Approved Courses

Courses on the approved list fall into the following areas:

  • Communications
  • 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 Approved Course Listing
This listing also details course prerequisites.

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How to Earn 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.

  • 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 Undergraduate Engineering Office, Tech L269, before the beginning of your last quarter at Northwestern.

2) File to Receive Your Certificate

Complete the Petition to Receive the Business Enterprise Certificate Form. This form should be completed and returned to the Undergraduate Engineering Office, Tech L269, with your completed Industry Work Experience report no later than the end of the second week of your last quarter at Northwestern.

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Questions about the Business Enterprise Certificate should be directed to the Undergraduate Engineering Office, Tech L269, or via email at ueoffice@northwestern.edu.