Shaping Leaders - Driving Results

Related Links:
Attend an Info Session
View e-newsletters
UNC Business Essentials BLOG


About the UNC online Business Essentials Certificate Program

Business Training Course Basics

How do I enroll in the UNC online Business Essentials certificate program?

Please click the green ENROLL button above, then enter your personal and billing information into our enrollment form. Because of the flexible nature of the UNC Business Essentials certificate program, enrollments are accepted on a rolling basis. There are no academic pre-requisites required to enroll in the UNC Business Essentials certificate program.

What is the difference between UNC online Business Essentials certificate program and a degree program?

While not an academic degree program, the UNC Business Essentials business certificate program is a career-related program pursued by a student that represents more than a single course, yet less than a major or a minor. Students will not receive academic credits toward graduation for passing the UNC Business Essentials program. The online business certificate program is designed to provide the essential business knowledge and understanding of core business skills beneficial to anyone who has not had a formal business education. As most professions incorporate essential principles of business, the UNC Business Essentials program is designed to provide applicable knowledge on marketing channels, budget management, economic drivers and communication skills to complement students’ existing education or experience.

Who can enroll?

UNC Business Essentials is open to anyone who wants to gain a solid background in the principles of business.  You do not have to be a UNC student or alumni to enroll, and we have many non-UNC graduates of the program.  Since the program is 100% online, it can be taken by anyone, anytime, anywhere.  The program is ideally suited for non-business majors as it teaches individuals the fundamentals of business in the following six modules:  Introduction to Business, Financial Accounting, Economics and Finance, Marketing, Business Operations and Business Communication.

What are the basic technical requirements?

UNC Business Essentials utilizes ADEPTCentral's ADEPT methodology combining text and other media into modules for enhanced retention and learning and is presented online through Agilix BrainHoney. To run the Agilix course website, your computer must meet the minimum requirements below:

Technical Feature/Hardware Minimum Specification
Platform Windows based PC or Mac OS
PC processor speed 500Mhz
Hard drive 100MB
RAM 512 MB
Video card Yes
Audio card Yes
Connectivity High Speed Internet
Speakers Yes
Keyboard Standard
Printer Optional
Web browser(s) supported Windows XP, Windows Vista
Web browser(s) supported • Mozilla Firefox 3, 4
• Google Chrome
• Internet Explorer 7*, 8, 9
• Safari 3, 4, 5
Flash player Version 9.0 or better
Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Reader 8 or better
Microsoft Office Documents: (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) Office 2002

*Note: Although BrainHoney supports Internet Explorer 8 and 9, it does so through running in IE7 compatibility mode. Therefore, newer features provided by versions 8 and 9 are not available to course content.

Can I use a MAC to take the course?

Yes, you can use a MAC to take this course.  All that is needed to take the course with a Mac is a browser with the free downloadable Adobe Flash 9 player.

What is ADEPT and how does it relate to UNC Business Essentials?

UNC Business Essentials is designed for maximum learning, usability and accessibility for non-business students rounding out their education through this online business training program. To ensure the highest standards of excellence, Business Essentials was developed using ADEPTCentral’s progressive ADEPT methodology. ADEPT stands for: Applied Dynamic e-Learning Processes and Tools, and is a progressive approach to designing engaging courseware for enhanced learner retention and knowledge transfer. UNC Business Essentials chose to use ADEPT processes when developing its program, because with ADEPT, designers can skillfully create custom curricula and transition from instructor-led training with the assurance that the course is pedagogically optimized for enrolled learners.

UNC Business Essentials Course Structure

What business topics are covered?

UNC Business Essentials is an online business certificate program structured to maximize student learning and efficiency. The program includes six online business classes : Introduction to Business, Financial Accounting, Economics and Finance, Marketing, Operations, and Business Communication. The content created and delivered within UNC Business Essentials can be customized by an organization to address any relevant issues specific to it.

The Introduction to Business, Financial Accounting, Economics and Finance, Marketing, Operations courses are all structured in the same way. Each online business training course includes content delivered in several ways (graded activities, quizzes, a discussion board and a final exam) to meet the needs of different learning styles and maximize knowledge retention.

The Business Communication module’s structure varies from the other business classes because of the nature of the material covered. Recognizing that communication styles vary and that grading becomes subjective, grading in this communication module is limited to the quizzes and activities. The Business Communication module does not include discussion boards or a final exam.

All six courses are weighted equally in the UNC Business Essentials business certificate program.

What type of program support is provided?

Students have access to program tutors through the interactive discussion board component of UNC Business Essentials. Through the online discussion board, students may post questions or comments about the program material for additional help. A qualified program tutor will respond within 24 hours of the student's posting.

How long do I have to complete the program?

Students will spend an estimated 60 hours to complete the UNC Business Essentials business certificate program, which equates to approximately 10 hours per module. Once the program is started, students must complete their work within a four (4) month period of time. Each of the six Business Essentials courses takes an average of 10 hrs to complete. The entire program can be completed in 4 months if an individual spends 4 hours a week taking the courses.

How is the program graded and what happens if I fail a quiz, exam or module?

There are four graded components of the UNC Business Essentials business certificate program: activities, quizzes, the discussion board, and final exams.

In order for a student to successfully complete the online business certificate program and receive the UNC Business Essentials business certificate, the student must complete the program within four months of their enrolled start date and complete all six business training courses with a passing grade of 75% on each course.

Students are given opportunities to re-take quizzes as many times as they would like to feel comfortable with the material and get a 100%. Student efforts on the discussion board are graded as "0%, 50%, or 100%" after initial post; if a student receives a grade of 50%, that student then has one opportunity to correct and re-submit their posting for a re-grade. Each module (with the exception of the Business Communication module) contains a final exam, which the student may take one time only.

If a student does not meet the requirements to pass the business certificate program (e.g., fails one or more required courses) or if a student does not successfully complete the online program within 4 months, the student may petition UNC Business Essentials for more time or a chance to retake an individual course.

Paying for the UNC Business Essentials Business Certificate Program

Is this program eligible for financial aid or payable through the N.C. 529 program?

At this point the Business Essentials business certificate program is not eligible for financial aid or the NC 529 program.

How much does the UNC Business Essentials online Business certificate program cost and what is included in the cost?

The total cost for the 60 hour business certificate program is $3,395. The online nature of this program and the design allows for all of the materials that students need to be provided via the program. Students will not need to purchase additional books or materials. Discounts are available for UNC-Chapel Hill students, alumni, current staff and faculty and children of Kenan-Flagler Business School faculty and staff. Please contact us for information if you or your child qualifies for a discount.

The program includes:

  • Six required courses designed by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and created by faculty experts
  • Printable learning aids
  • Printable course summaries
  • Unlimited tutor access
  • Access to Kenan-Flagler alumni events
  • Certificate from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School upon successful completion of the program

Back to top


Or call 855-898-7012

Please feel free to contact an Enrollment Advisor at 855-898-7012 or

Online Business Education: A Student's PerspectiveUNC Business Essentials graduate, Kevin Overby, discusses the flexibility and benefits of this online business training program.