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The Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates is open to current Northwestern University undergrads. This is a unique opportunity for enterprising students to take MBA-level courses from Kellogg professors while finishing your bachelor’s degree.

As you review the admissions process, keep in mind that our application is designed to give us a sense of who you are and what drives you. The most important thing you can do during this process is to be your authentic self. We want to get to know you, the experiences that helped shape you as a person and student, and why you want a certificate from Kellogg.

Visit the CPU page to learn more about what you can expect from this program.

I’m ready to apply

How to apply

  • We know you spend a long time preparing all parts of your application. That’s why we holistically review all submitted materials to make informed admissions decisions.

    The CPU program is open to all Northwestern University undergraduates who have completed prerequisites. But we are especially interested in students who are ready for MBA-level coursework.

    Only sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. We see particular interest from students majoring in economics, industrial engineering, data science, computer science, MMSS, statistics and math. But we encourage anyone interested in the certificate from any major to apply.

  • The Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates offers certificates in financial economics or managerial analytics. You cannot pursue both at the same time, so it’s important to choose the program that suits your goals best.

    Graduates in financial economics go on to:

    • Conduct cash flow analysis and build financial models
    • Devise financing and capital structure strategies
    • Evaluate investment decisions
    • Analyze portfolios and asset management strategies
    • Generate cash flow forecasts and valuation estimates

    Graduates in managerial analytics go on to:

    • Analyze corporate spreadsheets
    • Research industries to assess current trends
    • Optimize supply chain networks
    • Update spreadsheets and statistical software packages to analyze data, identify trends and develop forecasts
    • Use data to make strategic decisions

    Both programs allow you to learn from Kellogg faculty, develop analytical modeling and analysis skills, build collaborative problem-solving through our team-based learning model, and advance your understanding of business.

  • To make an admissions decision, we review:

    • Prerequisite courses and grades
    • Corequisite course plan
    • Overall academic accomplishment, with special emphasis on recent grades
    • Faculty letter of recommendation
    • One-page resume
    • Two essays

    If you know you plan to apply but do not want to start your application yet, we recommend gathering these materials first.

Writing your application

  • A resume is a core part of showing us your experience and aptitude so we can get a better idea of your ability to tackle the challenging MBA-level curriculum. That’s why we ask that you provide us with an up-to-date, one-page resume.
  • As a Northwestern University student, you’ve accomplished a lot academically. In the "Academics" section of the application, we look at all your accomplishments throughout your time at Northwestern, with a special emphasis on recent grades.

    Students with a 3.0+ prerequisite GPA are encouraged to apply.

  • In order to fully understand your planned trajectory in the certificate program, we require that you submit your prerequisite courses and your corequisite course plan with your application.

    Prerequisite courses

    There are two prerequisites: multivariable calculus and intermediate microeconomics. You must complete prerequisites by fall of the year of application; though one can be taken during winter.

    Calculus can be completed through MATH 230-1 & MATH 230-2 or equivalent.

    Microeconomics can be completed through ECON 310-1 or equivalent. 

    Corequisite course plan

    Corequisites are courses that you plan to take while completing your certificate. There are two corequisite categories: probability and econometrics/statistics.

    Probability can be completed through taking one of 11 courses.

    Econometrics/statistics can be completed through taking ECON 381-1 or a combination of IEMS or STAT courses.

    The corequisite courses that you choose will often depend on your major and/or minor. You should choose the probability course that is listed in the NU course catalog as the prerequisite for the econometrics/statistics course(s) that you plan to take.

    Your course plan should detail which corequisites you plan to take and when you plan to take them.

    Note regarding FE 310

    If you earn credit for FE 310, you cannot earn credit for either:

    • BUS INST 304 Corporate Finance
    • ECON 360 Foundations of Corporate Finance Theory

    Engineering Students

    • CIV ENV 205: Economics and Finance for Engineers must be taken prior to beginning CPU to earn credit for it
  • We want to get to know you. The essays are your chance to tell us your story and why Kellogg is the right next chapter for you. Take some time to think through the experiences that led you here and how they have shaped where you want to go.

    There are two required essays for the Certificate Program for Undergraduates:

    1. Describe a current business issue in the news that interests you and how participating in the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates could help you better understand the issue. (300-400 words)
    2. Kellogg values having a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in the classroom. How do you believe your personal and academic experiences will contribute to the classroom diversity and enrich the Kellogg Certificate community? (200-250 words)
  • A letter of recommendation provides insight into your experience and accomplishments as a leader through the eyes of someone else. We require one faculty letter of recommendation.

    You should select one recommender who knows you well and can speak to your ability to succeed in the Kellogg Certificate program. In the application, you will be asked to share the name and email address of your recommender. The application system will email your recommender a link to the recommendation form.

Application dates and deadlines

Application deadline Decision released
Round 1 Jan. 7, 2024 Feb. 7, 2024

Contact us about the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates.

Get in touch
Certificate Program for undergraduates
Amanda Stasinski
Program Director, CPU