North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

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Sound knowledge of finance is an essential skill for senior managers in any business. The certificate in finance provides a comprehensive grounding in financial management, with practical tools for financial managers and analysts. Courses focus on corporate financial strategy, structure, and policy, giving you valuable experience and knowledge that you can immediately apply in your work.

In the certificate program, you will study the role of accounting in organizational planning and decision-making; managing risk as it relates to control, fiduciary responsibility, investment strategies, and legal requirements; and cash flow validation techniques. You’ll develop the ability to read and critically analyze corporate financial statements, and evaluate investment decisions that impact strategic and financial objectives at your company.

Through a course schedule that can be customized to combine face-to-face and online classes, the program’s flexibility and affordability will allow you to complete your certificate in as little as 12 months, giving you a valuable credential to add to your resume as you advance your career. All certificate courses can also be applied toward a degree, such as an MBA or master of organizational leadership.

With small class sizes and respected professional faculty who will help you achieve your goals, our certificate programs are one of the options that the School of Business and Nonprofit Management offers to students committed to becoming successful, ethical business leaders.


These five classes below are required for the certificate in finance. Click on a course title to read its description.

Review our semester schedules to see current offerings, including online and on-campus classes.

Financial accounting develops the ability to read and analyze a corporate financial statement. The course is oriented toward the user of financial accounting data and emphasizes the reconstruction of economic events from published accounting reports. It presents the accounting model, reviews accounting standards used for financial reporting, and considers their impact on managerial decisions. The role of accounting in planning, decision making, control, and performance evaluation is the managerial focus of this course. An examination of the ethical issues encountered when making accounting decisions is undertaken throughout the course. An online test of competency in financial accounting will be required as a part of the course.

This course challenges students to prioritize and execute on their fiduciary responsibilities to first and foremost provide sufficient returns to investors. Course content includes projecting financial statements, creation of net present valuation models, determination of a firm's optimal capital structure, and ascertaining firm value through valuations. Particular attention is paid to the tension between the fiduciary responsibility and the ethical ramifications of focusing on shareholder returns. Case studies are used to apply content to professional context. An online test of competency in using Excel will be required as a part of the course.

This course covers the theory and practice of corporate finance, especially the application of financial theory to solve practical problems. Topics include the investment, or capital budgeting decision and the financing decision. This course also assists the financial manager in deciding how much to invest, what assets to invest in, and how to raise the necessary cash. It includes the study of dividend policy, debt policy, risk management, and alternative forms of debt. This course covers financial planning, channels for short-term borrowing, the management of liquid assets, and the management of accounts receivable. The role of ethical behavior is incorporated into the study of financial markets, as well as in financial management. Financial models will be solved using personal computers throughout the course. An online test of competency in finance will be required as part of the course.

This course studies financial markets, principally equity markets, from an investment decision-making perspective. The course develops a set of conceptual frameworks and analytical tools and applies them to particular investments and investment strategies selected from a wide array of companies, securities, and institutional contexts. The focus is on adding value across the spectrum of decisions ranging from position-taking in particular securities to portfolio risk management to the oversight of professional investment managers. The course explores the competitive dynamics among investment organizations, products, and markets. The role of ethical behavior is incorporated into the study of financial markets, as well as portfolio management. Moral reasoning will be factored into portfolio management as environmental, multinational, and global issues affect it.

This course studies the planning, design, development and applications of a financial model. The focus of the course is a comprehensive, applied, project deliverable executing many financial concepts acquired earlier in the program. The skills applied include: construction of a pro forma balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement; defining business drivers and assumptions; estimating the cost of debt; establishing an equity structure; calculating the weighted average cost of capital; assessing tax, depreciation and amortization effects; and performing enterprise valuations using the discounted cash flow and multiples techniques. The model will be used to estimate scenarios, including the capstone which involves a simulated negotiation of an acquisition opportunity.

Gainful Employment Information

North Park University is required to provide detailed information about the gainful employment of our students who enroll in School of Business and Nonprofit Management certificate programs. These disclosures will assist students in making informed enrollment decisions with regards to the possible employment opportunities that accompany each of the certificate programs.

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