Undergraduate Certificate in Business Management

31 Credits

Program Outline

Here's how it works
Your certificate program consists of courses designed to take you step-by-step toward understanding all the essential elements of Business Management. Your first course will be sent to you as soon as your enrollment has been accepted.

The first course, Basic Skills Assessment, is available online only, which allows you to start studying right away. You will not receive hardcopy program materials for these lessons. You can access your first course as soon as your tuition payment has been received. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account to complete this program.

Note: Graduates of this program earn 31 college credits toward an A.S. degree in Business Management at Penn Foster College.

This outline covers all the courses required for your certificate program. You complete the following courses in the order indicated:


Program Goal: The Business Management Undergraduate certificate program provides students with the skills to expand existing business management knowledge for a current or future job, or prepare for further education at the undergraduate level.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand the Penn Foster distance learning process, the materials used in the program, successful study skills and techniques, individual life goals and steps needed to fulfill them, similarities between personal financial goals and business goals, the basics of setting up a budget and starting up and maintaining a business
  • Discuss the various functions of business including competition, economics. accounting, technology and information systems, marketing, management through the phases of starting and growing a business, and management of financial and human resources along with the ethical and social responsibilities of business
  • Discuss both the business environment and the manager's role in decision making, planning, organizing, leading, controlling, and developing an ethical perspective
  • Demonstrate understanding of basic mathematical operations including percentages, discounts, interest, present worth, sinking funds, installment buying, pricing, depreciation, investments, insurance, use of symbols and their applications, equations and formulas, and the importance of statistics
  • Compose professional documents using word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software, and integrate the applications
  • Explain the principles of Financial Accounting including analyzing transactions, completing the accounting cycle, merchandising businesses, inventories, assets, liabilities, stocks, bonds and cash flow
  • Explain the law of supply and demand, cost of living, monetary systems, international factors, and short run economic fluctuations
  • Discuss managerial accounting including budgeting and performance evaluation, decentralized operations; differential analysis, product pricing, and capital investment analysis, and cost activities

Basic Skills Assessment
All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

BUS100Business Orientation (1 credit)
Introduction to distance learning; study skills and techniques; reading textbooks and study guides; reviewing for examinations. Four basic life goals; individual life goals and steps needed to fulfill them; similarities between personal financial goals and business goals; determining personal financial goals; setting up a budget; researching, planning, starting up, and maintaining a business.

BUS101 Introduction to Business (3 credits)
This course outlines the elements of business and the challenges businesses face in a global environment, such as competition and economic factors. You'll learn why accounting, technology and information systems, marketing, and management are essential to starting and growing a business. You'll also learn the basics of managing financial and human resources and the ethical and social responsibilities required of a successful manager.

BUS110 – Principles of Management (3 credits)
In the business world, people are sometimes put into management situations when they really don’t understand what management is all about. Although some are able to step into a management position and handle it naturally, others find the responsibilities to be overwhelming. Management courses are a must. For those proficient in managerial positions, management courses can help improve their skills and gain a better understanding of their new responsibilities. For those who are overwhelmed by a new management position, or who strive to secure a management position, management courses help by presenting concepts and ideas to build new skills.

This course is divided into lessons that discuss the foundations and principles of management, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. As you read the textbook, try to relate the material to your own experiences. If you don’t have any management experience, try to put yourself in the place of your manager and relate the material to those experiences.


  • Summarize the functions of management and the basic steps in various planning processes
  • Explain how to make effective decisions as a manager and a leader
  • Describe the fundamental elements of an organization’s structure and the components of an organization’s competitive environment
  • Explain principles for setting goals that motivate employees, why companies develop control systems, and why teamwork is beneficial
  • Analyze why diversity is a critical organizational and managerial issue, and describe the criteria for technology decisions and managing change
  • Demonstrate the foundations and principles of management by completing an open-book proctored exam

Textbook: M: Management

MAT106 Math for Business and Finance (3 credits)
This course will provide a foundation in basic mathematical operations. You'll learn about percentages, discounts, interest, present worth, sinking funds, installment buying, pricing, depreciation, investments, insurance, the use of symbols and their applications, equations and formulas, and the importance of statistics.

CSC104 Computer Applications (3 credits)
Hardware and software; computer networks; information systems; personal computer systems; legal and ethical dilemmas. Software applications include creating a resume, spreadsheet, and slide presentation.

ACC111 Financial Accounting (3 credits)
This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the principles of Financial Accounting. Topics covered include analyzing transactions; completing the accounting cycle; merchandising businesses; inventories, assets, and liabilities; and corporations, stocks, bonds, and cash flow.

BUS121 Economics I (3 credits)
This course will provide an overview of macroeconomics and the modern market economy. Law of supply and demand, the cost of living, monetary systems, international factors, and short-run economic fluctuations will be examined and discussed.

ACC112Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
Introduction to managerial accounting; analyses: C-V-P and management; budgeting and performance evaluation; decentralized operations; differential analysis and product pricing; and capital investment analysis, and cost activities. PREREQ: Financial Accounting

HRM201Human Resources Management (3 credits)
Welcome to your Human Resources Management course, which is designed to introduce you to the field. Your textbook's learning objectives, found at the outset of each chapter, are meant to introduce you to basic concepts, theories, and perspectives related to effective human resource management. Further, your text includes a wealth of case studies and features that will help you understand practical problems and applications of human resource management principles. If you're seriously thinking about a career in human resource management, you should take advantage of these extra features, even when they aren't assigned.

ENG121 – Business and Technical Writing (3 credits)
Writing styles; ABC method of organizing material; grammar (parts of speech, active and passive voice, complete sentences vs. sentence fragments; parallel construction); using action verbs; constructing paragraphs; writing memos, business letters, and e-mails; organizing material; conducting research; documenting sources; outlining; providing illustrations; writing reports, proposals, descriptions, instructions, articles, and manuals.

BUS213Business Law I (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the legal environment of business. Topics covered include American court practice and procedure; torts; employment law; international law; environmental law; contract law.

Proctored Final Exam

Online Library and Librarian
Students at Penn Foster College have access to an online library during their college studies. Students can use the library to do the required course research or for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and will assist students in research activities.


We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

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