Business Essentials

Our micro-credential is designed for working professionals who desire additional skills in finance, accounting, business law, and management.  This 100% online program is ideal for business leaders who want to expand their business expertise but are unsure whether graduate study is the right fit.

For students who do plan to pursue graduate study, the Business Essentials micro-credential provides a smooth pathway for admission and advanced standing credit toward the Professional MBA.

Graduate Viewbook

Designed for working professionals

  • 100% online
  • 9-credit non-degree credential
  • Completed in just two semesters
  • Pathway to admission in a graduate degree
  • Flat tuition structure with no fees; pay for the entire program by semester

Why pursue a micro-credential?

Lifelong learning is increasingly available to students and, often, expected by potential employers. A micro-credential shows employers that you're willing to invest time and resources in your professional development - even if you're not prepared to complete a full graduate degree.

At the same time, Duquesne micro-credential students benefit from the accessibility, small class sizes, and faculty expertise that are hallmarks of the AACSB-accredited Palumbo-Donahue School of Business. You'll study alongside full-time graduate students in graduate courses while following a curriculum that meets your needs. Successfully completing the Business Essentials micro-credential leads to 7.5 credit hours of advanced standing credit toward the Professional MBA.


Program Information

Our micro-credential is designed for working professionals who desire additional skills in finance, accounting, business law, and management.



Required Credit Hours


From Our Alumni

Elizabeth Gallaway

"Knowledgeable and supportive instructors engagingly delivered well-structured courses that made the learning process so enjoyable. I learned many skills and gained valuable insights that I can apply immediately to my career."

Elizabeth Gallaway Business Essentials Micro-credential Graduate

Course Descriptions

offered fall and spring only 

You will gain a deep understanding of human behavior in organizations and how to maximize organizational and unit performance by effective management of human capital. Examples of topics covered include perception, attitudes, power, influence, motivation, group dynamics, managing teams, diversity, managing conflict, negotiation and culture. Online.
This course provides graduate business students with an introduction to the fundamentals of accounting for corporations. Topics will include the accounting cycle, an introduction to the basic financial statements of a corporation and determinations of corporate profitability and solvency. Online. 
The course is a prerequisite for ECON 520 and covers introductory topics in both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Online. 

Financial Management is about decisions firms make in two broad areas: the investments it makes and how it pays for them. The first involves expenditures for physical capital, human capital, technological capability, brand capital, and so forth. The second involves raising money in financial markets. In business decision making, the objective is to maximize shareholder wealth. Why the emphasis on shareholders? Among stakeholders generally (i.e., customers, employees, suppliers, government, communities, etc.), shareholders alone possess a uniquely comprehensive and long-term view of the firm's viability as an ongoing enterprise. This perspective arises from the residual nature of shareholders' claim to earnings and assets. Wealth is created when the return from investing business resources exceeds their opportunity cost.

FINC 501 Finance Fundamentals provides an introduction to fundamental topics which are prerequisite for FINC 530 Financial Management:

  • Financial Statements and Ratio Analysis
  • Financial Statement Forecasting
  • Time Value of Money

PR: ACCT 501. Online. 

This course is designed to develop the legal literacy of MBA students by raising their conscious awareness of potential legal problems or challenges as they discharge their professional responsibilities. Because business decisions have legal implications, it is important that managers understand the legal environment in which they must function. In fact, the significance of the law is so great it has been suggested that modern organizations are immersed in a "sea of law."

As a part of an integrated professional MBA program students will come to understand how law affects all aspects of business. This is not a stand-alone legal course. In this course we will bring a legal sensitivity to the financial, managerial, organizational and strategic dimensions of business. The larger goal of this course is to develop a legally astute manager. Although we tend to think of the law as the exclusive province of lawyers, the reality is that law is too important a matter to be entrusted to lawyers alone. To do so is in effect an abdication of the business professional's responsibilities. The legally astute manager understands that success in business requires, among other things, the development of critical thinking skills. There is no better context in which to develop those skills than in the study of business law. Critical thinking skills honed in the study of law provide a foundation for business professionals who must navigate across a wide range of disciplines in order to achieve business success. Toward that end, MBA students will examine substantive concepts relative to such matters as contract formation, risk management, intellectual property, environmental management, employee relations and corporate form and governance.

As we live in a time in which the law, business and society nexus is so significant, it would be foolhardy to underestimate the importance of legal education in shaping our business leaders. Online, Lecture.

Recommended Course Sequence

Fall Start

Fall (4.5 cr.) Spring (4.5 cr.)
ACCT 501 (1.5 cr.) FINC 501 (1.5 cr.)
ECON 501 (1.5 cr.) MGMT 605 (3 cr.)
BLAW 529 (1.5 cr.)  

Spring Start

Spring (4.5 cr.) Summer (4.5 cr.)
BLAW 529 (1.5 cr.) ACCT 501 (1.5 cr.)
MGMT 605 (3 cr.) ECON 501 (1.5 cr.)
  FINC 501 (1.5 cr.)

Advanced Standing and Graduate Admission

Students who successfully complete the Business Essentials micro-credential with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better will be considered for admission into graduate programs.

The micro-credential is 9 credit hours. Successful completion of the program will qualify students for 7.5 credit hours of advanced standing in the Professional MBA program. Students must apply and enroll within five years of successfully completing the micro-credential in order to earn advanced standing credit.