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New Certificate Program at NYU Stern Lets Working Professionals Sample the MBA

300px-NYU_SternNot sure you’re ready for a complete MBA? Why not try out a quarter of an MBA? A program introduced earlier this year at New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business lets you do just that. The new Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) program lets participants take five courses in either finance, marketing or general business taught by Stern’s world-class faculty, alongside students in the school’s part-time MBA program. Upon completion of any of the three tracks, participants receive a certificate registered with the New York State Department of Education.

The program is great for working professionals who want to quickly build knowledge in a specific area as well as for those who already have an MBA but want to refresh or supplement their expertise. Qualified candidates can apply for admission to the program and take courses on a part-time basis in MBA classes where there is capacity. Enrolled students will have up to two years to complete the five courses, or 15 credits, required for certification in any of the three tracks.

“One common theme we continue to hear with growing intensity from our prospective students, particularly millennials, is the importance of time—how can I learn what I need to know as quickly as possible to excel in my current position or to be competitive for new functions?” says NYU Stern Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions Isser Gallogly. “The APCs provide students with specific area knowledge fast—and they are offered on weeknights and Saturdays, making them accessible to working professionals, he adds.

The potential applications of this new program are vast, Gallogly continues. “For example, the finance track could quickly empower those who didn’t major in finance in college, but who now work in the industry, with a broader perspective that helps them excel in their function,” he says. The marketing track, meanwhile, might appeal to undergraduate liberal arts majors who are now looking to obtain marketing fundamentals along with the latest trends in analytics and digital marketing. And the general business track lets entrepreneurs pick and choose a handful of business courses that can help them get their ventures off the ground.

APC students can choose from evening or Saturday classes on Stern’s Manhattan campus or evening classes in Westchester with students in Stern’s Langone Part-Time MBA program. Participants who don’t already have an MBA can also choose to apply to Stern’s Langone Part-Time MBA program while pursuing their APC. Provided they do so and are admitted before receiving their certificate, the can apply the APC credits toward the part-time MBA.

“I think it’s a very cool and innovative offering,” Gallogly says, noting that it can be a perfect way to take a range of classes even if you don’t have the time or money to do a full MBA. It can also be a great opportunity for those who already have an MBA, he says. “Maybe you were working in business and took time off to have a family,” he offers. “Now you’re ready to go back into the workforce and want to get up to speed—this can be a perfect on-ramp.”

To ensure that all APC students can keep pace with the Stern MBA students they will be studying alongside, candidates for the APC program are required to have at least two years of work experience, go through a formal application process and submit either a GMAT or GRE score or proof of an MBA degree. The first APC students will begin coursework in fall 2015, and courses will be offered in the fall, spring and summer semesters. Students may take a maximum of three classes, or nine credits, per semester.

“It is really nice to be able to provide different ways for people to get the world-class education that NYU Stern offers,” Gallogly says.

Complete details are available here for the APC selection criteria and application components. View sample courses here.