You Have Options

There are four access points to University of Illinois online business education. You can apply for the iMBA, enroll in a for-credit course, or sign up for one of two non-credit options. 

Some students who apply to the iMBA like to get a head-start on learning and get back into the practice of being a student by taking a course for academic credit while their application is in process. This is also a good option if you’re looking for a way to build up your academic record prior to applying to the program.

You don’t have to apply to the iMBA to take for-credit courses or to enroll in non-credit classes and certificate programs. They’re all available as stand-alone options. 

The next cohort starts on August, 2018.

Admission is competitive.

The application deadlines are:

February 9, 2018
March 23, 2018
May 4, 2018

Final Deadline:
June 11, 2018

Graduate-level, for-credit courses start at various times throughout the year. They deliver content that can have immediate impact in your work, and credits can be applied to your iMBA (or transferred to other universities).


There are three reasons you may want to enroll in a for-credit course:


You are planning to apply to the iMBA or are in the process of applying. You want to get a head start on your course work or take a first course as a way to ease back in to being a student.


You want to enhance your academic credentials before you apply to the iMBA. The admissions team does take performance in these courses into account in making its decisions.


Or maybe you want to earn academic credit for transfer to another program or university. (Credits earned are full University of Illinois credits but be sure to check with your home institution.)


For-credit courses are actually comprised of two segments, two building blocks that can either be worked in tandem or stacked on top of each other.

One segment is self-directed, noncredit, and covers basic foundational content, imagine it to be your interactive textbook. This segment, housed on the Coursera platform, includes involvement in an open, global classroom. This segement for each course is free for knowledge sake but if you decide to pursue an iMBA course for graduate credit then you will need to complete this segment for a $79 fee/4 week course to certify your successful completion of the self-directed segment. While this segment doesn’t in itself earn you any course credit, successful completion with a verified certificate is required towards earning course credit. Click the Sign-Up for Non-Credit Options tab above if you would like to learn more about offerings.

The other segment is the advanced graduate-level for-credit segment, that corresponds to the foundational material in the noncredit segment. This segment, based in the Illinois Compass platform, will take you deeper into the material with personal interaction with faculty in the form of live classes, personal feedback, office hours and advanced case studies. You will also do project work with teams of fellow students. Tuition for the for-credit segment is $250 per credit hour. Most courses are four credits. The for-credit segment is designed to run concurrent to the above non-credit segment, although you have the option to finish the non-credit segment ahead of time. If you complete the Coursera platform work ahead of time we will apply your completed work towards the for-credit segement of the course, and you will not have to complete it again. To enter the for-credit segment, please click the Enroll in a Course options below.

Of course, enrolling in a class is not the same as being admitted to the iMBA program.

If you would like to read more about the course structure and the building blocks that take you from self-directed content to for-credit to complete iMBA, you can read more here.


There are three things you can do now:

Get More Info

If you’d like to read more about the course structure and the building blocks that take you from self-directed content to for-credit to complete iMBA, you can read more here.

Self-directed, noncredit courses are the basic building block of your iMBA. They’re offered frequently, so there are many opportunities throughout the year to take the first step on your path to an MBA.

Each of these noncredit courses serves as the first segment of a corresponding for-credit course. The noncredit segment provides foundational material for the for-credit segment. Once you complete the noncredit segment, you enroll in the for-credit portion of the class and pay tuition. There is a $79 fee to certify your successful completion of the first segment.

If you don’t want to go onto the graduate level, you can earn a noncredit certificate in one of seven different business specializations. To earn a certificate, you take a prescribed sequence of noncredit courses and you’ll need to pay a verification fee for each one.

You can also take just the self-directed, noncredit segments for free. That’s if you don’t plan to go onto the iMBA, advanced graduate-level work, or earn a noncredit certificate. If you just want some foundational knowledge, you’ll find that the on-demand classes are great resources and will likely have immediate applicability in your work.

So you’re welcome to do the self-directed segment of any individual course now. Or complete a full noncredit business specialization now, and build it into a for-credit specialization over time.


There are three reasons you might want to enroll in a noncredit course:

If you intend to go onto the for-credit course or the full iMBA and want to get a head start.

If you just want to take the foundational free content and not go further.

Or if you want to earn a certificate in a business specialization but not a full MBA.


Following are areas in which noncredit courses and specializations are being offered. Click on the specialization title to learn about what’s required to earn a full noncredit certificate. Or click on the individual course name if you’d like to take the basic noncredit content for free.

The self-directed segments of our classes are delivered through the website of our partner, Coursera. Clicking on links below will take you to the Coursera noncredit course and specialization pages.

Strategic Leadership
Foundations of Everyday Leadership
Applications of Everyday Leadership
Designing the Organization: From Strategy to Organizational Structure
Managing the Organization: From Organizational Design to Execution
Business Strategy
Corporate Strategy
Strategic Leadership and Management Capstone

Managerial Economics Business Analysis
Firm Level Economics: Consumer and Producer Behavior
Firm Level Economics: Markets and Allocations
Country Level Economics: Macroeconomic Variables and Markets
Country Level Economics: Policies, Institutions, and Macroeconomic Performance
Exploring and Producing Data for Business Decision Making
Inferential and Predictive Statistics for Business
Strategic Leadership and Management Capstone

Value Chain Management
Managerial Accounting: Cost Behaviors, Systems, and Analysis
Managerial Accounting: Tools for Facilitating and Guiding Business Decisions
Operations Management
Process Improvement
Marketing Management I
Marketing Management II
Value Chain Management Capstone

Financial Management
Financial Accounting: Foundations
Financial Accounting: Advanced Topics
Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation
Investments II: Lessons and Applications
Corporate Finance I: Measuring and Promoting Value Creation
Corporate Finance II: Financing Investments and Managing Risk
Financial Management Capstone

Digital Marketing
Marketing in a Digital World
Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals: Marketing Analytics in Theory
Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals: Marketing Analytics in Practice
Digital Marketing Channels: The Landscape
Digital Marketing Channels: Planning
Digital Marketing Capstone