Certificate in Business


If you would like to increase your knowledge of business concepts without enrolling in a traditional business program, then the Certificate in Business may be just right for you. With only five courses to complete, you will have the opportunity to develop the professional skills essential for business success.

About the Certificate in Business

The Certificate in Business is a five-course program that concentrates on the functional areas of business. You will have the flexibility to customize your learning through a choice of electives. Focus on one particular subject area or select from different subject areas for a broader approach.*

Available to both undergraduate students and Open Learning program students, this certificate program is offered by the University of Guelph through the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics.

Please note that students registered in the B.Comm., the BA in Justice and Legal Studies with an Area of Emphasis in Business, or in the minors in Business, Business Economics, or in the BA European Studies program with an emphasis in European Business are not eligible for this certificate.

Not all restricted elective courses will necessarily be open to all students in the Certificate in Business. Some courses have priority access restrictions or may be limited to those enrolled in the major from which the courses are drawn. In some cases, a Course Waiver Request form signed by the instructor may be required in order for you to add these courses to your schedule. Please consult with the department offering the course about possible access. Some courses may also have prerequisites, which are identified in course descriptions in the academic calendar.

* If you are interested in pursuing a specific area within the restricted electives list, there are several options listed below for your area of interest: 

  • Accounting: take courses with an ACCT course code
  • Food and Agricultural Business: take courses with a FARE course code
  • Organizational Behaviour: take courses with an HROB course code
  • Marketing: take courses with an MCS course code
  • Responsible Business: take MGMT*3020 and IDEV course codes

How to Register

University of Guelph Degree Students

If you are a University of Guelph degree student, please register for your courses through WebAdvisor.

Open Learning Program Students

For your convenience, you can register for courses using OpenEd's new secure online registration system.

Register button.

Visit our How to Register page for alternative ways to register and for methods of payment.

Please note that some courses and programs have an approval process that must be completed prior to confirming enrolment. See specific individual course description pages for details.

If you have any questions about registration, please email our main office or phone us at 519-767-5000.



The following course is required for certificate completion:

MGMT*2150DE - Introduction to Canadian Business Management

This is an introductory course in the fundamentals of business management in Canada. Students will be exposed to the basic functions of business and management. This course will also cover small business and entrepreneurship, forms of business ownership, competing in the global business environment and the economic and political realities of business in Canada today. This course may not be taken for credit by Bachelor of Commerce students. 

Equate(s): HTM*2150

View the MGMT*2150DE course description page.

Restricted Electives

Choose four of the following elective courses (for a total of 2.00 credits). Note: i) a minimum 0.50 credits from courses at the 3000 or 4000 level; ii) a minimum of 1.00 credits must have either an ACCT, ECON, FIN, HROB, MCS, or MGMT prefix.

ACCT*1220DE - Introductory Financial Accounting

This introductory course is designed to develop a foundational understanding of current accounting principles and their implication for published financial reports of business enterprises. It builds the base of knowledge and understanding required to succeed in more advanced study of accounting. The course approaches the subject from the point of view of the user of accounting information rather than that of a person who supplies the information.

View the ACCT*1220DE course description page.

ACCT*2230DE - Management Accounting

This course emphasizes the use of accounting information to facilitate effective management decisions. Topics include cost determination, cost control and analysis, budgeting, profit-volume analysis and capital investment analysis.

View the ACCT*2230DE course description page.

ECON*1050DE - Introductory Microeconomics

An introduction to the Canadian economy: price determination, market structure and resource allocation; the behaviour of consumers and firms; market intervention by government. Some of the economic issues addressed may include agricultural price supports, rent control, the NAFTA, environmental regulation, price discrimination, pay equity, and taxation.

View the ECON*1050DE course description page.

ECON*1100DE - Introductory Macroeconomics

This course looks at the Canadian Economy in terms of aggregate performance and policy; analysis of the determinants of national income, employment and the price level, and the role of government monetary and fiscal policies in improving the rate of economic growth.

View the ECON*1100DE course description page.

EDRD*3140DE - Organizational Communication

This course explores the application of communication process theory to organizations with special emphasis on internal organizational processes experienced at individual, group and organizational levels. Students examine communication in different organizational contexts including civil society, government, business and transnational corporations. (Offered through Distance Education only.)

View the EDRD*3140DE course description page.

EDRD*4120DE - Leadership Development in Small Organizations

The main theories of leadership will be discussed with exploration of the current literature, practice leadership skills and perform relevant activities in an online environment. Emphasis will be placed on the communication challenges facing leaders in small organizations and the importance of developing a culture of shared leadership.

View the EDRD*4120DE course description page

ENGG*3240DE - Engineering Economics

This course covers the principles of project evaluation; analysis of capital and operating costs of engineering alternatives, benefit-cost ratio; break-even studies, evaluations recognizing risk, replacement and retirement of assets; tax considerations, influence of sources of funds.

View the ENGG*3240 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

ENGG*4510 - Assessment and Management of Risk

This course will develop the bases by which risk to human health and the environment can be assessed. Issues of hazardous waste cleanups, permitting of water and air discharges, food safety, flood protection, as examples, are addressed. The course also examines how decisions are made to manage the risks to acceptable levels.

View the ENGG*4510 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

FARE*3310 - Operations Management

The decision-making role of the operations manager in transforming inputs into desired outputs is the primary focus of this course. The major issues and problems of designing, scheduling, operating, and controlling the production system will be examined.

View the FARE*3310 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

FARE*4360 - Marketing Research

A study of the marketing research function in business with emphasis on its role in providing information to assist managers in making marketing decisions.

View the FARE*4360 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar

FARE*4370 - Food and Agri Marketing Management

The course focuses on the decision making role of the marketing manager who is responsible for formulating the strategic marketing plan for food and agricultural businesses. The theory of selecting market target(s) for the firm's product and/or services and the development of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, distribution) with the aid of market research is covered. Note: Students with credit for this course may not proceed to MCS*1000

View the FARE*4370 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

FIN*2000DE - Introduction to Finance

This course provides an introduction to the theory, application and real-world evidence of finance. The course examines financial decisions from two distinct points of view: of an individual investor and of a corporation. From the investor’s point of view, the course focuses on the valuation of financial assets, the formation of portfolios and the relation of risk versus return. From a corporation’s point of view, the course focuses on capital budgeting, capital structure and payout policy with a particular emphasis on long term corporate financing.

View the FIN*2000DE course description page.

HROB*2010DE - Foundations of Leadership

Using an integrated approach to studying leadership, this foundation course covers history, evolving theories, models, and research both from a theoretical point of view and practical application. This course will use a seminar style with applied workshops, class discussions, guest speakers, and student participation. Students will prepare elements of a skills portfolio and a research paper. This is a required course for the Certificate in Leadership.

View the HROB*2010DE course description page

HROB*2090DE - Individuals and Groups in Organizations

The course serves as an overview to organizational behaviour. It examines the individual, the group, the organization and how the three interrelate in order to enhance performance and productivity.

View the HROB*2090DE course description page.

HROB*2200 - Labour Relations

This course provides students with a working knowledge of the institutions and processes (both regulatory and non-regulatory) that govern the relationship between employers and employees. Students will comprehensively explore the human resources implications of the labour relations system by examining the actors, the environmental factors impacting the parties, the establishment and maintenance of bargaining rights, contract negotiation, and the administration of the collective agreement.

View the HROB*2200 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

HROB*2290DE - Human Resources Management

This course examines the essential human resource function of planning, staffing, employee training and development, employee assistance programs, the legal environment and employee maintenance in a variety of organizational settings.

View the HROB*2290DE course description page

IDEV*1000DE - Understanding Development and Global Inequalities

The objective of the course is to provide an introduction to the study of international development as a contested and evolving effort to counteract global inequalities. Students will learn about the historical and political origins of the international development system, as well as the main development actors and institutions. The course will provide an introduction to foundational concepts within development studies, including poverty, inequality, human rights, foreign aid, and sustainable development.

View the IDEV*1000DE course description page

IDEV*2400 - Development, Social Justice and Human Rights

This course will explore the nature of social justice and links to concepts and practice of human rights. It examines how development can be seen in terms of the advancement of social justice. Students will identify and critically assess alternative approaches to promoting social justice within a development context and the related actions by actors locally and globally. It will explore the related ethical issues associated with development policy and practice. Key topics will include poverty, hunger, power, gender, race, and class.

Visit the IDEV*2400 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar

MCS*1000DE - Introductory Marketing

This course covers the marketing of both products and services. Students will be introduced to the theoretical concepts through lectures and class discussions and have the opportunity to apply these concepts through case analysis and discussion.

View the MCS*1000DE course description page.

MCS*2020DE - Information Management

In this course students are introduced to the concepts and principles of information acquisition, manipulation and management as relevant to organizational decision-making. Experience in the evaluation of information technology applications used in organizations is provided.

View the MCS*2020DE course description page.

MCS*2100DE - Personal Financial Management

This introductory course is designed to help students develop and achieve their personal goals in financial management. (Offered through distance education only.) 

View the MCS*2100DE course description page.

MCS*2600 - Fundamentals of Consumer Behaviour

Organizations survive and achieve their goals by satisfying the needs and wants of consumers as well as or better than their competitors. This course examines consumer behaviours, the economic, social, cultural and psychological factors related to consumer behaviours, the evolution and change in behaviours and relationships, and the ways in which consumers respond to stimuli employed in the marketing of products, services and ideas.

View the MCS*2600 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar

MCS*3000 - Advanced Marketing

This course provides students with an opportunity to extend their knowledge of the marketing principles and strategies they learned in MCS*1000 to develop a marketing plan and to explore sales as a career.

View the MCS*3000 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

MCS*3040DE - Business and Consumer Law

This course introduces students to statutory and common law concerning business and consumer transactions. An overview of the laws of contracts and torts forms the basis of business and producer/consumer relationships. Discussion topics include sale of goods and consumer protection legislation; debtor-creditor relations; competition law; intellectual property rights and manufacturers' product liability.

View the MCS*3040DE course description page

MGMT*2260 - Introduction to International Business

This course provides an overview of the strategic factors shaping international business. Students will examine fundamental theories, concepts and practices of managing business in a global setting. The course will include an exploration of multiculturalism, diversity, and cultural perspectives in the conduct of international business. 

View the MGMT*2260 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

MGMT*2500DE - Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship

Students in this course will learn the theoretical concepts of entrepreneurship, use a variety of tools and frameworks to assess market opportunities and learn creative problem-solving techniques. Weekly topics will discuss resourcing and marketing of a startup, elements of customer discovery, risk assessment and ethics when developing a potential new venture. 

View the MGMT*2500DE course description page.

MGMT*3020DE - Corporate Social Responsibility

This course provides students an opportunity to examine a comprehensive range of topics and issues related to business and sustainability and aims to explore the implications of changing stakeholder expectations, and opportunities for organizational sustainable value creation. Key topics will include CSR theories and frameworks, global issues and role of business in society, socially responsible investing, green consumption, CSR and firm competitive advantage, reputation, corporate governance and ethics, regulation and social/environmental reporting.

View the MGMT*3020DE course description page

MGMT*3140DE - Business Analytics

Business analytics is an evidence-based approach to management decision-making using analytic tools to transform data into insight. This course will combine student's existing math / statistics skills and business knowledge with modern analytic tools (spreadsheets and other applications) in order to develop a toolkit of analysis tools for solving a variety of business problems. Topics include data management and transformation, visualization, optimization, simulation, and regression. Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics will be covered.

View the MGMT*3140DE course description page.

MGMT*3300DE - Project Management

This course provides students with an understanding of the concepts, principles, and practices for project management with special focus on planning, controlling, and managing projects to success. The course also emphasizes the techniques most frequently used in the context of both internal and external organizational roles of a project manager.

View the MGMT*3300DE course description page.

MGMT*4050 - Business Consulting

Offered through the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (Wood Centre), this project-based course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to engage with community organizations by working as consultants in interdisciplinary teams, and to investigate and propose sustainable solutions to live cases put forth by real world clients. Project requirements will vary based on the needs of the assigned client.

View the MGMT*4050 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar

MGMT*4060 - Business Consulting

Offered through the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (Wood Centre), this project-based course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to engage with community organizations by working as consultants in interdisciplinary teams, and to investigate and propose sustainable solutions to live cases put forth by real world clients. Project requirements will vary based on the needs of the assigned client. 

View the MGMT*4060 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

PHIL*2600 - Business and Professional Ethics

This course examines ethical and evaluative issues relating to business and professional practices, and is intended for students registered in a science or professional program, but without a background in philosophy. Topics to be explored include the nature of values and ethical systems, duties and rights, private and public goods, the consumer movement, social marketing, corporate social accounting, private right and professional responsibility. 

View the PHIL*2060 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

POLS*2250DE - Public Administration and Governance

The course explores, from both practical and theoretical perspectives, planning and implementation of programs and services through government departments and agencies and “alternative” processes and structures, sometimes involving non-governmental actors. The course critically evaluates the changing role of bureaucracy; financial and human resource management; and the evolving concepts of responsibility and accountability.

View the POLS*2250 course description page

POLS*3470 - Business-Government Relations in Canada

The public and private sectors in Canada have become more and more interrelated in recent years as evidenced by tax and expenditure policies, the role of regulation and public enterprise, and the increasing emphasis on consultation and co-ordination. This course examines the evolving relationship between governments and the private sector in Canada, including business (both large and small), organized labour, specific sectors such as agriculture and consumer affairs and voluntary organizations.

View the POLS*3470 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar.

PSYC*4330 - Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Students will examine theoretical and methodological issues in selected topic areas of industrial/organizational psychology. Selected topic areas may include diversity issues, trust and justice, job performance, employment selection, and stress and well-being. Specific topics, to be announced prior to course selection, will vary according to the interests of the instructor of the course. 

View the PSYC*4330 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar

SOAN*3040 - Globalization of Work and Organizations

This course examines the social, economic, and political dimensions of work, locating work and its transformation within the broader context of globalization, economic restructuring, and shifts in public policy. Theoretical approaches and concepts used in the study of work will be introduced and critically assessed. 

View the SOAN*3040 course description in the Undergraduate Calendar

Please note that course codes ending with the letters "DE" indicate the course is offered online.

Additional Information

When you have completed all the requirements for this certificate, you can request your parchment through the OpenEd Student Portal.

If you would like additional information on distance education, please visit our Online Learning at U of G page. For specific program-related inquiries, please email the Open Learning program Counsellor.


  • EDRD*4120 DE
  • ENGG*4510
  • FARE*4360
  • FARE*4370
  • FIN*2000 DE
  • HROB*2010 DE
  • HROB*2290 DE
  • IDEV*1000 DE
  • IDEV*2400
  • MCS*2600
  • MCS*3040 DE
  • MGMT*2260
  • MGMT*2500 DE
  • MGMT*3020 DE
  • MGMT*3140 DE
  • MGMT*3300 DE
  • MGMT*4050
  • MGMT*4060
  • PHIL*2600
  • POLS*2250 DE
  • PSYC*4330
  • SOAN*3040