Bauer Certificates

Certificate in Business Modeling and Decision Making

The primary purpose of this certificate is to enable students to build models of business problems that lead to making better decisions. Students will acquire the necessary skills to analyze unstructured business situations, develop models of those situations, explore alternative solutions through formalized approaches, and do “what if?” sensitivity analysis to gain insight into why the chosen solution makes business sense. They will be better able to structure complex problems, evaluate and prioritize alternatives, allocate scarce resources, and justify and defend decisions.

The certificate will be of interest to anyone who faces challenging business decisions of real economic consequence. This includes business analysts, financial analysts, planners, market researchers, engineers, project managers, entrepreneurs, consultants and managers.


The certificate requires students to take three of the following courses, two of which are required:

  1. Business Modeling for Competitive Advantage (3 credits) (Required)

    This course will enable students to become power users of Excel and to build models of unstructured business problems so they can make better decisions and gain insight into the impact various factors have on those decisions. The vehicle used for developing such models is the familiar spreadsheet. Students will learn the creative process of constructing and using spreadsheet models of business problems, specifically how to design, build and test spreadsheets and workbooks, and how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which they are used. Topics are explored by learning how to solve a wide variety of business problems in finance, marketing, operations and engineering, often using tools and techniques from the field of management science that are built-in to Excel. Students with the knowledge acquired in this course will provide their employers with a competitive advantage and will themselves enjoy a competitive advantage over their peers who lack these skills.


  1. Managerial Decision Making (3 credits) (Required)

    This course will pick up where Business Modeling for Competitive Advantage leaves off. Among the topics covered will be decision making situations that feature qualitative as well as quantitative criteria, more in-depth analysis and use of simulation and optimization, an introduction to other useful techniques of management science such as decision trees and neural networks, many examples of models from a broad array of business areas, an introduction to Visual Basic for Applications that leads to the development of end-user models, and, perhaps most importantly, the solution of real problems of current interest brought to the class by the students.

    To complete the certificate, any one of the following courses can be taken. They have been selected because they involve aspects of business modeling and decision making and they complement the two required courses.

  • Behavioral Finance (3 credits)
  • Upstream Economics (3 credits)
  • Advanced Corporate Finance (3 credits)
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures (3 credits)
  • Private Equity and Investment Banking (3 credits)
  • Cougar Investment Research Group (3 to 6 credits)

Certificates: You must be a current Bauer graduate (MBA or MS Finance) student to enroll in any of our certificate programs.