Business Essentials Certificate


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Who should take this program?

If you would like a comprehensive overview of U.S. management practices and fundamental business skills, the Business Essentials program may be right for you. Designed to provide a comfortable learning environment for international participants with limited work experience, this program presents opportunities for you to compare and contrast business practices around the globe. If you stay for three quarters, you will be in class with American students during your second and/or third quarter. After three consecutive quarters of study in Business Essentials, you are eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) - a 12-month temporary work authorization for practical training directly related to your major area of study.

Program Benefits

  • Develop business skills, knowledge, and abilities by learning American business fundamentals.
  • Get broad exposure to multiple business disciplines including business operations, marketing, human resources, and communications.
  • Participate in the American Workplace Experience, an experiential learning course. You will have the opportunity to visit local businesses and learn directly from San Diego business professionals.
  • Study alongside international and American students and build your network.
  • Apply for OPT after three consecutive quarters of study.

Note: UC San Diego follows a quarter system. Each quarter consists of 10-12 weeks of full-time study. There are four quarters per year.

2020 Dates

One Quarter:

  • Winter: January 3 - March 21
  • Spring: March 25 - June 12
  • Summer: June 17 - September 12
  • Fall: September 22 - December 12

Two Quarters:

  • Winter: January 3 - June 12
  • Spring: March 25 - September 12
  • Summer: June 17 - December 12
  • Fall: September 22 - March 20, 2021

Three Quarters:

  • Winter: January 3 - September 12
  • Spring: March 25 - December 12
  • Summer: June 17 - March 20, 2021
  • Fall: September 22 - June 11, 2021

2021 Dates

One Quarter:

  • Winter: January 5 - March 19
  • Spring: March 24 - June 11
  • Summer: June 17 - September 3
  • Fall: September 16 - December 10

Two Quarters:

  • Winter: January 5 - June 11
  • Spring: March 24 - September 3
  • Summer: June 17 - December 10
  • Fall: September 16 - March 18, 2022

Three Quarters:

  • Winter: January 5 - September 3
  • Spring: March 24 - December 10
  • Summer: June 17 - March 18, 2022
  • Fall: September 16 - June 3, 2022


Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements to be accepted in the program are listed below. We carefully review the background and qualifications of each applicant to ensure that those admitted will have a successful experience.

Proof of Language Proficiency Requirement:

  • TOEFL iBT: 75
  • TOEIC: 735
  • IELTS: 6.0
  • Cambridge First Certificate (FCE): Pass
  • PTE: 50
  • 2019/2020 ELI Core Level: 107*

Additional Admission Requirements:

  • University studies: one year preferred, but not required.
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor or supervisor attesting to your experience and ability to excel in the relevant field. Must be signed and dated and on academic or company letterhead.
  • Résumé or CV.
  • A one-page statement explaining your qualifications and motivation for taking the program.
  • All official academic transcripts in English indicating a strong academic record; include a grading key.
  • For prospective students who choose to attend English language classes at the UC San Diego English Language Institute (ELI) in place of obtaining an official test score, we require a recommendation from their ELI instructor or advisor.
  • Spoken language screening may be required.
  • *Reach 107 or successfully complete 106 with B-average grades and recommendations from teachers.

Application Deadline

There are no final application deadlines to apply for these programs, but all programs close when they are full. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis until all seats available are taken by the most qualified applicants.

Business Essentials Program Overview

1st Quarter
The Business Essentials first-quarter covers a range of business topics.

The curriculum consists of the following required courses:

  • Elements of Marketing
  • Introduction to Business
  • Business Communication Skills
  • Fundamentals of Market Research
  • The American Workplace Experience

2nd Quarter
Second-quarter courses build upon the foundation you develop in the first quarter of Business Essentials. The curriculum consists of the following required courses:

  • Financial Accounting for Non-Accountants (FAFNA)
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Presentation Skills for Business Professionals
  • Direct Studies in Marketing 

3rd Quarter
Third-quarter courses continue to enrich your understanding of business practices. The curriculum consists of the following required courses:

  • Career Preparation Strategies
  • 3-4 business course electives–students will have the opportunity to choose additional classes from a list of business elective courses as determined by the business department.

Note: Courses are subject to change without notice.

Program Schedule:

  • Monday – Friday, occasional Saturdays
  • Daytime and evening courses
  • Schedule varies



Classes are held on the UC San Diego Extension campus in La Jolla or at the off-site University City Center near the campus. Access to a car or another source of reliable transportation is required for evening and off-site classes.

Cost (in U.S. dollars)

  • Application Fee: $200 (nonrefundable)
  • FedEx fee: $50 (optional, but recommended)
  • 2020 One Quarter Tuition: $6,000
  • 2020 Two Quarter Tuition: $12,000
  • 2020 Three Quarter Tuition: $18,000
  • International Student Service Fee: $380 per quarter
  • UC San Diego Extension medical insurance: $585 (1 quarter)
  • UC San Diego Extension medical insurance: $ 1,170 (2 quarters)
  • UC San Diego Extension medical insurance: $1,800 (3 quarters)
  • Books/Materials: Approximately $300-$800 per quarter (Payment for books and instructional materials cannot be made in advance. Books will be purchased upon arrival at UC San Diego.)

Student Testimonial


" My favorite aspects of studying at UC San Diego were the location and the helpful, professional instructors.I learned a lot in every class.My goals were to learn American business practices and improve my English skills.UC San Diego provided an internship experience which will be very helpful to me in my future career.My plan is to work in the USA for one year and then return to Turkey to open my own business.I love that my certificate gives me the opportunity to apply for OPT and work in the U.S.I would definitely recommend the Business Essentials program to my friends because UC San Diego has a very prestigious reputation and has a lot of different nationalities of students.Having classmates of all different nationalities is very helpful for improving your English and having a more open outlook on the world."

Murat Agritmis, Turkey

Last updated May 2020

About the School

UC San Diego Extension International Programs provides instruction of the highest quality, in which people can learn to their full potential. Quality academics, combined with our superb campus facilit ... Read More

UC San Diego Extension International Programs provides instruction of the highest quality, in which people can learn to their full potential. Quality academics, combined with our superb campus facilities, student support services, and idyllic natural surroundings, guarantee the best possible opportunities for your success and satisfaction. Read less