Interdisciplinary Professional Studies, Graduate Certificate

The contemporary workplace challenges professionals to develop and sustain the ever-changing skill sets and multidisciplinary workplace competencies required for success as innovators, leaders, and change agents. Organizations are similarly challenged in fostering employee professional development to meet the fluctuating demands of a highly technological and global economy. Today’s professionals desire state-of-the-art approaches for continuing their education, including shorter, flexible, modularized, and just-in-time academic opportunities. To meet the growing demand for 21st-century learning, custom tailored to individual and organizational needs, Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies created the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies—or iCert for short. 

iCert represents a radically different approach to professional and academic learning. This first-of-its-kind certificate is uniquely designed to provide flexible multidisciplinary course options aligned with individual or organizational needs by incorporating three powerful learning components:

  1. Intentional planning and reflection: Students identify and reflect on professional strengths, needs, aptitudes, and career interests in their iCert foundations course, resulting in a personalized professional learning plan (PLP).
  2. Individualized program design: Students choose courses from multiple program areas, based on their PLP, customized to meet their academic goals.
  3. Innovative experiential learning:  Students choose from credit or noncredit real-world learning opportunities through Northeastern’s online Experiential Network and their final iCert capstone course, connecting classroom learning to their current or future professional aspirations.

iCert graduates are encouraged to:

  • Identify, reflect on, and articulate professional goals in order to envision a future self
  • Develop a career focus that integrates and builds or enhances knowledge, skills, and attitudes around the following multidisciplinary workplace competencies:
    • Communications
    • Creative problem solving
    • Cultural responsiveness
    • Leadership
    • Lifelong learning
    • Management
    • Systems thinking
    • Technological proficiency
  • Translate classroom learning into practice through authentic workplace experiences
  • Build a professional practice as individuals, members of organizations, and socially responsible members of the global community
  • Continue graduate studies in the following 10 master’s degrees:
    • Corporate and organizational communication
    • Education
    • Homeland security
    • Human services
    • Leadership
    • Learning analytics
    • Nonprofit management
    • Project management
    • Sports leadership 
    • Technical communication 

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Required Courses

EDU 6184Interdisciplinary Foundations2
EDU 6980Interdisciplinary Capstone2

Choose a minimum of 12 quarter hours from the following:

Corporate and Organizational Communication

CMN 6080Intercultural Communication 3
CMN 6020Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication3
CMN 6015Introduction to the Digital Era: The Power of Social Media3
CMN 6110Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict: Meeting Management3
CMN 6060Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation3
CMN 6025Digital Era Skills: Platforms, Tools, and Techniques3


EDU 6319How People Learn4
EDU 6323Technology as a Medium for Learning4
EDU 6051Culture, Equity, Power, and Influence4
EDU 6333Social Media and Beyond4
EDU 6450The Globalization of Education4

Learning Analytics

EDU 6340Learning Analytics Concepts and Theories4
EDU 6341Introduction to Data Mining in Education4
EDU 6343Predictive Modeling for Learning Analytics4
EDU 6182Educational Statistics4

Homeland Security

HLS 6000Introduction to Homeland Security3

Human Services

HSV 6100Theory and Practice of Human Services3
HSV 6110Human Services Management and Development3
HSV 6120Social Inequality, Social Change, and Community Building3


LDR 6100Developing Your Leadership Capability3
LDR 6110Leading Teams3
LDR 6120Developing Organizational Leadership3

Nonprofit Management

NPM 6110Legal and Governance Issues in Nonprofit Organizations3
NPM 6120Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations3
NPM 6150Human Resources Management in Nonprofit Organizations3

Project Management

PJM 5900Foundations of Project Management4
PJM 6000Project Management Practices3
PJM 6205Leading and Managing Technical Projects3
PJM 6210Communication Skills for Project Managers3
PJM 6215Leading Remote Project Teams3

Sports Leadership

LDR 6400Sports Management3

Technical Communication

TCC 6100Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing4
TCC 6450Managing Technical Publications4
TCC 6430Writing for the Computer Industry4

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

16 total quarter hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required