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Certificate Programs

An online certificate program designed to provide students with an educational background in agricultural economics and agricultural business management.

Grow Your Future

The online Agricultural Business Management Certificate Program is focused on real-world business skills that agribusiness managers need to know to be prepared for business ownership or operation. Students learn how markets function and prices are determined, how profit is maximized, how to make purchasing decisions, how to prepare budgets, and how to start and grow a business over time.

The Certificate in Agricultural Business Management is an educational credential conferred by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) at NC State University. Students receive a printed certificate and NC State transcript upon completion.

Choose Your Program

Students currently enrolled at NC State in degree programs are ineligible for the certificate program.

5 Courses | 15 Credits
2 Semesters

Complete 1 or 2 required courses and choose 3 or 4 elective courses to best meet your goals. You can complete the certificate in as little as 2 semesters, or take up to 4 years if you need more time. Classes are available year-round.

Application Deadlines


August 14


January 2


May 11

Why Students Enroll

  • Become more competitive in the job market
  • Start an agriculture or food business
  • Earn college credit to transfer to a degree program
  • Gain educational background needed to advance and existing career
  • Improve skillsets
  • Earn a certificate online, without having to come to campus

Tuition and Fees

Certificate students are billed at the standard rate for undergraduate online and distance education students. Residents of North Carolina pay a lower tuition rate than non-residents. One course is equivalent to 3 credit hours. Scholarships, tuition waivers, and financial aid are not available for certificate programs.

woman inspecting grape vines
Surry County extension agent Joanna Radford looks over grape vines at Round Peak Vineyards.

How to Apply

Join our online certificate program as a non-degree seeking student in 8 easy steps.

  1. Determine the certificate level (associate, baccalaureate, or post-baccalaureate) that’s right for you.
  2. Make note of the application deadline for your preferred start date.
  3. Determine your residency status.
    • For NC residents: Complete the North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS) form. This is how you will obtain your Residency Certification Number (RCN) that is required on your application. You must complete this step before you apply if you want to pay resident tuition rates.
  4. Complete the Admission Application for Non-Degree Studies to apply for admission to NC State.
    • Apply as a non-degree seeking student (NDS).
    • Enter “certificate” as your enrollment objective, then select the appropriate certificate level based on your educational background.
    • Upload your transcript to your application to avoid delays.
  5. The Digital Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) center will send you an email notification once you are admitted and will specify the certificate level you applied for.
  6. Colleen Hembree will notify you via email once you are enrolled in the program to provide you with information about advising and courses. Contact Colleen if you have questions about how to apply.
  7. Meet (remotely) with the Director of Distance Education for ARE, Dr. John Russ. He will schedule a time to discuss your educational and career plans once you are admitted. In order to advise you, Dr. Russ needs to talk with you about your motivation for enrolling in the certificate program, your value expectations of the certificate, and your desired timeframe for graduating. He will then recommend courses and help develop a plan for you to graduate as soon as possible or at your desired speed.
  8. Register for courses.

Distance Education

ARE is a leader in distance education and devoted to the success of its certificate programs. The courses taken by online certificate students are some of the same courses and with some of the same teachers as the courses that are taken by on-campus students majoring in Agricultural Business Management. You can count on us to provide you with an outstanding education and attention to your educational and career needs.

man on a farm
NC State and CALS student Stephen Shepard at the beef education unit.