Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance

exterior shot of the SF State Downtown CampusThe Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance is a unique program that fulfills management and business needs for ethics and compliance professionals in growth industries such as healthcare, biotech, pharmaceutical, information technology services and products, finance and accounting, manufacturing and hospitality.

The application period for admission to this program is now closed.

About the certificate

The Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance provides access to students and professionals seeking very specific academic training. These individuals may already have a graduate degree, or may be seeking graduate-level certificate course preparation for further professional development.

Ethics and compliance (E&C) specialists work to prevent their organizations from committing errors that violate ethical standards of best practice or regulatory compliance. E&C specialists assess a company’s potential adverse or ethical impacts on their stakeholders. These specialists may also use analytical tools, such as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), to proactively measure the effectiveness of ethical practices and assess compliance with U.S. and global regulations by identifying specific situations of risk to an organization’s stakeholders (i.e., employees, customers, suppliers, regulators and communities).

Two key areas of need for E&C specialists are leadership in instantiating internal control and strategic planning in various functional areas of a company. Their role is to reduce the risk of unethical or illegal activities by individuals working in organizations through the development of policies and procedures to prevent these ethical failures. E&C specialists must be able navigate within an organization to develop best practices as leaders in using ethical strategies and negotiation skills. Examples of tools developed by E&C specialists include developing and supporting corporate codes of conduct, employee training, regulatory compliance processes, analytical assessment and forecasting, negotiation strategies, and advisement to top management and senior organizational leaders towards ethical corporate cultures.

A student in the Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance program may apply the academic credit for the three courses to the SF State College of Business MBA program after taking either the GMAT or GRE, and after applying for and being accepted to the MBA program (matriculate). But, the student must complete the MBA program within seven years from the completion of each Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance class for each class to receive credit towards the MBA program. Please see the following guidelines on the certificate program application.

MBA students who satisfy the Emphasis in Ethics and Compliance are eligible for the Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance.

Required courses

Students must complete each of the following three graduate MBA courses with a letter grade of at least a B in order to attain the Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance. The three integrated courses below are critical skill-building courses in foundational ethics and compliance, operational organizational leadership with integrity, and applied negotiation skills in working inter- and intra-organizationally.

MGMT 850 Ethics and Compliance in Business

Prerequisite: Graduate status or consent of instructor. Focus on integrity, understanding and applying managerial ethical decision-making, understanding regulatory compliance as it relates to a variety of organizational functions, developing ethics training, and evaluating stakeholder impacts. Extensive use of decision-making application models through case studies and interactive exercises. Research or internship in an area specific to students' careers.

MGMT 857 Leadership in Action

Prerequisite: two 800 level business courses, or consent of instructor.  This course focuses on the strategic, operational, functional, ethical and integrity challenges of leadership in practice. It is taught by faculty using leadership readings, case studies, experiential exercises, and incorporates frequent corporate leaders as guest speakers. 

BUS 859/IBUS 859 Business Negotiating in the Global Economy

Prerequisite: Graduate status or consent of instructor. Development of business negotiating skills through experiential exercises, negotiation role-plays, and cases involving common business negotiation situations and contexts. An emphasis is placed on learning negotiation fundamentals first, and then understanding how to adjust those fundamentals to be effective internationally and cross-culturally. Integrity and ethics issues associated with domestic and international negotiations are explored. This course is offered as BUS 859 and IBUS 859. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a four-year college or university baccalaureate degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA as demonstrated on submitted sealed or electronic university or college transcripts. Applicant must also submit an English written Statement of Intent to be admitted. The GMAT and GRE are not required for the certificate. The applicant, if accepted, will be admitted to the Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance program as either a post-baccalaureate unclassified student, or as an existing SFSU graduate student in another discipline.

The application period for admission to this program is now closed. 

Business Certificate in Ethics and Compliance scholarship

Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance Kaiser Permanente scholarships have been granted through the generous support of Kaiser Permanente towards unreimbursed tuition for postgraduate, graduate, MBA, MSA, MPA, MPH, MSN, and MA in Philosophy students at SF State who are accepted into the Business Certificate in Ethics and Compliance academic program.  Recent scholarship awardees (date of certificate completion in parentheses): Lindsey Zaiger (Spring, 2017), Laura Pruden (Spring, 2017) and Natalie Gunn (Fall, 2017).