Portland State University’s Online Business Blockchain Certificate

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Portland State University (PSU) is now offering an innovative online Business Blockchain Certificate which promises to “develop blockchain skills that prepare you for the next technological revolution.” And the good news is that the online certificate program is available to interested students from around the world.

Blockchain Certificate Variants

PSU’s School of Business has developed two fully-online certificate programs, allowing students the flexibility to complete their coursework and engage with program faculty when convenient. The certificate programs launched in Fall 2019 with about 30 students in the first cohort. Both are open to global students, who can enroll as non-degree students.

  • The Business Blockchain Certificate is taught at the undergraduate level. Admission requires a high school diploma and around a 2.75 GPA. Estimated fees are $5,392 for non-degree students.
  • The Business Blockchain Graduate Certificate is taught at the graduate level and designed for business professionals. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree or higher. Estimated fees are $13,984 for non-degree students.

For-Credit Certificate

The program is also one of the first for-credit certificates of its kind in the U.S., offered for both undergraduate- and graduate-level credit. Current (and future) PSU students can choose to complete the certificate program as a stand-alone qualification, or pair it with a PSU degree; similar to a major or concentration.

Undergraduate students can pair the Business Blockchain Certificate with an undergraduate degree, such as Finance or Accounting. Estimated tuition and fees are $5,392 for Oregon residents, and $12,936 for non-residents.

Graduate students can pair the Business Blockchain Graduate Certificate with a graduate degree like The Portland MBA. Estimated tuition and fees are $13,984 for Oregon residents, and $16,522 for non-residents.

Blockchain Curriculum

The curriculum of both certificate programs has been designed by faculty from the School of Business and the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, in collaboration with Oregon’s blockchain leaders. The programs draw heavily on this close partnership with industry, utilizing expertise from major companies such as Intel, Oracle, and Nike, and blockchain start-ups, to provide use cases, guest speakers, mentors, and internship opportunities.

The programs are very much business orientated. Students are not expected to develop programming skills. The focus throughout is on how blockchain technology can be applied to transform a variety of business sectors, including finance, healthcare, real estate, and supply chain.

The curriculum consists of six courses totaling 18 credits, combining conceptual and analytical study with hands-on practical labs:

  • Blockchain Bootcamp: a free, prerequisite online bootcamp, designed to prepare students with introductory knowledge on database technology and distributed ledger technology (DLT);
  • Blockchain Fundamentals: a comprehensive survey of the essential building blocks and unique characteristics of blockchain technology;
  • Blockchain Fundamentals Lab: provides practice using technologies that will help students understand the core features of blockchain networks as well as the cryptocurrencies and smart contracts that they enable;
  • Blockchain in Business: explores business uses of DLT, including for transferring value, executing smart contracts, tracking chain of custody, and verifying identify;
  • Blockchain in Business Lab: provides extensive hands-on practice using DLT and discussions about the appropriate uses of relational databases and various permissioned and permissionless blockchain systems;
  • Blockchain Uses and Applications: explores current and proposed blockchain uses in a variety of industries and sectors, and enables students to design and develop distributed applications (DApps);
  • Emerging Topics in Blockchain: explores current and future blockchain innovations and resources available for learning about blockchain developments.

Blockchain at Portland State

There is a growing blockchain community at PSU, a public research university of over 27,000 students located in the heart of Portland. PSU is an Associate Member of Hyperledger, an open source global collaboration to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is also a partner of the Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio (OEBVS), a public-private collaboration designed to drive blockchain-led innovation, cross-industry.

A blockchain student-run organization, Blockchain at Portland State, was founded in 2019. It holds weekly meetings, attends blockchain community events, and participates in projects and competitions. Indeed, PSU students won the inaugural TrueUp Blockchain Challenge in 2018, repeating the honor in 2019.

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