Marquette Business to launch Certified Professional Banking Program

March 11, 2024

Dr. Kent BelascoMILWAUKEE — Marquette University’s College of Business Administration is launching a new Certified Professional Banking Program with a vision to further professionalize the banking industry and grow the pipeline of bankers.

Beginning with a pilot, the new program is expected to begin in late 2024 and will offer a common body of knowledge to all bankers, including curriculum that emphasizes accounting, finance, economics and evolving technology.

“We are excited to create a Certified Professional Banker Program rooted in the university’s socially responsible consciousness,” said Director Dr. Kent Belasco. “This is our stake in the ground. We believe a Marquette Certified Banker will be a catalyst to elevate the industry and bolster perceptions about the virtue of banking.”

The new certification program expands on the College of Business Administration’s foundational Commercial Banking Program, which has placed 100% of its graduates in the industry since its inception in 2017. The offering is one of the few undergraduate programs of its kind in the nation and the only known program of its type in the Midwest.

The certification program will culminate with an exam to establish a common standard of professionalism in the field, taking a similar approach to how Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Public Accountant programs are completed.

“This is a significant step forward for Marquette Business as we continue to drive signature programs that embody academic excellence and extend into the community,” said Tim Hanley, acting Keyes Dean of the College of Business Administration.

Experiential learning plays an essential role in the current undergraduate program, as students evaluate and analyze actual small business loans, presenting them to a committee of bankers. The loans, which come from partnerships with many banks and Community Development Financial Institutions, aim to create growth, jobs and improved communities. Belasco said he plans to build off these partnerships to help drive the direction of the certification program, filling the needs and aspirations of banking leaders.

“We have worked to develop a curriculum with a conscience that builds on our belief that modern banking has been and will continue to stimulate societal good,” Belasco said. “I’ve never seen the demand from the banking industry for talent like it is now compared to at any point in my career. We see opportunities to create synergies between our undergraduate foundation and the connection to banking professionals across the world.”

Marquette Business graduates students who have the knowledge to succeed, the principles to lead and the confidence to connect what’s good for business with what’s good for people. The college is ranked 118th among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools, and its specialty programs in finance, real estate and supply chain management are all ranked in the top 25 nationally. Marquette Business is home to six Centers of Excellence across a variety of exciting disciplines — each offers students unique applied learning opportunities, including meaningful interaction with industry, networking, case competitions and service.

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or