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Online Franchise Management Certificate

The online Franchise Management Certificate is designed to help current or future franchisees embrace their full potential and succeed as a business owner.

Offered by the College of Business at the University of Louisville, the Franchise Management Certificate* delivers critical insights and practical knowledge around the fundamentals and core skills of franchise management. Regardless of whether you’re just getting started as a franchisee, looking to expand an already growing enterprise or position yourself for a leadership role in a franchise organization, this certificate will enrich your franchising knowledge through courses in franchise law, human resources management, finance, strategic planning and more.

*Bachelor’s degree required


Complete your degree on your own time through fully online coursework and learning tools.

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The certificate program requires only 6 courses (9 credit hours), taken one at a time.

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Shortened 5-week terms are designed to help you better balance your learning with your professional responsibilities.

Online learning video - Online Franchise Management Certificate

"At the College of Business, we think you can become even more successful when you are armed with the education and the knowledge you need to run your franchise business."


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How Much Will I Pay?

$800 per credit hour

Tuition & Aid    

Students only enrolled in the non-degree certificate programs are not eligible to receive federal aid.


  • Develop the skills and knowledge needed to acquire, run and grow a franchise business with courses designed in partnership with industry executives.
  • Learn from instructors with extensive experience in the industry.
  • Connect and network with other franchise professionals across the industry.
  • Finish in as little as 30 weeks with 5-week terms.
  • Learn on your own time and in your own space with 100% online classes and 24/7 access to coursework.
  • Get a jump start on your MBA—100% of credits earned in the certificate program apply to completion of your UofL MBA (you must apply separately to the MBA).

Does your franchisor or employer offer tuition reimbursement?

Because successful franchisees help the bottom line of franchisors, some students may be able to get financial support from their franchisor. Download sample letter templates as a starting point for making a request.

Program Outcome

Franchise ownership is a practical pathway to entrepreneurship. According to recent statistics from the International Franchise Association (IFA), the franchising industry has more than 740,000 franchise operations in the United States, employs nearly 8 million workers, and contributes more than $400 billion to the gross domestic product. The franchise industry is outpacing growth of the overall economy and is projected to grow even more in coming years.

Franchise opportunities are available across many industries including food, hospitality, automotive, education, health, home services, retail and more. By completing this program, you will develop the expertise needed to start your own franchise business, expand your current enterprise, or position yourself for a leadership role in a franchise organization.

Opportunities for career growth in franchise management are endless. Reach out for more information today to find out how UofL Online can help you take the first step.

Application Deadline Term Start Date
August 9 Fall August 19
February 1 Spring February 11

For more information on the admission and application process, please contact our Online Learning Enrollment Counselor at 800.871.8635 or by email at online@louisville.edu.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed online application
  • $40 non-refundable application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Official transcript(s) certifying the undergraduate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0

Send all materials to:
Graduate Admissions
University of Louisville
2211 S. Brook Street
Louisville, KY 40292

The online Franchise Management Certificate consists of 6 courses (9 hours), delivered in 5-week terms. Courses are offered each spring and fall semester.

Courses Hours
FRAN 601 Franchising Fundamentals 1.5
FRAN 610 Navigating Franchise Law 1.5
FRAN 620 Buying and Growing a Franchise 1.5
FRAN 630 Franchise HR Infrastructure 1.5
FRAN 640 Leading Franchise Teams 1.5
FRAN 650 Building a Profitable Relationship With Your Franchise 1.5
Total Required Hours 9

Course Descriptions

FRAN 601 Franchising Fundamentals
Explore the fundamentals of franchising from the franchisee's point of view. Focus is on the evaluation of franchising opportunities, the legal aspects of franchising and the development of appropriate strategies for the successful planning, implementation and launching of a new franchise business.

FRAN 610 Navigating Franchise Law
Gain exposure to the legal and regulatory concepts fundamental to franchising. Coverage focuses on contract and trademark issues in franchising, including: formation of franchise contracts; good faith performance, breach, termination, renewal and assignment; trademark creation, protection and infringement; remedies; and antitrust and trade secret disputes.

FRAN 620 Buying and Growing a Franchise
Gain exposure to the financial terms and considerations for becoming a franchisee and growing operations. Topics covered include evaluating funding sources, preparing financial statements, understanding unit economics and cash flow, tracking financials and developing a business plan.

FRAN 630 Franchise HR Infrastructure
Understand the principles and practices of effective HR infrastructure design. Course will cover legal aspects of HR, creating job descriptions and setting pay levels, recruiting and hiring processes, onboarding and training programs, and retention initiatives.

FRAN 640 Leading Franchise Teams
Learn strategies to drive high performance and keep top talent. Focus is on creating your own organizational culture, leveraging franchisor's training and development opportunities, creating development plans, building recognition programs and reducing turnover.

FRAN 650 Building a Profitable Relationship with your Franchisor
Identify and evaluate strategies for growing a franchise business, including multi-branding, cross-branding, acquisitions, new builds and/or market growth. Specific attention will be paid to franchisor Key Performance Indicators, securing capital, pitfalls to rapid growth, and succession planning.


    Suzanne Bergmeister

    Suzanne Bergmeister (MBA, Cornell University) is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and the Assistant Director of the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Louisville. She has 20 years of experience working with entrepreneurs and start-up companies vying for investment funding. She also regularly teaches MBA courses in entrepreneurship, new venture creation, and venture finance. Suzanne formerly worked as a venture capitalist, most recently with Chrysalis Ventures in Louisville, and owns her own consulting company, Sunflower Business Ventures, Inc.

    Denise Cumberland, CFE

    Denise Cumberland (PhD, University of Louisville) is an assistant professor in the Master’s in Human Resource and Organization Development program at University of Louisville. As a researcher, she has expertise in franchise boards, franchising education, franchise performance, franchisee mentoring, and entrepreneurship. She has over 25 years of professional experience in the franchise industry, including leading product and process innovations, and managing advertising and communications. She is a Certified Franchise Executive and a member of the Board of Governors of the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives.

    Kathleen Gosser

    Kathleen Gosser (PhD, University of Louisville) is an experienced leader in the franchise industry and a passionate educator. She currently serves as the Director of Learning & Organizational Development at KFC Corporation. In her 30 year career in the franchise industry, she has enjoyed numerous roles, including leadership of customer satisfaction programs, operations measurement, employee recognition, training, and team member engagement efforts. She also had direct P&L accountability as the Region Coach of 10 restaurants in Louisville.

    Lars Smith

    Lars Smith (JD, New England School of Law; LLM, Franklin Pierce Law Center) holds the Samuel J. Stallings Chair in Law at the University of Louisville's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, where he also serves as associate dean for academic affairs. He teaches a variety of business and commercial law courses, and is the faculty advisor to the Law School’s Entrepreneurship Clinic. He has published on the topic of intellectual property in the American Bar Association’s publication Franchising: Cases, Materials & Problems.