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The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Being well-versed in Excel is invaluable. You’ll use Excel heavily during your time at Isenberg and throughout your career post-MFAI regardless of job function and industry.  We recognize that every s

Being well-versed in Excel is invaluable. You’ll use Excel heavily during your time at Isenberg and throughout your career post-MFAI regardless of job function and industry.  We recognize that every student is coming to Isenberg with a different level of comfort with Excel. To bring everyone up-to-speed, we encourage incoming students to use the free Excel courses listed below. Even if you’re an Excel wiz, the courses are a-la-carte, so you can pick and choose what modules you’d like to learn or brush up on areas you’d like to review.

After you’ve completed the courses, please take the quizzes. The quizzes are located in the last module of GCF Excel 2016 and GCF Excel Formulas Extras sections. Score an 89% or better on each quiz, take screen shots and email the screen shots to Professor Bing Liang by August 20. 

Note: The instruction in the modules of these courses is very good. The quiz, however, is not rigorous. It is multiple choice and you may take the same quiz as many times as you’d like. It is not a great indicator that you are at the right level to begin MFAI coursework. For those who don’t have a lot of experience in Excel, and even those who do, I strongly advise you to invest in learning as much as possible.  It will absolutely pay dividends throughout the program.

 If you have any questions about the courses, please feel free to contact Professor Bing Liang.

  1. GCF Excel 2016  
  2. GCF Excel Formulas

Also useful, but optional:

Excel Tips

  • Approximate time commitment for both courses: 
  • Beginners, up to 30 well-spent hours, less for more advanced Excel users

Content/Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete the course will be able to:

  • Use formatting features to format text, cells, numbers and dates
  • Explain the various uses for conditional formatting
  • Write formulas for sum, average, maximum, minimum and count
  • Use common functions such as IF, COUNT, and PMT to formulate calculations
  • Describe the categories of functions in the Insert Function dialog box
  • Explain the difference between pie charts and column charts, and understand when to use each
  • Describe the function of Sparklines
  • Rename and format worksheet tabs
  • Describe how to use Headers and Footers, including how to format them
  • Show formulas in the Formulas view and print them on one page
  • Explain how to create, name, sort and filter a table