This graduate-level certificate provides a solid foundation in design thinking and user-oriented problem-solving methods; professional leadership styles and dynamics; motivational strategies; business languages and concepts; and design-business relationships. Students will also be introduced to conceptual strategies, as well as to cognitive and learning theories that lead to successful ideation environments. The program engages students to develop new management and leadership frameworks using a design focus. Students learn strategies for innovating and leading in complex organizations by employing critical thinking, problem-solving, and conceptual skills.
As an online program accessible from anywhere in the world, this certificate is perfect for working professionals seeking to advance in the fields of education or training without leaving their careers. Program highlights include discussions, readings and introspective exercises; an in-depth course in collaboration and the creative design process that focuses on designing for people; observation, documentation and visualization work with a focus on ethnographic research; critical and strategic thinking exercises; and a foundation in writing and presenting.
Business Foundations
DSI 5340 (3 Credits)

Business Foundations introduces students to the practices, concepts, and languages of business. Students investigate core areas of business management to develop a strong understanding of the relationships between best practices and innovation, and to build a comparative framework for future business strategy. The primary focus is on understanding the ties that bind business and design concepts, and the ways in which both can impact business decision-making.

Design Thinking
DSI 5510 (3 Credits)

In the Design Thinking course, students explore storytelling, observational research, abductive reasoning, the "knowledge funnel," divergent and convergent thinking, user prototyping, experience prototyping, systemic thinking, and the use of collaborative and participatory systems, all with a focus on user-centered design. This studio course teaches students a human-centered approach to innovation and problem solving that integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for economic viability.

DSI 5530 (3 Credits)

The Ideation course introduces students to cognitive functioning and learning theories; conceptual modeling techniques; Ideation "avatars;" and various creative methods for ideation. Students will explore and demonstrate their own unique creative processes, and learn how to connect these processes back to the goals and objectives of business. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to use creative techniques and team approaches to idea generation.

Leadership for Innovation
DSI 5320 (3 Credits)

Leadership for Innovation introduces students to exemplary leadership practices as well as management and innovation commitments. Students learn that the most effective leaders are those possessing strong situational assessment skills, a toolbox of effective leadership techniques, and the ability to employ such leadership tools with high degrees of focus and intent. Team dynamics are also covered in detail.

Your Future
The program is ideally suited to professionals at all levels in the creative, design, business, educational, and entrepreneurial fields who wish to enhance their skills by learning and applying design thinking and user-centered methodologies and principles.
Possible Careers
  • Design Strategist
  • User Experience Designer
  • Design Manager
  • Business Designer
  • Innovation Marketer
  • Design Project Manager
  • Strategy Director
  • Business Strategist