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Online Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking Certificate

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Program Benefits

  • Apply Graduate Certificate Credits to a MELDT Degree
  • Coursework is Applicable to Both Education and Private Sector Roles
  • Unique Design Thinking Courses

Synthesize New Modes of Thought

Cultivate new approaches to education and learning through the Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's online Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking certificate. With these strategic, empathy-based problem-solving methods, you will prepare your students and colleagues to consider the input and perspectives of multiple stakeholders. This interactive certificate is a part of Saint Mary’s Accelerators carefully crafted series of master's-level graduate certificates. Designed to advance your career to help you meet personal and professional goals, the online critical, creative, and design thinking certificate can be applied to the Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology degree program.

Spark Innovation in the Classroom

Analyze the different connections between critical and creative thinking and their applications to innovative problem-solving skills. Through this lens, you will adopt dynamic approaches to facilitate a focus on the principles of design. Moreover, as you engage with topics that focus on divergent, convergent, metacognitive, and synthesized modes of thinking, you will be prepared to bring different perspectives into your own classroom and educational environments.

The central goal of the Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking graduate certificate is to equip you with the skills and confidence to guide your students to think and identify solutions differently while strategically addressing problems in the workplace, organization, and community. For educators aiming to teach their students the fundamentals of creative problem solving and critical thinking, this certificate program will help you accomplish your career coals and find advancement opportunities.

One of the hallmarks of our “accelerators” is that they are stackable into or onto full degree programs. Students can pursue a graduate certificate and then decide to continue into a full degree program in the same or a different discipline.

-Michelle Wieser, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business and Technology

To learn more about Saint Mary's graduate certificates check out this interview with Michelle Wieser.


The core courses that students explore in the online Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking graduate certificate encompass an array of topics that educators employ to teach inquiry, investigation, and evaluation. As a result, this degree prepares not just problem solvers but change agents who are capable of forward-thinking leadership in their organizations and the world.

Certificate Courses

Current Certificate Requirements

For current certificate requirements, visit the Saint Mary's University of Minnesota course catalog.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the certificate, graduates are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze connections between critical and creative thinking and their applications to problem solving.
  2. Reflect on mindsets, dispositions, and thinking skills to help lead in complex times and situations.
  3. Create solutions to design thinking problems by synthesizing research and considering perspectives and issues related to the environment.
  4. Employ technology to communicate effectively with various audiences in multimedia formats.

Prepare the Leaders of Tomorrow

Across a variety of industries including education, health care, business, social work, and public service, the online Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking certificate will prepare you to inspire empathetic perspectives in your students. As you develop the skills applicable to diverse learning environments, you will adopt the confidence to advocate for your students' and colleagues' success as critical, creative, and design thinkers.

While this certificate program can certainly prepare you for work in traditional educational environments, many graduates have moved into roles in the private sector. As a training and development manager, you would be responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing training programs for employees requiring critical thinking skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, training and development managers earn an average salary of $113,350 per year. Additionally, the positions are expected to expand by 8% until 2028.1

Certificate Requirements

The online Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking certificate is an asynchronous and part-time program that typically takes students three semesters, or 12 months, to complete. Students can expedite this process by taking more courses each semester to finish the program in two semesters or eight months.

To be admitted into the program, students must have:

  • An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • A 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Transcripts
  • A written statement: Your personal background and future goals all impact your success with Saint Mary's and inform your education. As you prepare your written statement, think about including previous experiences, education, and your personal strengths and interests. Share your motivations for entering the online Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking certificate program and how it will contribute to your career.
  • Application fee

For more information, please contact an enrollment counselor at 877-308-9954 or email us at


1Bureau of Labor Statistics. Training and Development Managers. Accessed on June 24, 2020 from