Design Thinking

Online Graduate Certificate in Design Thinking

Save @ APU

$0 Application Fee
$0 Transfer Credit Evaluation

0 Entrance Exams
No GRE/GMAT Required

About This Program

Note: This certificate is not currently available for admission.

Design thinking fosters innovation and helps organizations understand the needs and behaviors of their customers/users. By enrolling in the design thinking certificate program at American Public University (APU), you will develop a framework for leading effective, data-driven change to meet the needs of both an organization and its customers and users.

This online graduate design thinking certificate prepares you to create a specialized toolkit for collecting, analyzing, and explaining human needs and behaviors that are critical to organizational and product or service success.

Coursework includes both theory and application, particularly as it relates to a professional or personal challenge you wish to approach with design thinking. Research methods involving participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and surveys are explored.

What You Will Do

  1. Describe how design thinking fosters innovation and transformation
  2. Identify the role leadership plays in developing strategies and managing organizational change
  3. Compare different ways to collect customer/user needs and experiences
  4. Assess risk, cost, and benefits of data-informed solutions to organizational challenges

Program at a Glance

Number of Credits
15
Cost Per Credit
$425 | $250*
$382.50**
Courses Start Monthly
Online
  • Want to Learn More?

    Contact student support if you're a current student and need assistance.

    Step One: Introduce Yourself
    Validation message here
    Validation message here
    Validation message here
    Validation message here
    Validation message here
    Validation message here

Program Requirements Printable Catalog Version

Must take all courses for this section.

Course ID: 5357

|
Organizations and businesses face a changing social landscape in which their products and services are inextricably linked with the needs of the people who create and consume those products and services. Stakeholders looking to innovate and seize opportunity, or needing creative solutions to challenges, must thoughtfully integrate knowledge and tools from different disciplines to strike a balance between what is feasible from the organizational perspective and what is needed from the consumer perspective. For stakeholders facing multifaceted challenges, design thinking is an important process and tool that supports creative innovation and user-focused solutions. Students in this course will become familiar with design thinking as an approach and tool, learning how to apply it to their professional and personal goals.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 5358

|
Design thinking is an approach that helps bridge organizational needs and consumer needs, with deep focus on consumer-driven data that informs innovation and practice. Students learn how to apply design thinking principles through work on case studies as well as application to an issue in their field of study or career. This course focuses on building mixed methods research skills like participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and surveys - to create and test data-informed solutions, and report findings to organizational stakeholders. (Prerequisite: SOCI530)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 5359

|
This course focuses on an applied project related to the student’s major field of study or career path. Integrating knowledge and skills from the other courses in the design thinking graduate certificate will be critical in this course. Students will identify a multi-faceted problem or challenge that they want to address from a design thinking perspective, collect and evaluate stakeholder insights and data, and then design and assess multiple solutions. (Prerequisite: SOCI531)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Choose 6 credit hours from this section.

Course ID: 5133

|
This course introduces students to the practices and methodologies of developing strategic plans that result in the conceptual and practical processes associated with innovation and institutional advancement within higher education. Essential discussion topics include mission, vision, and values alignment, managing and implementing organizational change, marketing/communications/promotion, alumni relations, financial resource development, program evaluation and review, innovative teaching and learning modalities for effective higher education, and strategic planning execution. Students will examine case studies and real-world scenarios, as well as consider the ethics of professional practice and strategic planning in both for-profit and non-profit settings. There will be an examination of resource development strategies and their relationship to university strategic priorities and objectives.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 2741

|
This is a course in business analysis. This course investigates the advanced analysis methods and techniques used to solve modern business problems. The course emphasizes the most successful methods from business statistics, production and operations management, management science, and operations research fields of study. Students will be required to synthesize material from several major fields of study in order to apply it in this course. The capabilities of Microsoft Office® will be used extensively throughout the course to illustrate the application of these methods and techniques to the analysis and solution of modern business problems. The course will first investigate the types of problems faced by businesses in the both the production and service areas. Methods of analysis will be investigated to solve these type problems including probability concepts and their applications, statistical quality control, process design, forecasting, inventory control, waiting line models, transportation and assignment methods, decision analysis, and simulation modeling. Microsoft Office ® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4994

|
This course examines contemporary leadership and management theories, models, and principles as they relate to healthcare organizations. Further, the course explores the ethics of leadership and the role of a healthcare leader in creating the culture and processes that support a high reliability organization. Students will develop a personal philosophy of ethical, effective leadership. (Prerequisite: HCAD501)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4676

|
In an increasingly complex geopolitical environment, concepts of “governance,” “polity,” and “policy” need exploration, definition, and clarity. This course lays the multi-disciplinary groundwork for this program, introducing the roots of the field and the expectations of the program. Students will explore the process of policy making, the conditions which influence administrative decisions, and the theoretical underpinnings of the discipline.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4679

|
This course critically assesses the role the government plays in the economy and how this affects federal, state and local public policy making and vice versa. We first deconstruct and critique basic economic concepts like public goods and externalities and cover the central theoretical principles that apply to public economics. We then use these to evaluate the federal budget, taxation and income redistribution with a special focus on social security, education, health care and defense policy. Students will develop a critical sense of their own economic policy positions and apply these to their area of concentration.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 2674

|
Being a strategic or visionary leader has been identified as one of the top five skills needed to be successful in the global economy. This course outlines successful Strategic Management and Planning techniques, and it addresses the fundamentals of the strategic alignment of people, resources and processes to the business vision, mission, and purpose of the organization.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 5268

|
Today’s global business environment is complex and ever-changing. Change is now a constant and driving change can be a difficult leadership task. This course is designed to help leaders proactively lead change. Students in this course will learn strategies to effectively assess potential drivers of change, facilitate the implementation of change, and become a change agent in an organization by propelling momentum toward positive results. Students will practice skills to move ideas toward results, combat organizational and employee complacency, and overcome resistance to change.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 5270

|
This course examines risk management as one of the key responsibilities of leaders. Students will learn to define risk management, best practices for measuring risk and threat assessments to guide organizational response. The course will look at leadership’s role in developing strategies to strengthen approaches to external and internal risk.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 5346

|
This course examines the concepts of consumer behavior in the marketplace. Behavioral aspects of the marketing process from manufacturer to consumer are considered. Consumers’ actions during the search, purchase, use, and evaluation of products and services to fulfill needs are explored. This course illuminates how marketers can use the concepts of consumer behavior to influence individuals’ purchases of products and services.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 2709

|
This course examines the way government policies emerge from the political process and are implemented through participating institutions. In this class students will investigate how good analysis can contribute to informed policy-making and review the factors that go into developing effective implementation strategies. In addition, today’s need for enhanced public accountability and the challenging problems of measuring program performance are examined.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 2693

|
This course is a study of the forces that now shape, and will shape, health care in the new millennium. The emphasis is on administration. It also provides the student with a summary of the skills necessary to be an effective administrator in this evolving industry. Additionally, it details the various elements that exist in the current system, so as to provide the departure point for new ideas, proposals and restructuring under both voluntary and involuntary (legislated) provisions.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4981

|
In this course, students will learn about human behavior in a variety of organizational contexts. The influence of inter and intrapersonal behavior, motivation, group dynamics, leadership, organizational culture/structure, and ethics in organizational behavior will be explored through study of organizational behavioral theory, research, and case studies.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 4977

|
This course will provide students with instruction on the theory and application of leadership behaviors, particularly in the context of leading change. Concepts such as influence, motivation, decision-making, conflict/ negotiation strategies and mentoring will be explored.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 5069

|
In this course the social aspects of education and the modern school system in the United States will be examined. The sociological perspective will be used as a lens to explore how life opportunities are shaped by experiences in school; how schools reproduce, reinforce, and challenge relationships of inequality in social, economic, and political structures. Students will explore the development of the modern schools system in the United States. Students will examine career opportunities for sociologists in education.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Courses Start Monthly

Next Courses Start Mar 4
Register by Mar 1

Admission Requirements

  • All APU master's degree/graduate certificate programs require a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA®).
  • Please read all graduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application for this program. View steps to apply.

CHEA® is a registered trademark of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. 

Materials Cost

Technology fee: $85 per course 

Need Help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions coach at 877-755-2787 or [email protected].

Quality Education Should Be Affordable

So you can focus on the opportunities ahead, without the financial burden of more expensive schools who are not as invested in your success. Learn more about paying for school.

Consumer Information

Disclosures

Maryland Residents learn more about costs, completion rates, median debt, and more.

1The University reserves the right to accept or deny credits according to policies outlined on our University website. Please see the University’s transfer credit policy webpage for complete information.

Disclosures

Maryland Residents learn more about costs, completion rates, median debt, and more.

 

*Cost Per Credit Hour

American Public University's Preferred Military Rate is $250 per credit hour for all undergraduate and master's-level courses. This rate is available to all U.S. active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, Reservists, and military families, including parents, spouses, legal partners, siblings, and dependents.
See all military student benefits.

Cost of Attendance

Learn more about American Public University's cost components and full cost of attendance