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  • Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    1 Year

Program Overview

The ability to think critically and creatively is essential, whether an organization finds itself in times of growth and opportunity or facing new and unique challenges. Thinking beyond what is known and comfortable does not come naturally to all.

Learning to think differently 

This certificate cultivates essential critical thinking skills and provides a framework for design thinking. 

Design thinking is a strategic problem-solving method based in empathy, which considers the input of multiple stakeholders and viewpoints. It calls on divergent and convergent thinking as well as synthesis. It taps into both creative and strategic thinking, preparing you to solve problems for an unknown future. 

You will grow confidence as a critical and creative thinker by learning how to think differently, problem-solve thoughtfully, and strategically address problems in your workplace, organization, and community. 

A pathway to more

Sometimes the first step is the hardest. The critical, creative, and design thinking certificate is that first step and a pathway to more. For those considering a master's degree, this certificate can be applied to the Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology at Saint Marys.

Program outcomes 

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

Course Information

Applicants must submit:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel).
  2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards). Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( will also be accepted.
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following: a, brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and b. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and c. description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and d. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability.
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)
  7. Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities Campus. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Office of Admission 2500 Park Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55404
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Key Dates

Apply By
Start Date
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
Summer Semester
Fall Semester

Tuition & Fees

Tuition: $540

The Saint Mary's Difference

The heart of Saint Mary's is its people — faculty, staff, and your fellow students — who become your companions and allies on your educational journey. Here, in an intense give-and-take setting, each of us discovers just how much we can learn. You'll find, in every one of our classrooms, a person-centered education focused on your growth, your potential — because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to make an impact, to change the world around them.

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