Design Thinking student presenting to faculty and students

Certificate in Design Thinking

Design Thinking Program Overview

Manhattanville University’s flexible Design Thinking Certificate program takes a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving that develops innovative solutions based on human-centered needs.

Through practicing the essential principles of design thinking and participating in real-world internship projects, students develop a forward-thinking mindset for problem identification, collaborative problem solving, empathy, iteration, and taking action.

This six-course certificate training program draws on a core of design thinking courses and elevates rigorous research and oral and visual communication skills. Students in Manhattanville’s design thinking program build strong understandings of the process, methods, and tools used in the application of design thinking to their niche.


What is Design Thinking? 

Design thinking is a solutions-oriented approach that prioritizes user experience. It is a methodology used to solve complex problems innovatively and imaginatively. In our design thinking program, we encourage students to empathize with users, define problems, ideate solutions, prototype designs, and test their effectiveness across a range of disciplines.

From education to business and beyond, design thinking is a way of thinking about and innovating human-first solutions.

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The Design Thinking Certificate includes three required courses, a practical internship, and a selection of elective courses.

  • Introduction to Making
  • Designing for Change
  • Designing with Community Partners
  • Internship


Design Thinking Internship

The hands-on design thinking internship allows you to gain practical experience, implement new techniques, and make valuable industry connections. Plus, the internship may act as dual credit in your major department, bridging the gap between your chosen fields and the impact of design thinking principles, as long as you have also applied to the Design Thinking Certificate program.

If you are hoping to gain contemporary skills to enter the workforce with a refined perspective, Manhattanville’s tailorable curriculum and work-related opportunities offer compact design thinking development that sets you apart.


Two Elective Courses in Design and Creativity

Our design thinking program allows students to personalize their education. You can choose from a range of electives, each designed to further your design thinking learning and support the real-world application of your skills. 

Electives to select from may include:

  • Art, Fashion, and Design
  • Color and 2/D Design
  • Creative Process
  • Directing I
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Space and Design
  • Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
  • Public Speaking
  • Social Media

Our Design Thinking Certificate is designed to fit the schedules of busy students, whether you live on campus, commute, or work while pursuing your education.

With six courses total, the certificate program can be flexibly pursued alongside your other major or degree programs or a credential on its own in as few as two to three semesters.

Upon completion of the Design Thinking Certificate program, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to advance or pivot your career in design-focused roles across industries.

Students have the ability to: 

  • Define key concepts and mindsets of design thinking using language appropriate to the subject 
  • Be able to approach community members with empathy and humility, working to understand their needs within a historical and cultural context
  • Apply and evaluate a systematic, iterative, and reflective process of design thinking to identify and test innovative solutions to human problems in a real-world setting
  • Develop an appreciation for the importance of team creation, project management, collaboration, and professionalism


Fuel the Next Step in Your Career

Demonstrated expertise in design thinking opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities in various sectors. This qualification can enhance your profile and make you more competitive in the job market.

A Design Thinking Certificate from Manhattanville University can empower you to pursue and enhance career journeys in the following areas and beyond, from industry to academics to service.

  • Clinical research design
  • Consulting
  • Creative marketing
  • Education and curriculum
  • Innovation leadership
  • Product development
  • Research and development
  • User Experience (UX) Design

The skills and methodologies you’ll gain from this design thinking program are transferable and valuable across a multitude of industries. You are not just earning a certificate; you are investing in a rewarding and versatile career.

Center for Design Thinking

Our Center for Design Thinking serves as a hub for innovation, collaboration, and creativity. It provides resources and support for our design thinking education students that foster a vibrant community of builders and makers, from the Fab (fabrication) Lab to 3D printer access.

At Manhattanville, we're committed to creating an environment of innovation and creativity, from robust faculty projects to on-campus creative events, to the latest in technological advancements openly available to students with innovative solutions.

Explore the Center for Design Thinking



Prospective students (either current undergraduate or non-matriculated students) must meet certain requirements to be considered for our design thinking qualification program, including completing the online application. If you’re a current Manhattanville student, contact your undergraduate advisor.

Review admissions information and contact admissions counselors.


Certification Cost and Aid

We offer value-based tuition rates and several scholarship and aid options to help make your design thinking training more financially manageable.

Begin to determine your tuition and fees, and use our net price calculator.


Earn the Design Thinking Certificate at Manhattanville

Manhattanville’s Design Thinking Certificate program equips students with a skill set uniquely suited to positions in today’s design-centric world and into the future.

Ready to master solution ideation, prototyping, and implementation?

Apply today to the Design Thinking Certificate.




Contact Us

  • Center for Design Thinking

    Alison Carson
    Professor, Associate Provost for Academic Innovation, and Director of the Center for Design Thinking