May 25, 2024  
2022-2023 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2022-2023 SGPP Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking Certificate

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This certificate cultivates critical and creative thinking as essential skills alongside design thinking. Design thinking is a strategic problem solving method that is based in empathy and 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 leaders to problem solve for a future that is currently unknown. Participants grow confidence as critical and creative thinkers by learning how to think differently, problem solve thoughtfully, and strategically address problems in their workplaces, organizations, and communities.

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. 

Program Structure and Delivery

The Critical, Creative, and Design Thinking Certificate is delivered fully online.

Certificate Requirements


The faculty members for this program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  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:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    3. 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
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  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.)

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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