Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate

Learn the core skills and mindsets of design thinking

Learn and practice the core concepts of design thinking from IDEO—the company that has been honing the methods of a human-centered approach to business for over 40 years. We’ve designed this program to give you a foundational, practical understanding of the essential design thinking skills and mindsets.

Certificate Program Outcomes
  • Gain techniques to better understand the social, emotional, and physical needs of your customers.
  • Apply methods that will help you turn your customer needs into human-centered solutions.
  • Use ideation techniques to quickly generate, develop, and test new ideas.
  • De-risk your new ideas by gaining feedback through rapid prototypes.
  • Showcase your new skills through tangible, real-world project challenges, like an insights report or prototypes of products and services.
Skills You’ll Gain
Customer Insights Interviewing Brainstorming Techniques
Format 2 Online Cohort Courses
Duration 2-3 Months*
Time 4 Hours/Week
Download Syllabus Download Syllabus
Download Syllabus
*Enroll in any August cohort course or certificate to get exclusive access to our new AI x Design Thinking Workshop Series.

Certificate Program Overview

While courses can be taken in any order, we recommend completing Insights for Innovation first

  1. 1 Take Insights for Innovation

    Learn to use insights to turn customer needs into human-centered solutions
    Cohort Course 5 Weeks
    Regular price
    $699
    Sale price
    $699
    Unit price
    per 
  2. 2 Take From Ideas to Action

    Learn to prototype, experiment, and iterate to move your ideas forward
    Cohort Course 5 Weeks
    Regular price
    $799
    Sale price
    $799
    Unit price
    per 


  1. 3 Receive and Share Your Certificate

    After completing the two courses, you’ll receive your Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate of completion via email as a downloadable PDF within 1-2 weeks of completing the final required course. Certificates are configured for uploading and sharing on LinkedIn.

    Your IDEO U Certificate in Foundations in Design Thinking

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Course Order
    While courses can be taken in any order, we recommend completing Insights for Innovation first.
  • Completion Time
    The program takes 2-3 months to complete if courses are taken consecutively. However, there is no deadline for certificate completion.
Learn more about program details in our FAQs

Certificate Program Requirements

What’s Possible with Design Thinking

Innova Schools Case Study

Designing a Network of Schools From the Ground Up

IDEO redesigned the learning experience for a growing network of schools in order to meet the unmet education needs for the emerging middle class in Peru.
Learn More
PillPack Case Study

Growing an Online Pharmacy From Startup to Sale

IDEO helped PillPack build a venturing strategy for its prescription home-delivery system.
Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

We offer three types of courses: self-paced courses, cohort courses, and certificate programs. Certificate programs consist of multiple courses and typically take 3-6 months to complete. They are in-depth learning experiences designed to grow your skills and broaden your professional impact. Once you complete all required courses, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

All of our certificate programs are fully online and flexible, so you can take them from any time zone, anywhere in the world. For cohort courses, the course teaching team will host scheduled virtual community conversations, which are optional. Times will be announced during the first week of the course and are set to accommodate as many time zones as possible.

If you take all required courses in a certificate, you will receive the certificate. There is no deadline for the completion of the courses, and you do not have to purchase all required courses at the same time to be eligible for a certificate.

While you can enroll in multiple courses at the same time, we strongly advise that you do so only if you are able to commit to a minimum of 5 hours per week for each course (for example, 10 hours per week for 2 courses) to ensure the most valuable learning experience. If that does not feel feasible, we recommend taking the courses separately and reviewing upcoming course dates on our course calendar.

While courses can be taken in any order, we recommend you take them in the order that they are listed above in the Certificate Program Overview.

We offer a discount when you enroll in multiple courses at the same time through some of our certificate programs, including Foundations in Design ThinkingBusiness InnovationHuman-Centered Strategy, and Communicating for Impact

You can also enter your email address at the bottom of this page in order to receive updates on future offers or possible discounts. 

Absolutely! We have had many teams go through our courses together. For those taking our courses as a team, we provide a number of additional benefits:

1. A Team Learning Guide, developed to provide your team with resources to facilitate offline discussions that complement the in-course experience.

2. A Manage Learners function, which provides visibility into your team's progress within the course.

3. The ability to create a private Learning Circle, which is a closed space for discussion on the learning platform specifically for your team.

For more information, visit our Team Learning page.

You can purchase a certificate by enrolling in all the courses associated with that certificate. Required courses are listed in the Certificate Program Overview section above. When you click enroll in each cohort course, you will proceed to our checkout page, where you can select your desired cohort date for each course.

Payment options include credit card, PayPal, or Shop Pay. For US customers, we also offer installment plans at checkout if you use the Shop Pay method of payment.We typically are not able to accommodate bank transfer or invoicing. However, if your order includes 10 seats or more, please contact hello@ideou.com and our team will be happy to review your request

Yes. Since you work in such complex systems, this certificate will be beneficial in helping you create change or navigate change within the system you’re working in. Though some of the frameworks and thinking in these courses are rooted in business, they’re still highly applicable to anyone who wants to create change or lead others through change. The case studies, terms, and examples were designed to help different individuals see themselves and their organizations in the work.

Loved by Learners Across the Globe

Brent Suhr
Brent Service Design Implementation Partner Endeavour Foundation
Katharina Zeiner
Katharina Design Thinking Consultant Siemens
Jim Singh
Jim Innovation & Agility Aerospace Company
Sofia Lopez-Nunez
Sofia CFO for Latin America Caterpillar
Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate
Certificate Program

“The course is well-paced and allows you to connect with others who are also developing their design thinking skillsets. There are coaches to support you and give guidance throughout the course. The community aspect of the course is very helpful.”

Brent Brisbane, Australia
Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate
Certificate Program

"After taking the courses, I started working on small scale design thinking projects in academia. I’ve since transitioned into the industry and I’m working as a Design Thinking consultant now! I don’t think I would have been invited for the interview without the courses. They gave my CV an edge.”

Katharina Munich, Germany
Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate
Certificate Program

“The progressive elaboration of the materials, weekly TA sessions, and the continued focus on bias to action have been most meaningful. If universities taught like IDEO, every college would be a Stanford!”

Jim Los Angeles, CA
Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate
Certificate Program

“I am a firm believer that today’s challenges require us to bring all of our creative capacity to the forefront. IDEO U has given me the opportunity to expand my perspectives, a space to network with like-minded individuals, and the tools to navigate these uncertain times.”

Sofia Panama City, Panama

The IDEO U Learning Experience

See

Our courses engage you through stories, expertise, and humor. Each lesson has a series of 3-5 minute videos that explain the why, what, and how of a specific topic. Plus we bring everything to life through case studies from around the globe.

Reflect

Our learning experiences have a variety of reflective activities to help you make the connections to your specific work challenges. Reflection is one of the most effective ways to deepen your professional impact.

Try

In order to develop new skills, you need to try them out through repeated practice and exposure to new contexts. Our courses provide opportunities to try out new behaviors online and through real-world projects.

Share

Knowledge is constructed through interaction with others—which is the foundation of our cohort experience. It’s through sharing and discussing with qualified teaching leads and a global peer network that you build greater understanding.

See

Our courses engage you through stories, expertise, and humor. Each lesson has a series of 3-5 minute videos that explain the why, what, and how of a specific topic. Plus we bring everything to life through case studies from around the globe.

Try

In order to develop new skills, you need to try them out through repeated practice and exposure to new contexts. Our courses provide opportunities to try out new behaviors online and through real-world projects.

Reflect

Our learning experiences have a variety of reflective activities to help you make the connections to your specific work challenges. Reflection is one of the most effective ways to deepen your professional impact.

Share

Knowledge is constructed through interaction with others—which is the foundation of our cohort experience. It’s through sharing and discussing with qualified teaching leads and a global peer network that you build greater understanding.