Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Graduate Certificate


The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate is aimed at engineers and managers who oversee tactical and strategic projects as well as various operational functions in their organizations. Six Sigma is a proven systematic approach to continuous improvement of critical processes in a wide range of industrial environments such as banks, manufacturing facilities, and hospitals. The American Society of Quality (ASQ) defines the Certified Six Sigma Black Belt as “a professional who can explain Six Sigma philosophies and principles, including supporting systems and tools.” The typical certification process also has a capstone experience, which is conducted under the guidance and supervision of a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Other characteristics of a Six Sigma Black Belt individual are (i) demonstration of team leadership, (ii) understanding of all aspects of the so called Define-Measure- Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) improvement process, (iii) basic knowledge of lean enterprise concepts that allows identification of the non-value-added elements and activities.

Increased global pressures on cost-effectiveness has increased the importance of elimination of waste in industrial systems, and shifted the focus from a single objective of improving quality to the joint objective of improving quality and cost-effectiveness through the elimination of wasteful practices. Hence, recent years have seen an increase in entities offering Six Sigma-Lean types of certificates that try to provide the students more depth in the third aspect listed above.

Graduates of the certificate program will:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the DMAIC process and the tools used to achieve effective process and product improvement,
  • Develop leadership and team-building skills necessary to oversee continuous improvement projects with many stakeholders, and
  • Understand how lean principles and design for Six Sigma fit into the overall task of product and process improvement.
Admissions Criteria

Students should have completed a course in basic statistics, have math through vector calculus, and demonstrated computer skills with modern programming languages and software. The basic statistics course should cover descriptive statistics, modeling uncertainty though the use of probability distributions, the concept of hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, and confidence intervals, and simple linear regression. Students will be communicated any further deficiencies that need to be remedied prior to taking the required courses.

Required Pre-Requisite Courses: 3.0 in the last 60 credit hours of junior/senior undergraduate degree

CSE 110 Principles of Programming with Java or Equivalent

IEE 380 Probability and Statistics for Engineering Problem Solving or Equivalent

MAT 267 Calculus for Engineers III or Equivalent

No more than 40% of coursework towards the requirements of a graduate certificate can be completed prior to admission to the certificate program.

Application Deadlines

Fall: July 1

Spring: December 1

Summer: April 1

Academic Requirements

Courses are available face-to-face for on-campus students and Online through the Office of Global Outreach & Extended Education (GOEE). To support the professional engineering workforce, students will be able to complete the graduate certificate entirely online. All of the required courses have been offered online several times previously.

Required Courses                             Credit Hours                                                               
IEE 570 Advanced Quality Control…………………3    
IEE 581 Six Sigma Methodology ……………………3    
Electives (Choose Two Courses)    
IEE 572 Design Engineering Experiments ……3    
IEE 578 Regression Analysis …………………………3    
IEE 573 Reliability Engineering …………………………3    
IEE 561 Production Systems …………………………3    
IEE 530 Enterprise Modeling…………………………3    
Culminating Experience    
IEE 585 Six Sigma Capstone…………………………3    
Total Required Credit Hours ….….15
Culminating Experience

The required IEE 585 Six Sigma Capstone course involves a real-life six sigma project, conducted under the supervision of the course instructor. The project involves all of the usual and necessary components of the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process of the Six Sigma approach, in addition to the demonstration of a deep understanding of the problem and solution approach by the student. In particular, the student is expected to take leadership in the definition of the problem and the determination of the appropriate methods to address it, in the context of the define, measure, analyze, improve, and control steps. The project is conducted by the students throughout the semester, and are generally set up by students themselves.

The project and results have to be considered and evaluated by the champion at the organization sponsoring the project.  In general, organizations require that the students communicate the results to several different parties. Hence, students generally get many opportunities to present their work, communicate their contributions to other relevant members of the team, and take ownership of their chosen problem of study. We have had excellent comments about the work that the students have conducted in these settings.

IEE585 Syllabus

Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS)

The Plan of Study (iPOS) functions as a contract between the student, the academic unit, and the Graduate College. The iPOS contains the certificate requirements. The iPOS is submitted electronically through My ASU and is approved by the head of the academic unit and the Graduate College Dean. The iPOS tab on My ASU will allow you to access and view the status of your iPOS.

iPOS How-to-guide – Please read this guide for directions on submitting the iPOS.It is recommended that you submit your iPOS early on in your program. Students must submit an iPOS before completing 50 percent of the credit hours required for their degree program.

The iPOS will require you to impute a faculty advisor name. Please list Dr. Feng Ju.

Transfer Work and Time Limit

A minimum of 15 semester hours of graduate work is required to complete a graduate certificate. No more than one-fifth (20 percent) of the minimum required credit hours for a graduate certificate may be transferred from another university. All transfer work must meet Graduate College transfer policies. No more than 40% of coursework towards the requirements of a graduate certificate can be completed prior to admission to the certificate program.  Only transfer work earned in graduate-level course with grade of “B” or higher taken within three years of admission may be considered. All coursework used to complete an ASU graduate certificate must be completed within a six-year time limit. Please work with the Graduate Academic Advisor after admission if you have transfer work you would like to apply to the certificate.

Students in a degree program may be permitted to use up to 15 credit hours for the certificate, which have already counted or will be counted towards the minimum requirements for another degree program(s), with prior approval from that School. Specifically, students in the Master of Engineering and Master of Science degree programs will be able to earn this certificate and the master’s degree simultaneously with the sharing of 12-15 credit hours with prior approval from the School/College.

Continuous Enrollment

Students must maintain continuous enrollment and complete the program within six years. Registration in at least one credit hour every fall semester and spring semester is required. Summer registration is required for students completing the culminating experience or graduation from the program. To maintain continuous enrollment the credit hour must appear on the student’s Plan of Study or be IEE 595 Continuing Registration or be a graduate level course.

Graduate students planning to discontinue registration for a semester or more must submit a Leave of Absence Request to the Graduate College. This request must be submitted and approved before the anticipated semester of non-registration. Students may request to maintain continuous enrollment without course registration for a maximum of two semesters during their entire program.

Students who do not register for a fall or spring semester without an approved Request are considered withdrawn from the university under the assumption that they have decided to discontinue their program.

Satisfactory Progress

Students with a cumulative, graduate, or iPOS GPA below 3.0 will be placed on probation and must improve their GPA to at least 3.0 within two semesters of being placed on probation. Failure to do so will lead to a recommendation of removal from the program.

Awarding of Graduate Certificate

A student will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and Graduate College scholarship requirements have been met. Students must submit an iPOS for the graduate certificate program, and apply for graduation.

Graduate Student Responsibilities

Graduate students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all university and graduate policies and procedures. Each student should also communicate directly with his/her academic unit to be clear on its expectations for degree completion.

Information is provided to students via My ASU. Students should frequently check their My ASU account for the most up-to-date information regarding their status, holds, items to attend to and other important information.

Download and review the complete Graduate Policies and Procedures handbook

Ready to apply?

Apply now through the online graduate application.

The School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence cannot provide information regarding the admission status of an application. Once an admission decision is made by the program’s Graduate Admissions Committee, the decision is forwarded to Graduate Admissions. Graduate Admissions will notify you of the admission decision or you can view your application’s status on My ASU.

Professional Licensure

ASU programs that may lead to professional licensure or certification are intended to prepare students for potential licensure or certification in Arizona. Completion of an ASU program may not meet educational requirements for licensure or certification in another state. For more information, students should visit the ASU professional licensure webpage: https://admission.asu.edu/academics/licensure.

Students should note that not all programs within the Fulton Schools of Engineering lead to professional licensure.​