Innovation (Professional Certificate)

Award: Professional Certificate
Program of Study: Innovation
Program Code: 1701

About This Program. . .

The Professional Certificate in Innovation is a three-course sequence designed to spark new thinking for any CMU undergraduate student. All students can benefit from augmenting innovation into their chosen majors and minors to create products and processes that have not existed before. Students experience the process of innovation, examine the development of historical innovations, and take their own innovation from ideation through commercialization in the Maverick Innovation Center.

While not mandated, students are strongly encouraged to complete a minor that is not traditionally seen as being closely aligned with their chosen major in order to broaden their perspective and spark critical thinking. In the book, "The Opposable Mind", Roger Martin notes "innovative thinkers have the capacity to hold two diametrically opposed ideas in their heads. Without panicking or simply setting one alternative or the other, they're able to produce a synthesis that is superior to either opposing idea." Fundamentally this exemplifies the essence of a Liberal Arts education.

In lieu of choosing a minor significantly different from their major, students have the option of working with an innovation advisor in selecting a group of courses that would best augment their integrated pathway.

This certificate may be completed beginning in a student's sophomore year.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU certificate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, critical thinking, and personal and social responsibility. In addition to these campus‐wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate ability to identify a problem/opportunity then create a solution via the process of innovation.
  2. Create a unique innovation connecting diverse academic disciplines from ideation through commercialization.

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Certificate Requirements

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU Professional Certificates. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Consists of 5-59 semester hours.
  • Primarily 300-400 level courses.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A grade lower than “C” in the program of study will not be counted toward meeting the certificate’s requirements.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Certificate Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements. 

Specific to this degree:

  • This certificate may be completed beginning in a student's sophomore year.

Program Specific Requirements

(9 semester hours)

INOV 310The Process of Innovation 3
INOV 320Innovation Launch 3
INOV 450Innovation Garage3
Total Semester Credit Hours9
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
INOV 310 The Process of Innovation 3
INOV 320 Innovation Launch 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Spring Semester
INOV 450 Innovation Garage 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
 Total Semester Credit Hours9

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a certificate. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended certificate.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their certificate requirements (for one-semester certificates, complete in the first week of class):

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If your petition for graduation is denied, it will be your responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. Your “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.