UC Forward Certificates

As of fall 2023, UC Forward Certificates are being sunsetted. If you have started one, you may finish it out, but we are not taking new enrollments.

If you are currently pursuing a UC Forward Certificate and have questions, please contact associate professor Michael Sharp.

If you would like to learn about a new certificate in innovation, please reach out to associate professor Aaron Bradley.

UC Forward certificate programs bring undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives together to address common problems facing society in technology, design and commerce. UC Forward certificates promote innovation through trans-disciplinary collaboration.

Earning a UC Forward certificate allows you to distinguish yourself to potential employers as a graduate with special skills and experience. UC Forward certificates provide you with a course of study designed to help you acquire those special skills that build on your technical and creative abilities to support success in innovation, ideation, and collaboration.


UC Forward Certificates are offered in three themes:

  • Innovation and Commercialization
  • Design Thinking
  • Forces of Change


To earn a UC Forward certificate, students are required to take one of two introductory courses and no fewer than three electives for a total of 15 credit hours. (See certificate pages for course options and descriptions.) In addition, students maintain an e-portfolio of representative project work, and as a senior, students present one of their projects in the Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase.


Many of the electives are already part of a student’s undergraduate degree requirements. UC Forward Certificates have been developed in partnership with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Lindner College of Business, DAAP, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Each certificate is unique and, depending on the certificate theme, includes coursework in at least two of these Colleges.


In earning a UC Forward certificate, you will:

  • Build relationships and partnerships with internal and external collaborators, including local innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and faculty and students outside your discipline.
  • Identify and explain the process of transformative innovation: Ideation, Commercialization and Being a Force for Change.
  • Work effectively in self-directed teams and develop your capacity to lead, follow and motivate others.
  • Appraise your strengths and weaknesses in the context of multi-disciplinary collaborations.
  • Create powerful outcomes by recognizing the role of opposing value systems and paradigms.
  • Use creative problem-solving skills to address market and societal needs.