Now more than ever, innovation and big ideas are essential ingredients to a business's ability to flourish.  And, as any innovator knows, it's not enough to simply have the idea - you have to know how to implement it. Using proven methods of innovation and design thinking as a framework, students in this unique program will learn new ways to generate ideas, gain deeper insights into their clients, manage creative teams, and drive growth in companies large and small.


  • Utilize creative thinking methodologies to generate new ideas, recognize innovative business opportunities, and solve complex problems
  • Examine the business models used by great business leaders in a variety of industries and learn to apply the underlying strategies to today's economic landscape
  • Develop a written marketing plan suitable for bringing an innovative product or service to market
  • Create and present a business plan for an innovative product or service
  • Demonstrate functional business skills in collaboration with entrepreneurs from the business community
  • Gain a competitive edge in the global job market with an internship in a U.S. company

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for those coming from a variety of backgrounds: international students and professionals who want to bring innovative solutions to market; entrepreneurs who have a desire to grow their business through applied innovation and new technologies; motivated individuals looking to start up a new venture that will thrive in today's global marketplace; business managers and leaders who wish to shape their business to make a social impact to benefit the community and beyond. Whether working in a large corporate environment, mid-size company or as an entrepreneur, this program will equip all of those in innovative fields to take it to the next level.

Certificate Requirements

To earn a certificate at UCI's Division of Continuing Education, students must complete all required courses with a grade of “C” or better.


Leadership Workshop: Understanding Yourself & Your Teams for Better ResultsExpand
This seminar will discuss using strength based competencies to positively affect your career, your leadership and your teams. We will explore your personal strengths and competencies and how to think about them within your own career. We will also explore how to use competencies in leadership to get the best out of the individual, build effective teams and deliver on your business objectives. Self-assessments will be incorporated and its application to leadership.

Design Thinking & InnovationExpand

Imagining innovative solutions to complex problems is a critical skill for today’s workforce. In this course, tenets of design thinking and innovation methodologies will be practically applied to a variety of challenges across a broad array of industries. Students will learn mind-opening techniques to recognize hidden opportunities, better empathize with customers, and rapidly test prototypes to minimize the time required to bring an innovation to market.

Business Model DesignExpand

Transforming a nascent idea into a profitable and sustainable enterprise requires the strategic application of the right business model. This course will take students deep into the economics of the most iconic businesses in recent history to understand how they turn a profit. A variety of industries will be explored to give students a broad perspective on the structure and importance of adopting a model that is carefully tailored to the unique needs and challenges each business faces.

Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and EconomicsExpand

No longer do entrepreneurs have to go it alone. With an increased focus in entrepreneurship, new channels have developed to help entrepreneurs incubate their idea, develop their company, and provide funding. As a result, over the last decade, we have seen the evolution of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In the course, we learn what this ecosystem is and how we can leverage it to launch our own ideas.

Marketing and Business DevelopmentExpand

Explore innovative marketing and development strategies to increase awareness and profitability for today’s businesses. Learn to devise a comprehensive action plan that identifies customer needs, offers a unique selling proposition, aligns pricing and positioning strategy and outlines promotional assets and activities. Develop skills to recognize ideal strategic partnership and business opportunities across various product categories, channels and industries.

Managing Innovative TeamsExpand

This course will prepare students to manage an innovative team.  Unlike a traditional management course, our focus is on management and leadership from the unique lens of an innovative product lifecycle.  Students will learn practical strategies to hire and confidently supervise staff – creative and otherwise – to meet organizational goals.


As an optional last course and for an additional fee of $2,900, you have the opportunity to apply academic theory and gain practical experience in a variety of businesses and industries for 10 weeks. Also included in the internship is the Résumé Writing and Interviewing Skills workshop.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

What time are ACPs offered?Expand
Classes are scheduled variously between 09:00 and 17:00 (California time).  Students will learn their specific class times when they enroll.

Is part-time study available?Expand
All ACP students must study full-time only.

What are the visa requirements of the program?Expand
An F-1 student visa is required for full-time, on-campus study.

Are there internship opportunities available after ACP study? Expand
Yes.  ACP programs offer internship opportunities at Southern California companies. 

Can ACP students apply for an OPT after their program?Expand
F-1 students who maintained their F-1 status for one full academic year (3 consecutive quarters) may apply for an OPT.  Contact an international student advisor at immigrationofficials@ce.uci.edu for more information.


Program Cost

Certificate Tuition: $7,900

Approximate Total Cost: $14,100 USD

Amount shown above is an approximation for tuition plus living expenses (housing, transportation, meals, books, etc.) This amount is before any discounts applied and excludes airfare.

You can view all the tuition and fees rates on our Tuition and Fees page

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Admissions Requirements


Fall 2023Sep 28 - Dec 15
Spring 2024Apr 1 - Jun 14
Fall 2024Sep 23 - Dec 12