Capitalizing on innovation is essential to business growth, and knowing how to do so is essential to personal career growth. Addressing the developing needs of innovative organizations, this forward-thinking program focuses on design thinking and the nurturing of creative cultures within organizations for entrepreneurs. Students will learn to think about designing new products or creative updates to existing products, the logistics of implementing those ideas, and how to do it all in the corporate environment or entrepreneurial space. Designed with the promising creative professional in mind, this course series provides an intensive examination of the scope of demands of real-world innovation and product development, whether tangible object, system or service.


  • Design new or updated products, services or processes to fulfill unmet needs
  • Learn to manage advanced projects to get products, services and ideas to market
  • Develop skills to analyze the viability of a new product or innovation
  • Utilize rapid prototyping and systems thinking to refine new products
  • Examine how customers perceive competitive products and services
  • Gain a competitive edge in the global job market through an internship in a U.S. company

Who Should Attend

This program is beneficial for those coming from several different backgrounds: international students and professionals who are pursuing innovative ventures; entrepreneurs who are challenged to find creative niches and problem-solving solutions; motivated individuals looking to start up a new project or way to handle their usual projects. This program will equip all of those in both creative and product design fields to approach business in a new way.

Certificate Requirements

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


Introduction to Creativity and InnovationExpand

This course introduces the various concepts related to the human creative process, creative ideation, and converting ideas into innovative services or products. Topics emphasize the importance of creating a sustainable process to innovate in the areas of product, process and service innovation. Students will examine various common tools and methods to promote creativity in others, contribute to a creative team, manage development frameworks alongside creativity, and establish a culture of creativity within an organization. This course prepares students to contribute to their organizational needs for the continuous and successful development of new products and services. The conversion of concepts and ideas into innovative and practical solutions will be the major output for this course.

Design Thinking SprintExpand

In today’s rapidly changing world, companies must be able to tackle and deal with significant problems in a timely and organized fashion. This applies to new product development, services, and the various business processes. Design thinking is a methodology used to analyze and determine the root cause of problems or issues and develop alternative approaches to solve these issues. This includes the features and requirements for a new product or service or developing a better process methodology to speed and streamline work flowing through an organization. We add this initial methodology to the concept of a Design Sprint, which is a highly organized approach to take your development from the initial concepts through the various steps to develop a business plan.

Managing Product Development ProjectsExpand

Learn practical skills in aligning projects with organizational strategies and achieve outcome objectives by utilizing project management techniques. Students will learn the skills to work within resource limitations, identify and leverage stakeholders, plan and deliver upon deadlines, and manage user and stakeholder expectations within the realm of product development. Topics also include measuring and prioritizing opportunities, maximizing resource efficiency, developing product extension strategies, building a project portfolio, and securing buy-in from upper management. The goals for product development and management include speed to market, minimal viable product (MVP) development, and the ability to quickly modify and change features during development stages.

Leading Product Development TeamsExpand

Product development teams require strong leadership and the ability to bring together multiple functions and cultures to introduce a new or modified product or service to the market. This course will concentrate on the specific and unique approaches for creating a high performing product development team. During product development, teams confront a number of ongoing organizational challenges and there is a high potential for conflict between participants in the process. This course addresses teamwork and other "soft-side" factors that largely determine whether programs are on schedule. Topics include building and launching effective teams, conducting team meetings, strategies for long-term team communication, and the specialized needs for innovative development-centered teams.

Innovation and Business VenturesExpand

Success in new business ventures occurs with an understanding of key entrepreneurial characteristics and competencies solutions. This interactive course provides potential intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and start-up developers with the knowledge of succeeding in an entrepreneurial opportunity. With a focus on innovation, creativity and product development, this course will cover all of the practical steps necessary to move from the concept to a potentially marketable product or service. This will include market sizing and potential, obtaining funding, protection of intellectual property and determining how to build and distribute the product through an integrated logistics approach. At the end of the course students will have the skills and confidence to evaluate starting a business or embarking on a new business venture.

Strategic Pitching, Networking and MarketingExpand

Learn the skills necessary to “own the room” and grab the attention of stakeholders, investors, collaborators and executives in this exciting and ever-important course. From impression management and concept pitching, to honing your online and offline networking skills, this course covers all the bases needed to effectively and confidently grow your buy-in potential and bring an audience to your concept, idea, product or service. Additionally, review and analyze basic marketing concepts and how they relate to personal and professional goals, as well as organizational strategy.


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

Apply Now


Admissions Requirements


Winter 2024Jan 8 - Mar 22
Summer 2024Jun 24 - Sep 6