Credits required
27 Oregon State University is on a quarter-term system. There are four quarters each year and classes are 11 weeks long. This program's 27 quarter credits are equal to 18 semester credits.*
Cost per credit
$366 Based on current tuition rates. No additional charge for nonresident students. Does not include course materials and associated fees and expenses.
Online You can complete all or nearly all requirements of this program online. View the curriculum.
Start terms
4 per year

Design for Social Impact – Online Undergraduate Certificate

Use design principles to solve real-world problems

Are you enthusiastic about design and entrepreneurship? Motivated by prototyping and making? Driven to tackle society’s big challenges, but not sure where to start? Earning an undergraduate certificate in design for social impact online from Oregon State will give you practical skills to help turn your knowledge and enthusiasm into meaningful action and results.

Through this certificate program, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of design thinking and principles and use design processes to solve problems across disciplines and industries. Additionally, you’ll learn how to build and lead inclusive and collaborative teams, integrate social justice perspectives, communicate effectively, and offer solutions that engage with diverse audiences.


The online coursework in Oregon State’s design for social impact certificate will deepen your creative problem-solving and collaboration skills. As part of your coursework, you’ll participate in a required capstone course, in which you’ll collaborate with students from a variety of academic and lived experiences to create a solutions-based project for real clients.

Areas of focus

The design for social impact certificate program allows you to choose from four focus areas, which highlight the interdisciplinary nature of this program:

  • Design for sustainability
  • Design for social change
  • Design for technological innovation in the arts
  • Transdisciplinary design in society

Certificate requirements and curriculum details, including elective options for each of these focus areas, are available on Oregon State’s academic catalog.

Course topics

  • Innovation for social impact
  • Design thinking and process innovation
  • Social problems and issues
  • Service design innovation
  • Social justice, civil rights & multiculturalism in education
  • Working in multi-disciplinary teams

Benefits of learning online with Oregon State

  • All classes are developed and taught by Oregon State's world-class faculty, who are renowned for their research, expertise and innovation.
  • Oregon State is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • Oregon State Ecampus consistently ranks among the nation’s 10 best providers of online education according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • OSU Ecampus students receive the same certificate and transcript as on-campus students.

NOTE: The U.S. Department of Education has approved this certificate for federal financial aid eligibility as part of a full degree program, but not as an independent certificate program. Alternate funding sources (e.g. loans, private funds) may be required to cover the costs associated with this program.


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