Section Menu

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate

Identify, address and correct problems

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) combines Lean’s efficiency techniques with Six Sigma methodology. The structure of Six Sigma, when used with the waste reduction of Lean, enables an organization to immediately improve its cash flow, enhance customer service and systematically improve processes that impact the customer.  

The University of St. Thomas’ Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification program builds on the knowledge gained in previous Six Sigma certification classes and focuses on gaining in-depth understanding and problem-solving skills to take on the biggest challenges faced by organizations and Operations executives today, including: 

  • Acting as a mentor to Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belts within the company
  • Understanding how to identify, address and correct a problem in any part of the business structure
  • Developing managerial and leadership qualities
  • Applying Lean concepts such as 5S, waste reduction, process, stream, and value mapping, as well as mistake proofing
  • Defining, scoping, and executing DMAIC projects
  • Performing advanced statistical analyses to determine the relationship between key inputs and process outputs‌

Dates Being Finalized

We are working on finalizing the next offering. To be notified of new dates, please fill out a Request for Information on the right-hand side of the page (or at the bottom on a mobile device). If you have preferences for evening or day-time offerings, please specify in the question box. Thank you for your patience! 

Topics Covered

The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training and certification program emphasizes the different program phases that keep organizations moving forward quickly and efficiently including: 

  • Lean Six Sigma including the philosophy and improvement method
  • The Define Phase with topics such as SIPOC-R/system roadmaps and SWOT Analysis
  • The Measure Phase including creating process flow maps, descriptive statistics, and DPPM, PPK, and Z-Scores
  • The Analyze Phase made up of brainstorming/affinity diagrams, ANOVA/GLM, tests for variances, and more
  • The Improve Phase where you learn things like how to design experiments and conduct potential problem analysis (PPA)
  • The Control Phase that includes control plans, FMEA training, process documentation, and the communication of project results

Lean Six Sigma

  • Lean Six Sigma philosophy
  • Lean Six Sigma improvement method
  • Seven types of waste

Define Phase

  • SIPOC-R/system map
  • SWOT analysis
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Problem statement
  • Potential business objective(s)
  • Primary and Secondary metrics
  • Process owner(s)

Measure Phase

  • Process flow map
  • Relationship diagram
  • Capability analysis
  • Control charts
  • Descriptive stats
  • DPPM, PPK, Z-Score, other
  • Establish timeline and milestones

Analyze Phase

  • Brainstorming/affinity diagram
  • Fishbone/mind map
  • Sample size estimation
  • Model and residual analysis
  • Test for means
  • Test for variances
  • Document phase conclusions

Improve Phase

  • Design of experiments
  • Potential problem analysis (PPA)
  • Document phase conclusions

Control Phase

  • Control plan
  • Potential problem analysis (PPA)
  • FMEA training
  • Process documentation
  • Communication of project results

Is This For Me?

The Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate program is for those individuals who have direct communication with all levels of management and the authority to select and initiate key strategic projects. Participants should have at least two years of experience working in Operations, a strong understanding of statistics, Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and must have completed a project that yielded increased revenue.

Participant titles and job functions may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Operations Manager
  • Director of Operational Excellence
  • Functional Project Lead
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Quality Engineer
  • Senior Engineer
  • Reliability Engineer
  • Operating System Specialist
  • Lead Manufacturing Engineer
  • Warehouse Operations Manager
  • Project Engineer
  • Program Manager
  • Compliance Structural Engineer
  • Business Process Manager
  • Lead Analyst/Project Manager
  • Business Process Improvement Consultant
  • Lean Six Sigma Consultant
  • Director, Performance Excellence
  • Entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Individuals looking to advance in their careers or those making a career change

Meet a Previous Participant

Who Completes the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate?


I'm Kristine Enno and I work for Be the Match as a Continuous Improvement (CI) Program Manager. As a previous Six Sigma Green Belt, I led a variety of process improvement projects; however, in my new role as the CI Program Manager, I wanted to take my skills to the next level so I am able to lead and mentor our Six Sigma Green Belt employees with their projects. In order to accomplish this, I decided to take the steps toward earning my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. As I looked around the Twin Cities area, I quickly realized that the St. Thomas Executive Education program had just what I needed.

Already familiar with Executive Education from a previous project management program, I knew I would walk away with a newfound set of skills and resources that would prepare me for my role as a Black Belt. The Black Belt program reinforced tools and techniques I had already been utilizing while showing me how important it is to use data to support a project. With this newfound knowledge and skills, I am able to communicate and visualize where process improvement is needed within my organization.

The most beneficial aspects of this program were the video examples of Lean and Six Sigma principles, data analysis exercises and a field trip to see Lean Six Sigma principles and techniques in action at a local manufacturing company. The opportunity to watch a process first-hand and know how to improve processes from an academic and practical perspective proved valuable in planning my own Black Belt project.

Over the course of 9 months, I worked closely with our instructor, John Olson, on my Black Belt project. Being able to seek guidance and ask questions throughout the process really enhanced the end result. Walking away with a tangible deliverable for my company has been the biggest takeaway from this program. Not only is my leadership very happy with the results, I now have the knowledge and confidence to take on bigger strategic projects. Talking about my experience with my co-workers has led them to explore the possibility of becoming a Black Belt, and there is nowhere else I would recommend them go except for St. Thomas. 


Learn from our top-notch faculty with industry experience

John R. Olson, Ph.D.

John Olson is a professor and chairs the department of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the University of St. Thomas. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Management and Statistics from the University of Nebraska. He has consulted with numerous firms across the Midwest in the areas of Six Sigma and quality management, Lean thinking, theory of constraints, project management, and strategic management of operations.  Dr. Olson has worked with 40+ organizations, including the Veterans Administration’s several smaller regional clinics, to improve their organizational systems. 

Dr. Olson’s research interests focus on how companies create value in the supply chain. He has examined many different industries, including health care, manufacturing, e-commerce, e-services, and logistics, and has published over 20 articles in leading academic journals and trade publications.

Your Investment

Invest in your career - Gain a strong ROI

Price: $5,795
5.6 CEUs

Why Choose Lean Six Sigma Black Belt?

  • Develop Your Leadership Potential. A strong Black Belt needs to be proven leader of the team. Learn communication, managerial, and overall leadership presence to lead a team on high profile projects.
  • Make Data Based Decisions Perform advanced statistical analysis to determine input and output relationships. Use this data to make informed decisions on process improvement.
  • Drive Project Success.  Identify and reduce waste using a combination of lean and Six Sigma methodology to better the customer experience. 
  • Earn a Certification. By successfully completing this program you will earn a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification through the University of St. Thomas. This certification will add credibility to your experience and demonstrate your skills as a Six Sigma leader.

Program Requirements:

  • At least two years as an operations professional
  • Previous Six Sigma Green Belt training
  • To be eligible for certification, you must complete a project that increases ROI

Additional Program Details:

  • Cost includes tuition, learning materials and refreshments.
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are non-credit educational experiences; one CEU is equivalent to 10 contact hours of study and will be noted on your completion certificate. 
  • Program sessions are held on the downtown Minneapolis campus. Parking is available within one block.

Why St. Thomas Executive Education?

At St. Thomas Executive Education you will:

  • Gain practical tools from experienced faculty
  • Learn current, real-world skills you can apply on Monday (and every day)
  • Network with other professionals working in business
  • Have a personalized experience from program exploration to successful completion

All of this leads to a smart, practical and personalized experience to gain confidence and excel in your career. With over 30 open enrollment programs, we can help you dive into a specific topic area, understand business terminology and further develop your leadership and management skills.