Graduate Certificate Relaunched


Earlier in December, the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering faculty approved the revamp and relaunch of the graduate “Certificate in Advanced Studies in Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” a joint effort between the Center for Entrepreneurship and Integrative Systems and Design.

Along with the title change, the faculty approved credit and course changes to make it accessible to both its Masters and PhD students, and more applicable to those students wanting to enter academia or industry.

The 12-credit certificate offers a strategic combination of design, leadership, project management, ownership, law, and strategy courses from Engineering, Business, Information, and Psychology that were designed and are taught by U-M STEM graduates to specifically cater to the College’s and the University’s current STEM graduate students.

“This certificate gives these students the opportunity to round out their technical educations by learning how businesses function and innovate,” said David Wentzloff, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the Center for Entrepreneurship’s faculty co-director for graduate education. “Being designed for all STEM students from across campus is a key strength of this program, as entrepreneurship is all about combining a diverse set of expertise.”

Sahil Chhabra, a chemistry PhD student, wholeheartedly agrees: “As a graduate student, my all-around development is central to me for my job prospects. Along with my PhD degree, I wanted to have a glimpse into the fields outside of my own and entrepreneurship courses seemed to be the right match and amount for me. The graduate certificate will help me stand out and pursue jobs which will require a diverse skill set.”

Aditi Bidkar, an art and design MS student, echoes Sahil’s thoughts: “As an integrative designer, I specialize in building new approaches to co-create innovative products, services and systems. This entrepreneurial certificate would equip me with and validate my interpersonal and management skills required for this. It also perfectly compliments my future job description and provides a distinguishing edge from other candidates.”

“I’ve always found it difficult to assert my opinion in a group for fear of coming across as too brash,” adds Harsha Chawla, an electrical engineering MS student. “The entrepreneurship courses have really helped me understand how to better manage workplace relationships and understand how people with diverse personalities talk and interact, making it easier for me to communicate my ideas effectively with all.”

Armin Jam, an electrical engineering PhD student, concludes by saying: “The program is incredibly beneficial as it complements my technical Ph.D. background, gives me the knowledge and confidence to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavors, and has helped me improve my soft skills and made me more prepared for my future roles, whether in a startup or a large corporation. One thing that I particularly like about this program is its flexibility, as it perfectly matches my busy PhD life.”

The College will begin admitting students from all schools and colleges in January 2017. Interested students should email for more information.