Lean Six Sigma - for Professionals

Achieve Lean Six Sigma certification while earning academic credit!

Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology recognized worldwide in organizations both large and small, across all areas of business.  Many companies pay a salary premium for employees with Lean Six Sigma training.

Three levels of certification are generally recognized:

  • Yellow Belt – entry level certification provides an excellent introduction to fundamental improvement tools and includes classroom exercises to demonstrate application. Take a full-semester academic course (ISEE 582/682) and receive Yellow Belt certification.  You'll also be considered Green Belt "trained."
  • Green Belt – next level of certification, which qualifies you as a practitioner capable of utilizing a wide range of tools to lead significant improvement projects. This certification requires a full semester academic course, ISEE 582/682, plus successful completion of a significant improvement project on behalf of a sponsor.
  • Black Belt – highest level of certification.  Black Belt certification builds on Green Belt certification and introduces advanced statistical and data analysis tools.  Certification requires a passing grade on a comprehensive final exam and successful completion of a significant improvement project with a sponsor.  The Black Belt project typically has a higher return-on-investment than a Green Belt project. No academic credit is offered at this time.

CQAS offers Green Belt certification via an academic (for-credit) pathway, which can usually be supported by your employer’s tuition reimbursement program. ISEE-582 (undergraduate) or ISEE-682 (graduate) is offered online during the fall, spring, and summer terms.  After completing the course you will be awarded 3 academic credits and also granted Yellow Belt certification. Then, complete an appropriate project and achieve Green Belt certification!

Step 1:  Register for ISEE 582/682 Lean Six Sigma Fundamentals

  • Complete RIT’s non-degree enrollment form (only the top sections on general information & history plus your signature at the bottom), and email to cqas@rit.edu along with a copy of a government issued ID (eg. driver's license or passport).  We will contact you to determine which section is appropriate, undergraduate (582) or graduate (682).  An associate's degree is prerequisite.
    • For the fall semester, the form should be submitted to us by August 1. (Classes start late-August).
    • For the spring semester, the form should be submitted by December 15.  (Classes start mid-January).
    • For the summer semester, the form should be submitted by April 15.  (Classes start mid-May).
    • See https://www.rit.edu/calendar for course dates or contact us at cqas@rit.edu.  
    • Submit the form as early as possible since the courses fill quickly.
  • We will complete the form and enroll you in the appropriate section. You will then receive an email to activate your RIT computer account which is necessary to access course materials and your student account.
  • To be eligible for deferred tuition (after course completion), download and complete RIT’s Employee Sponsored Tuition Plan (ESTP) form at https://www.rit.edu/sfs/student-sponsored-billing#employer-sponsored-tuition-plan-estp. Employer codes are provided as well as instructions to register your employer if not already registered with ESTP.
    • Tuition payment is deferred until after the semester is completed: by Jan 15 (fall semester), by June 15 (spring semester), by Sept 15 (summer semester).  This should provide enough lead time for your employer to reimburse you before tuition is due RIT.

Step 2:  Complete an approved Green Belt project to achieve Green Belt certification.

  • You must first secure a project sponsor and submit a draft charter.  Contact us at cqas@rit.edu for information on requirements and expected timing. Certification requires submission of a final report (through the Control phase) that has been approved by your sponsor and your RIT instructor.

RIT also offers the Advanced Certificate in Lean Six Sigma, which consists of four graduate level courses.

ISEE 582/682 Fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma

This course presents the philosophy and methods that enable participants to develop quality strategies and drive process improvements. The fundamental elements of Lean Six Sigma are covered along with many problem solving and statistical tools that are valuable in driving process improvements in a broad range of business environments and industries.  Successful completion of this course is accompanied by Yellow Belt certification and provides a solid foundation for those who also wish to pursue a Green Belt.  (Green belt certification requires completion of an approved project in addition to this course).

Topics include:

  • The Quality Movement
  • Leadership
  • Systems Thinking
  • Affecting Change
  • Lean Six Sigma Overview
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Selection
  • Project Management
  • Voice of the Customer
  • Teamwork
  • Define Stage
  • Measure Stage
  • Cost of Quality
  • Standard Work
  • Basic Statistics
  • Measurement Systems Analysis, Regression
  • Analyze Stage
  • Benchmarking
  • Improve Stage -  Kaizen and Line Design
  • 5-S and Visual Controls
  • Setup Reduction, TPM, Kanban
  • SPC, Process Capability
  • Introduction to Design of Experiments
  • Control Stage
  • Management By Fact

For more information download the syllabus and course schedule.


ISEE 582/682 is priced at RIT’s online tuition rate, which is $4,050 for the 2023-24 academic year (through summer 2024).  Tuition beginning in the fall of 2024 is $4,209. 

To complete an approved Green Belt project (not part of ISEE 582/682), you will be charged $750 for project mentoring.


In addition to receiving 3 academic credits which can be leveraged toward a future certificate or degree program, the rigor inherent in an academic course (versus a non-credit training program) means that you will be exposed in more depth to more practical material that will have direct benefit to your job and your organization.  Since your work will be graded, you will be highly vested in your learning and the application of tools and methods to practical problems and processes within your organization.  Finally, the diversity of participants enrolled in these courses provides exposure to experienced professionals from a number of companies in different industries.

Academic courses require about 6-10 hours each week, and it is especially important to keep up with the material since there are deliverables each week and you will be graded on your participation as well as on quizzes, homework, and exams.

Our online format is designed to provide you with flexibility to meet your other commitments from wherever you are while insuring that you are actively engaged with the instructor and your classmates on a weekly basis.  (This is not a self-study course).  Materials are available on our course management website and you submit homework and participate in discussions each week at your convenience.  Homework, quizzes and exams, as well as a simulation exercise are also online.

Yes, but you must first secure a project sponsor and submit a draft charter to the instructor.  The project will likely continue beyond the end of the course, and Green Belt certification is not awarded until the final project report is signed off by your sponsor and the instructor.

Most students will wait until the course is over to work on their projects.  You have up to 2 years after course completion to begin a project.  Extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances but they must be approved by your instructor and your sponsor.

You will be charged $750 for project mentoring.

A suitable Green Belt process improvement project must utilize the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) structure and return significant benefits, usually at least $50,000, recognizing that other metrics may be more appropriate to your situation. As mentioned above, the project should be completed (with sign-off from sponsor and instructor) within two years of training.  

Every Green Belt project requires a sponsor whose role is: (1) to help identify in advance an opportunity suitable for a Green Belt project; (2) to help remove roadblocks and support project execution; and (3) to participate in tollgate reviews and sign-off on all tollgates. Your direct manager should also provide assurance that he/she understands the demands on your time for and is committed to your success in the program.

After securing a sponsor and discussing project ideas with your sponsor, you will prepare a project charter and get approval from both your sponsor and CQAS (including registering for the project and paying $750).  During project execution you will meet periodically with your sponsor and a CQAS mentor. Your completed project will include a story board of key findings and the Control Plan, and you must also show proof that the sponsor has “signed-off” at all stages of the project. CQAS will review all documentation and provide a report back to you. Should there be any issues, you will be told in writing what needs to be addressed. Finally, the sponsor must submit a brief letter in writing that supports completion of the project. Most Green Belt projects take 6-12 months to complete.

No, credit is not given for projects that are either in-process or were completed prior to the start of the course.

No.  Green Belt and Black Belt are two distinct certifications which must be completed separately. RIT currently does not have an academic pathway to Black Belt certification but CQAS doesn have a contract training program for groups and organizations.

A textbook is required: "An Introduction to Six Sigma & Process Improvement,” Second Edition by James R. Evans and William M. Lindsay, published by Cengage Learning.  Textbooks can be purchased or rented at https://rit.textbookx.com/institutional/index.php. A simulation also is required at a cost of $50.

All presentation slides will be available in our online repository, from which you can print a copy for your own use.  Links to the videos are also provided. 

No special software is required. Excel is utilized for statistical tools and examples, which are also illustrated in Minitab if you prefer this statistical package.  Minitab is available to students free of charge.

As mentioned earlier, ISEE 582/682 is offered online during the fall (late-August until mid-December), spring (mid-January until early-May), or summer (mid-May until early-August) terms.  See https://www.rit.edu/calendar for specific course dates or contact us at cqas@rit.edu.

We suggest (see Step 1) that you submit the non-degree enrollment form to cqas@rit.edu no later than the following dates, although we urge you to submit even earlier since the courses fill quickly:

  • For the fall semester, the form should be submitted to us by August 1.
  • For the spring semester, the form should be submitted by December 15.
  • For the summer semester, the form should be submitted by April 15.

In order to cancel your enrollment without incurring tuition charges, you must drop the course within the first 7 days after the course begins.  You can either do this yourself by logging into your student account at http://sis.rit.edu or by sending an email to cqas@rit.edu before the drop period ends.  More information about RIT’s tuition refund policy can be found at https://www.rit.edu/sfs/tuition-refundadjustment.

Your RIT transcript will show the grade you received and the associated credits (3), which you can download/print as proof that you completed the course.

You will also receive (via email) a Yellow Belt certificate provided that you achieved at least a “C” grade in the course.