Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Lindner College of Business Launches Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Program

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:25 PM
Undergraduates who display statistical proficiency and project competency can earn a ‘valuable asset’ with their degree.

The Carl H. Lindner College of Business launched a Six Sigma certification program for undergraduates and hopes to certify several students by the end of the fall 2014 semester.

Lindner College of Business students who pass a written proficiency test and display competency in a hands-on project environment that addresses a business improvement need can obtain the professional Six Sigma Green Belt certification.

“Firms have saved millions of dollars from Six Sigma projects; students having these skills and certification will be a valuable asset to companies in all industries, large and small,” says James Evans, Professor of Business Analytics in the Operations, Business Analytics and Information Systems department overseeing the certification program.

Evans is internationally known for his textbooks and research in quality and performance excellence, and has recently published the second edition of An Introduction to Six Sigma and Process Improvement (Cengage Learning) with co-author William Lindsay.

Though the curriculum for certification primarily focuses on Operations Management/Industrial Management, any Lindner College of Business student can obtain the certification through required coursework. However, successful completion requires a strong aptitude in statistics and problem solving with additional review and preparation.

The required courses are:

  • BANA 2081 Business Analytics I or STAT 2037 for IM majors 
  • OM 3080 Operations Management 
  • OM 4075 Quality Management  
  • OM 4080 Project Management 
  • OM 5090 Six Sigma Green Belt Project and Certification Exam                 

 The three-hour certification examination consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and will be offered once at the end of each semester (Fall and Spring). A 70% or better is required to pass. Students may retake the examination as needed. 

Certification is typically granted at a hierarchy of proficiency levels, using the martial arts analogy: Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt, with Green Belt certification being the entry-level certification in companies.

Six Sigma practitioners from GE Aviation, Kroger and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute in Columbus have volunteered to serve as advisors to support this initiative and ensure certification integrity, Evans says.

The most common organizations offering certification are companies that certify in-house (e.g. General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola), consulting companies (, QAI Global Services,, professional organizations (ASQ, Institute of Industrial Engineers), and universities (Ohio State, University of Michigan, Emory, Villanova). 

“Professional and consulting organizations charge upwards of $3,000 or more for certification, making it burdensome for students or recent graduates to pursue,” Evans says.

The American Society for Quality provides a Body of Knowledge (BOK) for each belt level. The Green Belt BOK fits well within the existing OM/IM curriculum; most content is covered in the required business statistics, Operations Management core, quality management, and project management courses. 

“Thus, content-wise, we cover most of the ASQ BOK, much of which goes beyond what is taught in company programs,” Evans says.