What is an undergraduate certificate?

An undergraduate certificate is our version of a minor. Each certificate is made up of a set of courses our students take in addition to their primary degree. These courses are meant to broaden skills in a specific area of interest in addition to a major. Most of our courses are part of VCU's Relevant, Experiential and Applied Learning (REAL) initiative, giving students the opportunity to work collaboratively with real world clients.

How do I get a da Vinci Center certificate?

All students who are accepted to VCU are welcome to apply and are not required to have a declared major. Follow these steps to apply:

  1. Complete the application (applications accepted on a rolling basis, apply any time!)
  2. Register for INNO 200, if you have not taken it already
  3. Our academic director will review your application 
  4. Be on the lookout for an email with our decision 

Does the da Vinci Center offer a major?

While we don’t offer a formal major, any of our undergraduate certificates can be incorporated into a major from the Interdisciplinary Studies Program (for example the UI/UX pathway).

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Undergraduate Info Session Video and Q&A Dates

Are you interested in working with other students across different disciplines? Are you fascinated by creating solutions to complex problems? Have you always wanted to start a business or nonprofit? Watch our Information Session for Undergraduates video to learn more. We’ll explain exactly what a certificate is and then talk about our programs in Product Innovation and Venture Creation, as well as other classes and programs we offer.

Undergraduate Certificate in Product Innovation

We use the term, “product innovation” loosely. This certificate is a cross-disciplinary certificate that embodies concepts from the arts, business and engineering, focusing on design thinking and creative problem-solving. Students are provided a robust learning experience to understand the challenges associated with and means for managing product design, product development, and more.


Undergraduate Certificate in Venture Creation

Venture Creation is the perfect certificate for students who know that they want to start a business, side hustle,  or non-profit. Students work collaboratively with each other from start to finish in starting a new venture. Our approach focuses on using Human-Centered Design philosophies that put users first, resulting in useful and usable products and services. 


Shift Retail Lab

As a recipient of the 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards for Fast Company, Shift Retail Lab provides an important space for student entrepreneurs to test their ideas through sales and customer feedback.

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