Business Process Improvement FAQ

Where are the courses held?

All courses are held at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. The address is 1890 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108.

What are the class hours?

Daytime class hours are 9:00 a.m.−4:00 p.m.

What is the format for course delivery? Is it primarily lecture?

Courses tend to be a mixture of brief lectures on a topic, followed by discussions and small group activities.

What are the qualifications of your instructors?

Instructors come from industry, with lots of experience in process improvement methodologies.

Do the courses have to be completed in a certain order?

Sequence is helpful but not required. The first two courses are probably the most valuable when taken in order: 1) Process Mapping & Analysis; 2) Measuring & Improving Work Processes.

Why is your program 48 hours?

Improving organizational processes requires both an understanding of the tools needed to identify existing processes (current state) and make improvements (future state), and the soft skills necessary to implement the organizational changes that will be required.

Do I have to take the entire certificate, or can I just sign up for a course or two?

You do not need to take the entire certificate. If you find a course that fills a gap in your knowledge, you can register for just that one.

Can I register for all the courses at one time?

Yes! Go to the main certificate webpage and click on the register now option next to Cost under the At a Glance section at the top of the page. Or register for all courses here.

About how long will it take to complete the certificate?

The four courses are delivered approximately one month apart, so you should be able to finish in four months. If you miss a class, you can take it the next time it is offered. The certificate is offered twice each year (fall and spring).

Are classes offered at night?

Not at this time. The Business Process Improvement program is offered only during the day.

Is this program recognized by the Association of Business Process Management Professionals (ABPMP)?

Yes. We are a Registered Training Provider (RTP) with the ABPMP.

What is included in the course or certificate price?

Parking, all materials, the class, AV, continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments are included for daytime classes.

Are there exams?

No. As a noncredit program, students earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attendance. It is up to you to derive value from each class through active participation.

Is attendance mandatory?

Absolutely. If you miss a class session or a portion of a class that is greater than one hour, you will be required to repeat it. If you miss less than an hour of a class, you can talk with the instructor about making up the content you missed.

Will I receive an actual "certificate"?

Yes. Upon completion of each course, you will receive a certificate of completion. Once you have completed all of the courses required for the certificate program, you will receive a formal certificate from the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing Education. You can also request that an official notification letter of completion be sent to an identified employer, supervisor, personnel manager, or association.

How do I get a transcript of the courses I've taken?

You can receive an unofficial transcript of the professional development courses you've taken via e-mail or postal mail. Contact the Information Center at 612-624-4000 or via e-mail at You can also stop by 20 Ruttan on the St. Paul campus. For an official University of Minnesota transcript, send a written request with a check for $5 made payable to the University of Minnesota, College of Continuing Education Information Center, 20 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108.

Do I have to be enrolled in a certificate program to take one of the classes?

No. Some people may decide to focus their professional development on a particular course or may not be ready to enroll in a certificate program. If you decide to enroll at a later date, the courses you've taken may count toward your certificate.

Is there a fee to enroll in a certificate program?

There is no enrollment fee in these certificates.

Is financial aid available?

College of Continuing Education (CCE) scholarships are available for students taking noncredit courses through CCE. Awards range from $500 to $2,200 and do NOT need to be repaid. Information on CCE scholarships, as well as a list of additional funding options for students taking noncredit courses, can be found on our website:

Are discounts available?

The following are available discount options:

    • Register for a complete certificate at one time and receive an additional discount from the total certificate fee (may vary depending on certificate program)
    • Members of The University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) receive a 10 percent discount on individual professional development courses
    • Buy a block of seats for your organization and save up to 35 percent with a "Volume Discount." Contact us at 612-625-4207 or e-mail for more details
    • If you have been permanently laid off or terminated, you may be eligible for state funds to use towards continuing education through the State of Minnesota Dislocated Worker Program.
    • U of M staff are eligible for a 50 percent discount on all noncredit professional development except the HR, PMP and ScrumMaster test preps, the Software Design Certificate, Leadership Essentials and the Successful Manager's Leadership program

Note: Discounts cannot be combined.

If I am unemployed, how do I seek funding to take your courses?

If you haven’t already done so, contact a workforce center that provides counseling and financial support for dislocated workers ( To enroll in a certificate, visit our Dislocated Worker website (

What is the course cancellation policy?

All College of Continuing Education courses must meet a minimum enrollment to be held. If we must cancel your course because of insufficient enrollment, you will receive a full refund. All refunds will be made to the original method of payment. If you are enrolled in the individual discount option and we must cancel your course because of insufficient enrollment, we will work with you to transfer you into the next upcoming course at no charge.

If you need to cancel, please notify us at least five working days before the beginning of the course to avoid a 10 percent processing fee. You may cancel a course registration by phone (612-624-4000), by fax (612-624-5359), by e-mail, or by writing to University of Minnesota, College of Continuing Education, Information Center, 20 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108.

No refunds will be granted if you cancel on or after the first day of the course.

Can these courses be delivered to my organization?

Yes. We can conduct any of our existing certificate programs on site, at your location. We can also work with you to tailor or develop an original course to best suit your organizational goals. In addition, certificate programs may be started on site at your location as a group and then completed individually through open enrollment courses at the St. Paul campus. More information is available on our Customized Training website (

What type of credit is available?

A variety of professional credits are awarded for successfully completing the entire course.

Continuing Education Units (CEU)
The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement awarded to participants in a qualifying noncredit continuing education program. One CEU is defined as 10 contact hours. Six-contact hour courses earn 0.6 CEUs.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
Continuing professional education credits are frequently needed by accountants, finance professionals, and others. One CPE is awarded for every 50 minutes of instruction. Six-contact hour courses award 7.2 CPEs.
Professional Development Units (PDU)
These are required for certified project managers, business analysts, and others. One PDU is awarded for every hour of instruction. Six-contact hour courses earn six PDUs.
Profession Development Hours (PDH)
These are awarded to engineers, architects, surveyors, and related professionals. One PDH is awarded for every hour of instruction. Six-contact hour courses earn six PDHs.