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Best Lean Six Sigma Certification Online Programs

Lean Six Sigma certification is the gold standard for improving processes and reducing waste in any industry. Keep reading to learn what to expect from the best Lean Six Sigma certification online programs and how to use these principles to bolster your career.

Author: Taylor Cromwell

Editor: Staff Editor

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If you’re interested in eliminating waste and contributing to greater efficiency, productivity, and profitability in your workplace, you should consider becoming Lean Six Sigma certified. In addition to helping your company’s bottom line, earning your Lean Six Sigma certification online is an accessible and cost-effective way to bolster your career while maintaining work-life balance.

When you enroll in a Lean Six Sigma certification program online, you’ll learn about two proven methodologies (Lean and Six Sigma) focused on streamlining processes and eliminating inefficiencies. There are five different certification levels — or “belts” — taught by Lean Six Sigma programs, with each certification building upon the knowledge of the previous belt.

  • White Belts learn how to work on problem-solving teams.
  • Yellow Belts may participate as project team members and review process improvements.
  • Green Belts can lead smaller projects and assist with data collection/analysis.
  • Black Belts are qualified to lead larger, problem-solving projects, as well as train coaches and teams.

Regardless of which belt you’re interested in earning, there are many affordable Lean Six Sigma certification programs online. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best available Lean Six Sigma certification online programs in 2024 to help you narrow down your options.

College Spotlights: Best Lean Six Sigma Certification Online Programs in 2024

We’ve analyzed some of the best certification programs at top colleges and universities that will equip you with Lean Six Sigma principles. These online certification programs offer you the affordability, flexibility, and accreditation you need to advance your career. Many also provide specialization based on your specific industry, like finance or manufacturing. Read on to see our top recommendations. This is just a preview of our full rankings that will arrive later this year, so be sure to check back.

Villanova University

Villanova University offers Lean Six Sigma certification in a 100% online format. With just three courses (Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma Green Belt, and one elective), you can earn a certificate in weeks. Elective options include topics like maximizing team effectiveness, foundations of agile methodology, essentials of data visualization, and more. Each course requires a different time commitment. For example, you can earn the Lean Six Sigma green belt in just eight weeks, while it will take 16 weeks to earn a black belt certification.

The program accepts students from a range of professional backgrounds. Villanova also offers a 15% savings to active-duty service members and veterans. The cost of tuition depends on the level of certification you are completing, with a Lean Six Sigma White Belt course costing $2,295 and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt course costing $3,495.

Purdue University

Purdue University is another reputable option for earning your Lean Six Sigma credentials. Purdue’scertification online courses are offered in a fully online format for a range of career objectives. You can choose from four courses, including Lean Principles, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and Six Sigma Green Belt Refresher.

Lean principles are integral to all of Purdue’s online LSS courses, affording students a unique edge. Purdue’s online Lean Principles course enhances the program by immersing students in Lean practices and equipping them to employ lean tools in their ongoing projects.

The instructors in Purdue’s Lean Six Sigma certification online courses bring a wealth of expertise, with decades of experience implementing Six Sigma principles. Courses range from $2,195 for a green belt to $3,750 for a black belt. You can also choose to buy a three-course package for $7,240.50.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University’s Lean Six Sigma black belt program teaches you to lead measurable change, support increased efficiency, and process improvements in business environments.

The course comprises five classes and can take between seven and 15 weeks to complete. The advanced training you receive will equip you to take a leadership role in your own LSS black belt project.

To be eligible for the program, you should possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in any field. You should have completed specific courses or equivalents, including Principles of Programming with Java, Probability and Statistics for Engineering Problem Solving, and Calculus for Engineers III.

Top Reasons to Earn a Lean Six Sigma Certification Online

As most organizations would gladly hire an expert in reducing waste and increasing profitability, a Lean Six Sigma certification can boost your career and professional opportunities in several ways.

Learn while you work.

With an online certification program, you can complete your Lean Six Sigma certification on your own time and terms, allowing you to balance life and family obligations. If you are working while you earn your certification, your employer may even be willing to pay for all or part of your program fees.

Advance your career.

A Lean Six Sigma certification is valuable in today’s competitive job market. It can give you great access to job opportunities, ensure job security, and help secure leadership roles within your company. If you progress to a black belt certification, you can move from contributor to leader within your organization.

Qualify for better pay.

Your new role and paycheck will reflect the added value you now bring to your company as a Six Sigma expert. Six Sigma master black belt holders can earn an average annual salary of $130,878. In comparison, a beginner white belt certification earns an average of $42,000.

What You’ll Learn in Online Lean Six Sigma Certificate Programs

A Lean Six Sigma certification online can give you the skills to manage resources effectively within your organization. You’ll be sure to learn common themes in any program, such as lean methodologies, value stream mapping, and Kaizen Events.

One of the core principles in a Lean Six Sigma curriculum is the “DMAIC” approach to problem-solving (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control). This methodology helps you define a problem within a business process and then find ways to improve and measure the solution’s impact.

Some green belt programs, like the one offered by Purdue University, require students to analyze case studies instead of completing a final project. Coursework and exercises at each step of the way culminate in a final exam, which is necessary for certification at each level.

Certain certificate programs, like Six Sigma online, also offer specializations by career fields. Professionals in sectors including engineering, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing can find an individual curriculum to apply to their role and industry. If you’re curious about what courses are most common in a Lead Six Sigma certification online program, below are some examples from a black belt graduate certificate curriculum.

Popular Courses

Advanced Quality Control

In this course, you’ll learn about process monitoring with control charts, feedback adjustment and engineering process control, process capability, autocorrelation, and more. The course will cover advanced statistical techniques and process optimization methods. Topics may include design of experiments (DOE), process capability analysis, and advanced problem-solving tools.

Six Sigma Methodology

In this course, you’ll learn the Six Sigma process improvement strategy, which entails defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling (DMAIC) processes. Students learn to integrate and deploy statistical methods and other Six Sigma problem-solving methods via the DMAIC framework.

Design Engineering Experiments

In this course, you’ll cover the analysis of variance and experimental design. Topics include the strategy of experimentation, factorials, blocking and confounding, fractional factorials, response surfaces, and nested and split-plot designs.

Reliability Engineering

In this course, you’ll learn about the nature of reliability, time-to-failure densities, series, parallel and standby systems, complex system reliability, Bayesian reliability, and sequential reliability tests. You’ll come away from this course with an understanding ofhow to minimize variability and maximize reliability.

Regression Analysis

In this course, you’ll focus on regression model building oriented toward engineers and physical scientists. Topics include linear regression, diagnostics, biased and robust fitting, and nonlinear regression.

What are the Lean Six Sigma Certification Belt Levels?

The Lean Six Sigma certification is divided into four belt levels that signify an individual’s level of expertise. The belt colors mimic a hierarchy like the martial arts system and include white, yellow, green, and black.

Each level builds on the previous level, so beginners will start with an introductory white belt course and can progress to a black belt status over time. While an entry-level designation will give you a fundamental understanding of Lean Six Sigma principles and how to implement them in your role, more advanced levels will equip you to lead a team and Lean Six Sigma efforts in your company.

Here’s a look at how the different belt levels differ and how a student can progress to a black belt status.

White Belt

A white belt signifies an introductory level of expertise in the Lean Six Sigma program. You’ll learn fundamental concepts such as the DMAIC process, process mapping, and statistical process control at this level. This is ideal for someone unfamiliar with Lean Six Sigma who wants to learn how it could impact an organization. Roles for a white belt certification could include a production line manager, quality assurance manager, or senior systems engineer.

Yellow Belt

A yellow belt is the next step beyond the introductory course. At this level, you’ll learn how to identify, monitor, and control profit-eating practices within your own processes. Roles for a yellow belt certification could include a business optimization specialist, a supply chain manager, and a business process analyst.

Green Belt

A green belt certification will help you develop enhanced problem-solving skills and will teach you how to apply statistical methods for process improvement. At this level, you gain the ability to impact your organization significantly, improve customer satisfaction, and increase profitability. You’ll likely be able to serve as a project leader and perform data analysis for black belt projects. Roles for a green belt certification include a process development engineer, a project manager, a data scientist, and more.

Black Belt

A black belt certification equips you to lead Six Sigma efforts within your organization. As the highest level of training, this certification qualifies you as an expert in Six Sigma principles. You also will gain leadership knowledge and be able to assign your team members roles and responsibilities to meet your goal.

What Can You Do with a Lean Six Sigma Certification?

Earning a Lean Six Sigma certification can boost your career in several ways. The methodology can be used in various industries and business functions, including manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and customer service. In many of these fields, certified professionals are in high demand.

Your new expertise can be applied to any process that involves a series of steps, from product development to customer service interactions. The versatility of the knowledge you gain can be applied to whatever field you pursue. Some roles you could look for include process engineer, senior consultant, and operations excellence manager.

Who Accredits Lean Six Sigma Certification Online Programs?

If you pursue an online graduate certificate in marketing, be sure it’s from an accredited university. Educational institutions are accredited by regional organizations overseen and certified by the Department of Education, which maintains a list of all accredited institutions. This not only protects you by making sure your program can teach what it promises, but it also signals the validity and quality of the program to your current or future employer.

Some schools may also be departmentally accredited by an organization such as the AACSB or Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. This means the school meets additional standards set by that accrediting body. Departmental accreditations are useful for showing your digital marketing online certificate meets rigorous standards.

Costs and Financial Aid for Lean Six Sigma Certifications

The costs for Lean Six Sigma courses often range between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on your desired expertise level. If you’re interested in earning a certificate but are looking for ways to ease the financial burden, you have options to consider.

Checking whether your employer reimburses you for the cost of your education is a great way to get a certificate at a reduced price. There is also a wide range of financial aid opportunities to consider, such as private and school scholarships, fellowships, work-study, and more.

Universities also often offer discounts for military personnel and veterans, federal employees, faculty, staff, and alums, so be sure to see if you are eligible for any of the savings.

What Your Certification in Lean Six Sigma Online Program Could Cost

Here are a few additional examples of schools with online Lean Six Sigma programs. Read through each school’s website to learn more about the individual offerings.

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost













Frequently Asked Questions About Lean Six Sigma Certifications Online

What is the difference between a lean six sigma professional certification and a university course?

The main difference between a Lean Six Sigma professional certification and a university course is the focus and depth of the training. Online certification programs are typically offered by professional organizations, private training providers, or through online platforms like Udemy. The training in these programs is often more practical and hands on, so professionals can quickly apply what they are learning in their coursework.

A university course, in comparison, may go into more depth and be more academic in nature. Often, the topics covered will be very similar, yet a university certificate could equip you to continue your education, such as earning a master’s in business.

What are the admissions requirements for online lean six sigma certification programs?

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in any field before applying to a Lean Six Sigma certification program. Schools also may require coursework in classes like Java programming principles, engineering problem solving, probability and statistics, and calculus for engineers.

This foundational knowledge will ensure you have the skills needed to succeed and build upon a Lean Six Sigma program.

Here are the admission requirements you can expect:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in any field
  • A 3.0 minimum GPA in the last 60 hours of their bachelor’s program; a 3.0 minimum GPA in a master’s program
  • Official transcripts
  • English proficiency

Other requirements may vary depending on the specific school and program you choose.

How long will it take to finish my lean six sigma certification online?

Some programs offer students the opportunity to earn a Lean Six Sigma certification online in just a matter of weeks. The specific timeline will depend on the certification level you seek, with more advanced levels requiring more time. It will also depend upon the pace at which you choose to complete your coursework. On average, however, students typically can complete their certification between seven and 15 weeks.

Can I earn my lean six sigma certification 100% online, or do I need to take classes on campus?

Most Lean Six Sigma courses can be completed entirely online. The schools featured in our guide, including Villanova, Purdue, and Arizona State, offer online certificate options, giving you the maximum flexibility to take the next step in your educational and career journeys.