Sharpen Your Business Process Improvement Skills

Lean Six Sigma certification at James Madison University honors a tradition of academic excellence. The well-trained professionals who complete our program learn how to drive strategic process improvements that help organizations operate efficiently and realize tremendous cost savings.

JMU’s online Lean Six Sigma certification program is an in-depth, interactive learning experience, based on a case-study model and supports your learning by helping you apply new skills to the real world:

  • Program is completed through our unique online platform designed for working adults
  • Live online Lean Six Sigma certification classes are taught by Master Black Belt instructors
  • Online learning includes simulations, assessments, and live lectures that gauge your progress throughout the program
  • Completion of either certificate includes access to the online supplemental materials for one calendar year
  • Program based on a case-study model, ensuring a learning outcome you can apply within your own professional role

Enhance your résumé and become an essential asset to your organization with online Lean Six Sigma certification from JMU!

Take Your Next Step!

Green Belt Schedule

February 25 - March 22, 2019

Online class meetings are Mon-Fri from 6:30-8:30p ET on the second and fourth weeks.

Investment: $2995

Enroll Now
in Green Belt!

Green Belt Course Outline

Black Belt Schedule

October 15 - December 7, 2018

Online class meetings are Monday-Thursday from 6:30pm-9:00pm ET on Weeks 3 & 4 and Weeks 7 & 8.

Investment: $4995*
*10% discount available to JMU Lean Six Sigma Green Belt graduates.

Enroll Now
in Black Belt!

Black Belt Course Outline

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a powerful, deployment strategy for business process improvement in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness. The key principles used include:

  • Focus on the customer
  • Identify and understand how the work gets done
  • Manage, improve and smooth the process flow
  • Remove unnecessary and redundant steps and wastes
  • Manage by fact and data
  • Systematically improve process activity
  • Continuous quality improvement

The DMAIC Process

The DMAIC Process is the heart of Six Sigma. It is a rational decision-making approach to business process improvement. DMAIC (“deh-MAY-ick”) stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.


The Lean Six Sigma Organizational Structure

Any Lean Six Sigma program has its own organizational structure. Each level of the organizational hierarchy has roles and responsibilities. The foundation of JMU's Lean Six Sigma Program is the Green Belt.

Green Belts

Lean Six Sigma Green Belts are participants in Lean Six Sigma projects and the foundation of the process. They understand problem-solving, data collection, data interpretation, variation, process capability, and cost analysis. Green Belts often assist Black Belts on larger initiatives and lead smaller-scale projects.

>>>Learn more about JMU's Lean Green Belt Certification

Black Belts

Lean Six Sigma Black Belts are thoroughly trained individuals with expertise in using statistical tools and interpreting analytical results. Black Belts are expected to identify opportunities, lead initiatives, and coach Green Belts.

>>>Learn more about JMU’s Lean Black Belt Certification

Master Black Belt

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belts are quality improvement experts responsible for large-scale strategic implementations within an organization. Master Black Belt responsibilities include training and mentoring Black Belts and Green Belts, helping prioritize initiatives, and selecting or chartering high-impact projects. You will learn from Master Black Belt instructors in our JMU Lean Six Sigma programs.


Lean Six Sigma Champions provide support, resources and remove road-blocks during projects. Champions have an understanding of six sigma methods, measurements, and business processes.  Improvements can only happy with a champion. Typically your employer will serve as your project champion.

Steering Committee

The steering committee identifies projects / Black Belts; allocates resources; monitors progress; manages project portfolio; establishes implementation strategy and policies.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

With Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification, you will be prepared to support organizational change through project management, communication, and technical process improvement. After earning your Six Sigma Lean Green Belt certification from JMU, you will be able to quantify deliverables to an organization in terms of cost, quality, cycle time, or safety improvements.

JMU’s non-credit online Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program employs the DMAIC(deh-MAY-ick) framework to help you undertake systematic improvement activity in your business processes:

  • Define: A project begins with a problem requiring a solution. Ensure everyone involved with the project knows their role, the nature of the problem, and the project’s mission.
  • Measure: The work completed in the Define stage is based on identification of the problem. During the Measure stage, you must quantify/qualify the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the current work process(es.)
  • Analyze: With a clearer picture provided by the Define and Measure steps, it’s time to examine and interpret the facts uncovered, and thus identify the root of your problem.
  • Improve: Brainstorm, and then ultimately select the most appropriate solution to your problem. Apply your solution to test its effectiveness.
  • Control: Maintain the project’s improvements by drafting the new solution’s control plan.

Why Become a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt?

A Green Belt can impact an organization’s bottom line. What’s more, Green Belt certification from JMU communicates to an employer that you have been trained in basic problem-solving skills and the statistical tools needed to work effectively on process improvement under supervision of a Black Belt.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Enroll in the Green Belt Program?

To ensure our graduates are qualified for employment after earning a Lean Six Sigma certificate and are prepared for the challenging education in this program, we require:

Either at least four years of professional work experience OR a four-year degree in any field, and:

  • An understanding of basic mathematical functions
  • Experience/general ease with computer software usage
  • Access to a computer with Internet Explorer version 6+, screen resolution of at least 1280 x 1024 pixels, Flash version 9 or above, session cookies enabled, and JavaScript enabled
  • We recommend non-native English speakers have a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 250 on the computer-based exam, or 100 on the internet-based exam.

What are the Graduation Requirements to Become a Green Belt?

You must:

  • Pass the final exam with a 70% or higher
  • Not miss more than one of the live lectures

Is the Focus of the Green Belt Certificate Program Technical in Nature or More Management-Based?

JMU’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Program is unique in that it covers the technical aspects of Lean Six Sigma, along with sound management practices. For example, we use the Case Study approach for assignments based on real business world issues. Participants will often work in teams on the scenarios and activities.

What Type of Projects Will I Be Able to Lead as a Green Belt?

Green Belts are capable of leading projects that are smaller in scope (i.e., 90-120 days) and well-defined to focus on a specific issue.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification from JMU demonstrates to an employer that you are trained in advanced problem-solving skills and the statistical tools necessary to effectively lead process improvement. Certified Black Belts directly impact an organization’s bottom line. As one of the elite few who pursue this certificate, a Master Black Belt-certified instructor will provide you with advanced understanding of team dynamics, as well as how to improve a team’s leadership skills and competently assign roles and responsibilities to team members.

JMU Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification will enable you to:

  • Implement Six Sigma philosophies, principles, and related systems and tools; describe their impact on various business processes
  • Recognize organizational roadblocks and use change management techniques
  • Define benchmarking and utilize various financial and other business performance measures
  • Identify customer requirements and describe the impact that Six Sigma projects may have on various types of customers
  • Demonstrate understanding of project charter elements and use various tools to track progress
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of data collection techniques, process elements, and process analysis tools
  • Perform hypothesis testing and analyze results
  • Design experiments and analyze results
  • Develop control plans and use various tools to maintain and sustain improvements
  • Assign team members roles and responsibilities


The value of enrolling in our online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course extends beyond the all-inclusive program format. Along with passing the final exam, you must complete a project in order to demonstrate your ability to apply Black Belt principles. These two components will prepare you to effectively apply Lean Six Sigma Black Belt concepts at your respective company. Not sure if you will have a project idea for class? That’s okay, our instructor will assist you with project ideas.

Why Become a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt?

A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt can impact an organization’s bottom line through the use of statistically based tools that are taught in Six Sigma Black Belt training. A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from JMU communicates to an employer that you have been trained in advanced problem-solving skills and the statistical tools needed to effectively lead process improvement projects.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Enroll in the Black Belt Program?

To register for JMU’s Black Belt program, you will need to have completed either JMU’s Green Belt program or an offering of similar intensity.

What are the Graduation Requirements to Become a Black Belt?

You must:

  • Pass the final exam with a 70% or higher
  • Complete and pass the Black Belt project
  • Not miss more than one of the live lectures

“The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate Program through JMU had excellent online learning content and reference tools paired with an instructor that lead great discussions using the curriculum while relating it to his first-hand experiences.  The format of this course is well suited for those who want to further their development while continuing to work full-time.  The knowledge I have gained in this course has given me a greater ability to make differences that can be seen on a company’s bottom line and is something I will take with me throughout my career.”

Matthew Pomerleau, Engineering and Maintenance Manager

Meet Your Instructors

We hire experienced Master Black Belt instructors for the Lean Six Sigma programs. Each instructor below is a practitioner of both Six Sigma and Lean principles.

Dr. Ben Samimy teaches Process Improvement/Business Process Re-engineering courses at James Madison University. His experience includes 15+ years of applying Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles; implementing LSS across organizations, developing curricula, coaching, mentoring, and teaching LSS courses at all different levels. He has taught over 5000 students and employees in academia and companies. His students come from a broad cross-section of professional backgrounds, including engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, HR, and other business/service industries.

Ben holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with an M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Ben currently teaches our Green Belt course.

Scott Fowler is a certified Master Black Belt and Lean Master. He has been a Lean Six Sigma consultant within a diverse cross section of industries over the past 20 years including Government, Manufacturing, Energy Production, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, Financial, and Service industries. As a consultant, he has assisted multiple government agencies with the rollout and deployment of Continuous Process Improvement programs including: strategic planning, project identification, staff training, performance reporting, and hands-on project work. He has led Process Improvement initiatives as a Director of Quality at a major manufacturing corporation. He was responsible for management and financial performance of a Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing program for 13 facilities in five countries. These programs achieved cost savings in excess of $25,000,000 on $1.1 billion in sales.

Scott has an extensive background in Transactional Services, Materials Management and Logistics, and experience with maximizing process flow. As a Deployment Director and Master Black Belt, Scott has trained over 500 Black Belts, Green Belts, and Master Black Belts in North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to training, Scott has supplied direction in the launch of Lean Six Sigma programs including education of management and staff, structure of implementation, identification of projects, determination of cost accounting methods, and selection of candidates. Activities in these multiple corporate deployments include creating infrastructure design, communication plans, business process assessments, and generating projects. Scott has also supported Six Sigma deployments as a coach, deployment strategy analyst, and curriculum customizer.

Scott currently teaches our Black Belt course.

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Registration Information

Program Fee: Fee includes one year access to self-paced course materials --

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt $2,995.00

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt $4,995.00
*A 10% discount is available to JMU Lean Six Sigma Green Belt graduates.

Admission Requirements: To ensure our graduates are prepared for the challenging education in this program, we require:

  • At least four years of professional work experience OR a four-year degree in any field

  • Access to the internet with high-speed connection (courses are taught exclusively in an online environment)

  • To enroll in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, you also must have a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification either through JMU or another institution.

Program Requirements:

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt - In order to earn your Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, you must score at least a 70% on the final exam and not miss more than one of the live lectures. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt through James Madison University.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt - In order to earn your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, you must score at least a 70% on the final exam, complete your Black Belt project, and not miss more than one of the live lectures. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt through James Madison University.

Registration Deadline: Registration closes 2 weeks prior to class start date.

How To Register

Online: Credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) can only be accepted through online registration.

By Mail: Download, complete and print the registration form and mail with check* payment to:

JMU Outreach & Engagement
127 W Bruce St, MSC 6906
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

In-Person: You may register in-person. We are located on the 3rd floor at the JMU Ice House, 127 West Bruce St, Harrisonburg.

You will receive a registration confirmation via email once your registration has been processed.

If registration deadline is applicable, registrations submitted by mail or in-person must be received in our office no later than the deadline. Registrations received after the deadline may not be accepted. Registration is not final until registration form and payment are received. Spaces may fill prior to receiving mailed registrations therefore, registration is not guaranteed.

*A $50 fee will be assessed for any check returned by the bank.

Waitlist Option:  Space is limited and on a first-come basis. Once the program is full, you will have the option to be added to the waitlist and you will be notified if a space becomes available.

Payment Options

Additional payment options may be available. Visit the payment options page for more information.

For additional information including cancellation and refund policy, see Policies and Notices.

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