Graduate Certificate in Computer Science

Oct 31, 2019

This article explains some of the core concepts generally part of graduate certificate programs in computer science. It also presents common admission requirements to be eligible for this program.

Students and working professionals pursuing a graduate certificate in computer science can attain advanced training for professional demands and further studies. These certificate programs commonly include some of the courses listed below.

Core Courses of Graduate Certificate Programs in Computer Science

A graduate certificate program in computer science presents four to five courses related to computer programming and the internal structure of computers. Typically, this certificate requires 12-16 credits; a few schools provide an option to complete this program part-time and transfer these credits to a master's program in computer science.

Foundation of Software Programming

This type of course focuses on teaching computer-based programming to design software applications. It usually introduces an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), a programming language, fundamentals of the user interface, and the principles to design an ideal user interface. The students can learn programming concepts such as data types, identifiers, functional programming, classes, conditional programming, and loop controls. Also, these courses often include a hands-on project to design software solutions by applying what has been learned.

Object-Oriented Programming Concepts

This kind of course specifically deals with object-oriented programming (OOPS) concepts and emphasizes an object-oriented software development approach by including a high-level object-oriented programming language. This course typically includes concepts such as objects, classes, inheritance, multiple types of inheritance, encapsulation, recursion, and polymorphism of an object-oriented program. Students can explore object-oriented design patterns and get an opportunity to work on case studies or a project to implement software solutions in an OOPS approach using languages like Java or Python.

Data Structures in Computer Programming

The students can get a chance to learn and design different data structures using a modern, high-level programming language. Details about the data structures like sets, arrays, lists, trees, tuples, stacks, sequences, graphs, and pointers could be a part of this course. Also, students can study functions, relations, sorting/grouping techniques, and dynamic memory allocations in this course.

Computer Algorithms

This type of course trains students in fundamental principles and design and analysis techniques of computer algorithms. This course might include some of the algorithms, such as divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming, linear programming, graph traversal, network flow, approximation algorithms, and greedy algorithms. Students can get a chance to learn a high-level programming language to design and analyze these algorithms and optimization techniques.

Database Fundamentals

This type of course explores database design, implementation, and management concepts. It might also cover different types of databases like a relational database, object-oriented database, and topics related to storage and data warehouses. Normalization, modeling, and query languages like SQL could be included in the curriculum.

Fundamentals of Computer Systems

Students might get an opportunity to look at the core concepts of computer architecture in this sort of course, along with the internal workings and details of operating systems. Schools might include topics related to assembly language, number systems, digital logic, binary language, cache process, and virtual memory concepts in this course. Input/output systems, threads, multiprocessing, memory management, deadlocks, and file management could be included.

Admission Requirements

Students with a bachelor's degree may apply for this certificate program. Schools typically require applicants to submit an online application and official transcripts from all the previously attended schools. A few schools may want to receive a resume or a personal statement explaining the student's interest in pursuing this program.

A graduate certificate in computer science can enable the students to understand computer architecture, operating system fundamentals, computer programming, OOPS concepts, database structures, different data structures, and algorithms. Some schools provide a part-time option to complete this program and may include various computer programs to provide hands-on practice.

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