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Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

Our online Post-Baccalaureate Computer Science Certificate program offers a rigorous and concentrated, 100% online curriculum designed for students new to the field of computer science. The curriculum can be completed in as little as one semester or one year, depending on the track.

Computer Science Certificate Tracks

Students may choose between two track options within the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science Program.

  • The Certificate track consists of five to six courses (17-23 credits) depending on the student’s level of experience and can be completed in one year. Students who require additional programming training can start with CS 11 (six-course option). Other students may start with CS 15 and CS 61 (five-course option). Once prerequisite courses have been completed, students must take three courses numbered 100 and above, two of which are Algorithms (CS160) and Computation Theory (CS170). The final course is an elective and can be any chosen course numbered 100 and above.
  • The Master’s track consists of two undergraduate courses (seven credits) that can be completed in as little as one semester prior to beginning the MS degree. The combined post-baccalaureate/MSCS degree requires 12-13 total courses: two undergraduate courses (three if CS 11 is taken), and a minimum of 10 courses and 30 total additional credits as part of the MS. Students who complete the required courses with satisfactory academic performance will be able to apply to the online Master of Science in Computer Science program. Students can be admitted to the MS degree portion once they have completed at least two of the required 100-level courses for the post-baccalaureate certificate. 
  • Cost per credit for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program in Computer Science is $1,730 for graduate-level courses (numbered 100 and above) and $1,010 for undergraduate-level courses (numbered below 100).

All of these courses are part of the online MS in Computer Science curriculum.

Certificate Track: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science


4 Credits

In this course, data structures and algorithms are studied through major programming projects in the C++ programming language. Topics covered include linked lists, trees, graphs, dynamic storage allocation, and recursion.

3 Credits

This course covers foundations of discrete mathematics and an introduction to proofs. Topics include propositional logic, sets, relations and functions, counting, logic and methods of proof, combinatorics, graphs and digraphs, probability, and number theory.

Note: Students have the option to take a third undergraduate course, Intro to Computer Science (CS 11). This course would not replace either of the required two courses above.


4 Credits

In this introduction to the study of algorithms, explore strategies that include divide-and-conquer, greedy methods, and dynamic programming. Delve into graph algorithms, sorting, searching, integer arithmetic, hashing, and NP-complete problems.

3 Credits

Study models of computation that include Turing machines, pushdown automata, and finite automata. Learn grammars and formal languages, such as context-free and regular set. Better understand important problems, including language equivalence theorems and the halting problem.


5 Credits

Learn the principles and application of computer programming languages, with an emphasis on the ideas and techniques most relevant to practitioners. The course explores abstract syntax, lambda calculus, type systems, and dynamic semantics.

3 Credits

Analyze the fundamental issues in operating system design, including concurrent processes such as synchronizations, sharing, deadlock, and scheduling. Examine the relevant hardware properties of uniprocessor and multiprocessor computer systems.

3 Credits

Explore the fundamental concepts of database management systems, including data models, SQL query language, implementation techniques, the management of unstructured and semi-structured data, and scientific data collections.

3 Credits

Delve into the fundamentals of cybersecurity, including attacking and defending networks, searching for vulnerabilities, cryptography, reverse engineering, web security, static and dynamic analysis, malware, and forensics. Hands-on labs and projects included.

3 Credits

Examine core principles and ideas that enable the development of large-scale software systems, with a focus on programming. Explore abstraction, modularity, design patterns, specification, testing, verification, and debugging.

3 Credits

Investigate the methods that computers can use to learn from data or experience and make corresponding decisions. Topics explored include supervised and unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning, and knowledge extraction with applications to science, engineering, and medicine.

*If you do not have any academic or professional experience in computer science, you may be required to take CS 11 as an introductory course to the Post-Bacc.

Students who complete the required courses with satisfactory academic performance will be able to enroll in the online Master of Science in Computer Science program.

Master’s Track: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science to MS in Computer Science

The Master’s track requires the same courses as the certificate track but does not require a second application to the MS program. Instead, after successfully completing the certificate courses, students will be able to continue pursuing the Master of Science in Computer Science.*

*In some circumstances, students may be able to start the MS program after completing only two of the graduate-level post-baccalaureate courses. Students in that position should speak with their academic advisor.

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