Professional Development


The Department of Computer Science offers certificates intended for non-degree-seeking students. All students who wish to start a certificate program must fill out a form available at the CS main office, S-3-132. The form must be signed and returned to One Stop in the Campus Center.

Major Certificate

The Major Certificate's requirements are the same as those for the Bachelor of Arts degree. The aim of this program is to train people (perhaps already holding a bachelor's degree in another field) to work in research and/or development in the high-technology computer industry in Massachusetts.

Students whose preparation in Computer Science is insufficient for admission to the Master's program should consider seeking the Major Certificate. Because of the prerequisite structure of the courses it may take up to three years to complete the Major Certificate (the exact time will of course depend on the student's background), and it may not be possible to do course work full-time. In particular, the listed mathematics requirements begin with calculus. However, many students may need a review of high school algebra.

On the other hand, students who enter this program with previous mathematics or computer programming experience will be given appropriate credit.

Minor Certificate

The Minor Certificate is intended for students who are mainly interested in computer applications. The time required to complete the Minor Certificate is less than that for the Major Certificate. The requirements are:

  • All five of CS110 (or CS114L/CS115L), CS210, Math140, CS240, CS310
  • One of CS260, CS341, or Computer Science elective
  • One application elective

Applications: The applications requirement may be satisfied by any Computer Science course numbered higher than (not including) CS320L, or by a course taught outside of the department of Computer Science in computer applications to another discipline. Students wishing to use such a course as the applications elective for a Minor Certificate must have their choice approved in advance by the faculty member who supervises the Certificate Programs and must meet the prerequisites for the course set by the department in which it is offered.

Graduate Certificate in Database Technology

The Graduate Certificate Program in Database Technology provides students with a systematic education in databases, stressing database application development and database administration skills.
The decision to institute this program was made upon our assessment of a strong need for database training. From application development to database administration, there are many positions available in the industry a student may choose to pursue. There is also the need for professionals with formal training in contemporary tools; the database program offers such individuals an opportunity to strengthen this knowledge base.

Proficiency in programming will be expected (including Java and C). The entire program is offered in the extended day, so the students can attend while holding a full-time position in industry.

The certificate requires 12 credit hours (4 courses). The basic training consists of a sequence of three courses: CS630 (Database Management Systems), CS615 (User Interface Design), and CS634 (Architecture of Database Systems). These courses provide a thorough introduction to relational and object-relational databases, SQL, indexing, concurrency and recovery, and design of user interfaces for database applications.

Students may select one advanced elective (among, CS636, CS637, CS639, CS734, and CS738), depending on their specific interests.

For information regarding the Graduate Certificate, including fees and registration, please visit the webpage for the College of Advancing and Professional Studies.

Faculty teaching in the graduate certificate program consists of the following:

  • Elizabeth O’Neil, Professor: Database management Systems, Architecture of Database Systems, Database Application Development, Semistructured Data and XML Documents on the Web, Database Internals
  • Dan Simovici, Professor and Program Director: Database management Systems, Data Mining
  • William Campbell, Associate Professor: Database-Backed Web Sites and Web Services
  • Wei Ding, Assistant Professor: Database-Backed Web Sites and Web Services
  • Gabriel Ghinita, Assistant Professor: Database Management Systems, Database Security
  • Gabriel Spitz, Lecturer: User Interfaces