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.

Undergraduate Certificate

Students whose preparation in Computer Science is insufficient for admission to the Master's program should consider seeking the Undergraduate Certificate. The Undergraduate Certificate is also intended for students who are mainly interested in computer applications, or in a certificate program instead of receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. If the student is already matriculated at UMass Boston, the Undergraduate Certificate is used in place of a minor or program of study in Computer Science. Because of the prerequisite structure of the courses it may take two years to complete the 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.

Since non-matriculated students in the Certificate programs are considered non-degree students one needs to register for classes with the Non-degree Registration form at One-Stop. A non-matriculated Certificate program student does not apply to UMass Boston for admission. All students who wish to start the Certificate Program must fill out a form available at the CS main office, S-3-132, or online. The form must be signed and returned to One Stop in the Campus Center, or to the Registrar’s Office.

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

The CS Dept. does not offer winter courses; we only offer classes during Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. We currently do not offer online courses. The Undergraduate Certificate typically requires 4 semesters due to prerequisites. We do not allow students to take requisites out of order. The schedule is as follows:

1st semester –CS110 & Math140
2nd semester-CS210 & CS240
3rd semester-CS310 & CS341 (or CS elective)
4th semester – (*Application Elective)

 *Application elective: The applications requirement may be satisfied by any Computer Science course numbered higher than CS341, 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 Certificate must have their choice approved in advance by the Undergraduate Program Director and must meet the prerequisites for the course set by the department in which it is offered.

Interested students who would like to speak to an advisor about our Undergraduate Certificate should contact the CS Undergraduate Program Director, Ming Ouyang by email at

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
  • 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