Graduate Certificate Program in Computer Science

This online/on-campus program is primarily intended for individuals who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in Computer Science either for future career opportunities or in preparation for graduate studies. Students who complete the certificate will gain in-depth knowledge in Computer Science concepts, methods and tools. Students have the option of completing the certificate part-time, e.g., by taking one course per semester.


The Computer Science Graduate Certificate requires a total of 12 credit hours of graduate-level Computer Science courses taken for a grade. There is no prescribed list of courses for the certificate; students may take a combination of courses tailored to their interests and needs, subject to course prerequisites.

Students may also specialize in one of several Computer Science areas by taking courses in one of the following tracks:

Computer Science Foundations Track
Systems core (complete two courses) :
  • CSC 501 - Operating Systems Principles
  • CSC 506 - Architecture of Parallel Computers
  • CSC 510 - Software Engineering
  • CSC 514 - Foundations of Cryptography
  • CSC 520 - Artificial Intelligence I
  • CSC 540 - Database Management Concepts and Systems
  • CSC 561 - Principles of Computer Graphics
  • CSC 570 - Computer Networks
Theory core (complete two courses) :
  • CSC 503 - Computational Applied Logic
  • CSC 505 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • CSC 512 - Compiler Construction
  • CSC 565 - Graph Theory
  • CSC 574 - Computer and Network Security
  • CSC 579 - Introduction to Computer Performance Modeling
  • CSC 580 - Numerical Analysis I
  • CSC 707 - Automata, Languages and Computability Theory
Networking Track
Core courses (complete at least one) :
  • CSC 570 - Computer Networks
  • CSC 573 - Internet Protocols
Elective courses:
  • CSC 574 - Computer and Network Security
  • CSC 575 - Introduction to Wireless Networking
  • CSC 577 - Switched Network Management
  • CSC 591 - Internet of Things Analytics
  • CSC 591 - Internet of Things: Application and Implementation
  • CSC 591 - Internet of Things: A Primer
  • CSC 591 - Network Design and Management
  • CSC 591 - Network Science
  • CSC 591 - Software Defined Networking
  • CSC 773 - Advanced Topics in Internet Protocols
  • CSC 774 - Advanced Network Security
Security/Privacy Track
Core course:
  • CSC 574 - Computer and Network Security
Elective courses (complete at least three) :
  • CSC 514 - Foundations of Cryptography
  • CSC 515 - Software Security
  • CSC 705 - Operating Systems Security
  • CSC 774 - Advanced Network Security
  • CSC 533 - Privacy
  • CSC 591 - Systems Attacks and Defenses
Systems Track
Core courses (complete at least one) :
  • CSC 501 - Operating Systems Principles
  • CSC 548 - Parallel Systems
Elective courses:
  • CSC 506 - Architecture Of Parallel Computers
  • CSC 512 - Compilers
  • CSC 547 - Cloud Computing
  • CSC 568 - Enterprise Storage Architecture
  • CSC 591 - Data-Intensive Computing
  • CSC 591 - Reliable Software Systems
  • CSC 714 - Real Time Computer Systems
  • CSC 724 - Advanced Distributed Systems
  • CSC 766 - Code Optimization for Scalar and Parallel Programs

Academic Performance Requirements

  1. The CS Graduate Certificate requires a total of 12 credit hours.
  2. To receive a Graduate Certificate, a student must maintain a minimum 3.00 grade point average (GPA) on Graduate Certificate coursework taken at NC State. Graduate Certificate grades on courses taken towards the Graduate Certificate in courses numbered 500 and above are included in the GPA. Any courses taken at the 400 level and below are not eligible for certificate credit.
  3. All courses taken for certificate credit must be completed with a grade of "B-" or better.
  4. All courses at the 500- or 700-level taken for certificate credit must be letter-graded. Credit-only courses cannot be used for certificate credit.
  5. Transfer credit from other institutions is not allowed for the Graduate Certificate. All coursework must be registered through NC State University.
  6. Up to three (3) hours of PBS coursework, if not already used in another graduate program, may be transferred into the Graduate Certificate. All transfer credit must carry a grade of B or better.

The CS Graduate Certificate program will be charged the Computer Science tuition premium on all their coursework, including non-CSC courses. Tuition rates for Graduate Engineering programs are available here.


An application for acceptance into the Graduate Certificate is required for all new students. Students must complete the Graduate School application, found here.

Application deadlines:

  • Fall admission: May 1
  • Spring admission: October 15

Students currently enrolled in an NC State graduate degree program are not eligible for this Graduate Certificate, but may apply for admission upon completion of their current degree.

Requirements for Admission

Students must meet ONE of the following requirements for admission into the CS Graduate Certificate Program:

  1. Have a BS degree in Computer Science from an accredited four-year college or university, and have an overall (or major) GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
  2. Have a BS degree in the sciences or engineering from an accredited four-year college or university with an overall (or major) GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale.

International applicants who are not degree-seeking students in an NC State University graduate program must provide valid TOEFL or IELTS scores.


An academic advisor assists all Certificate students with Graduate School procedures. For questions about courses and requirements contact


Certificate students should apply for graduation and complete a graduate degree audit in MyPack before the University deadline in the semester in which they meet the Certificate requirements.


There are no comprehensive examinations required for the Graduate Certificate.

Continuous Enrollment and Time Limits

All Graduate Certificate requirements must be completed within four (4) calendar years, beginning with the date the student commences courses applicable to the Graduate Certificate. A one-semester leave of absence may be granted if the student is unable to enroll in a course due to extenuating circumstances. The leave of absence must be approved in writing by the CSC DGP before the start of the semester.

Pursuing Masters Degree

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate may apply for admission to a Masters degree in Computer Science or Statistics.

Academic success in the CS Graduate Certificate might have a strong bearing on admission to a graduate degree program. However, completion of a Graduate Certificate program in no way guarantees entry into a graduate degree program, which must be done through a separate application process.

The transfer of Graduate Certificate courses taken prior to enrollment in a Masters degree program is limited to 12 hours (note: transfer totals from all sources shall not exceed 12 hours).

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