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Request for Verification of Skills | Computer Science Graduate Program Office
Computer Science Graduate Program Office
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Request for Verification of Skills

Graduates of our department who apply for work visa or green card often need verification of the skills they obtained during their graduate studies. We are glad to provide a "Skills Verification" letter, but request that you comply with the following procedure:

  1. Send your request to the Computer Science Graduate Office at csc-gradoffice@ncsu.edu, along with:
    • your full name,
    • 9-digit NC State student ID number,
    • the degree you received and the semester/year in which you received it,
    • the list of skills you wish to be verified along with the associated courses, and
    • instructions on where the completed letter should be sent (if you require a hardcopy).
  2. The letter will be prepared on letterhead, and signed by the DGP.
  3. The principle you must understand is that our certification means that we can independently and with high assurance determine that your claims are valid. Since we did not teach your courses, all we can certify are the topics/skills mentioned in course catalog descriptions. We are not able to certify skills that are not mentioned in the catalog descriptions. I'm sorry, but it is not feasible, given the volume of requests, for us to query the instructors of your courses for confirmation of additional skills taught.
  4. We cannot verify skills in courses taken as audit (AU) or credit-only (S/U), or in courses in which a grade of B- or below was earned.

An example of a request that would be a breeze to certify is:

My name is Susan Smith, ID 123456789, and I received a Master of Computer Science Degree from NC State in Spring of 2011. I request verification of the following skills gained through course work taken at N.C. State:

  1. Skill: Algorithm complexity analysis
    Course: CSC505 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  2. Skills: Description, discovery, and engagement of services over the Web
    Course: CSC750 Service-Oriented Computing
  3. Skill: Programming models for parallel architectures
    Course: CSC506 Architecture of Parallel Computers
  4. Skill: The relational data model and its languages
    Course: CSC540 Database Management Systems

 

Examples of requests that cannot be certified are:

Request Problem Solution
Skill: Analysis of queueing network models
No indication of which course this was learned in. Provide the course number/name.
Skill: MS Windows
Course: CSC510 Software Engineering
We don't teach the use of MS Windows, Office, or other routine software packages in our graduate courses. Cannot be certified, do not request.
Skill: Debugging
Course: CSC541 Advanced Data Structure
It's true that programming is required in assignments/projects in many courses, and that writing software requires the ability to test and debug. However, that is not what is taught in CSC541 (or other non-software-engineering courses); you are assumed to know how to do it before you take the course. If you didn't, you must have picked it up on your own (cannot be certified). Be more specific about what is learned in the course. "Implementing Advanced Data Structures in Software" would, for instance, be appropriate, and implies you have the skills to write significant software, including testing and debugging your code.
Skills: long list
Courses: long list
To certify the skills, you will need to associate them with the specific courses in which you supposedly learned each. It is not sufficient to simply give us these two lists and expect that we'll figure it out. Match skills with courses as requested above.
Skills: C# and .NET
Course: CSC513 Electronic Commerce
You may have used these in an assignment (or perhaps not), but it is not mentioned in the catalog description This request cannot be corroborated; do not request.
Skill: Software Development
Course: CSC510 Software Engineering
This is too broad; you might as well say you learned software engineering in Software Engineering. Be more specific: Life cycle models? Cost and schedule estimation? Configuration management and change control? ...

Our intent is not to give you a hard time with this routine request; it is to help you in a way that preserves the credibility of this office. The Graduate Office wishes you all success in your career, and hope this will help you get what you need quickly and relatively painlessly.

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