Professional Capstone Certificate Program: Requirements and Curriculum

Course Requirements

Once admitted into the Professional Capstone Certificate Program, a student must complete four courses with at least a grade of C per course. Each course must also be completed with at least three credits, for a total of twelve credits. The three-credit-per-course requirement ensures that students will take each course in sufficient depth to be well trained for subsequent software developer jobs. At least two courses must be at the 400 level or above. Fundamental courses that help students prepare for a software development career include the following:

  • CS 354 (Machine Organization and Basic Systems)
  • CS 400 (Programming III)
  • CS 536 (Introduction to Programming Languages)
  • CS 537 (Introduction to Operating Systems)
  • CS 552 (Introduction to Computer Architecture)
  • CS 540 (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence)
  • CS 564 (Introduction to Database Systems)
  • CS 570 (Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction)
  • CS 559 (Introduction to Computer Graphics)
  • CS 577 (Introduction to Algorithms)
  • CS 640 (Introduction to Computer Networks)

If necessary, a Professional Capstone Certificate Program advisor will help the student select the appropriate courses and develop a study plan.

Prior Coursework and Prerequisites

Credits from prior academic coursework, either at UW-Madison or from another university, cannot be applied toward the Capstone Certificate. All twelve required credits must be earned by taking courses at UW-Madison while being enrolled in the Professional Capstone Certificate Program.

Students will need to complete two introductory courses, CS 302 (Introduction to Programming) and CS 367 (Introduction to Data Structures) or the equivalents, with at least three credits and a C grade or higher in each course, before taking the four courses needed to complete the certificate. Students can register for these two prerequisite courses while enrolled in the Computer Sciences Professional Capstone Certificate Program.

The equivalent of CS 302 and CS 367, if taken elsewhere, will be considered for fulfilling the Professional Capstone Certificate Program course prerequisites. In addition, any successful completion of CS 367 at UW-Madison will also count as a completion of CS 302. So any student with a preliminary CS background that is equivalent to CS 302 may consider starting with CS 367 to prepare for the coursework in the certificate program.

Advising Requirements

Students will receive advising from the Professional Programs Coordinator at the Department of Computer Sciences. Any issue that cannot be addressed by the coordinator will be escalated to a faculty member of the Professional Program Committee.