Professional Capstone Certificate Program: Requirements and Curriculum


Once admitted into the Professional Capstone Certificate Program, a student must complete four courses, with at least a grade of C per course, selected from the list of fundamental courses below. Each course must also be at least three credits or higher. At least two courses must be at the 400 level or above. 

  • CS 354: Machine Organization and Basic Systems (3 cr)
  • CS 400: Programming III (3 cr)
  • CS 506: Software Engineering (3 cr)
  • CS 532: Theory and Applications of Pattern Recognition (3 cr)
  • CS 536: Introduction to Programming Languages (3 cr)
  • CS 537: Introduction to Operating Systems (4 cr)*
  • CS 540: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (3 cr)
  • CS 552: Introduction to Computer Architecture (3 cr)
  • CS 559: Introduction to Computer Graphics (3 cr)
  • CS 564: Introduction to Database Systems (4 cr)*
  • CS 570: Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (4 cr)*
  • CS 577: Introduction to Algorithms (4 cr)*
  • CS 640: Introduction to Computer Networks (3 cr)

*Please note, these courses are offered for 4 credits only. All others are offered for 3 credits.

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


Students will need to complete two introductory courses, CS 200 (Programming I) OR CS 301 (Introduction to Data Programming) AND CS 300 (Programming II) for at least three credits and receive a grade of "C" 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 200/CS 301 and CS 300, if taken elsewhere, will be considered for fulfilling the Professional Capstone Certificate Program course prerequisites. In addition, any successful completion of CS 300 at UW-Madison will also count as a completion of CS 200/CS 301. So any student with a preliminary CS background that is equivalent to CS 200/CS 301 may consider starting with CS 300 to prepare for the coursework in the certificate program.


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


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.