Approximately 76% of graduate certificate alumni are working in a role that is directly or somewhat related to their education, and 22% is the average increase in salary upon completing the program (of those who reported an increase). Alumni work in software engineering roles and have position titles such as software engineer, software developer, security engineer, systems engineer, and development engineer.
Alumni have also gone on to continue their education into the Master of Science in Computer Science & Software Engineering (MSCSSE) or Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering at UW Bothell. Read more about alumni student experiences by visiting our alumni stories.
How does the online cohort differ from the on-campus cohort?
View the online GCSDD cohort FAQ
Is the graduate certificate a replacement for a bachelor's degree in Computer Science?
No. The GCSDD is 18 credits of coursework derived from 35 credits of the core courses in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Software Engineering. It is intended as a way for students who desire to pursue the master’s degree in Computer Science & Software Engineering (MSCSSE) or master’s degree Cybersecurity Engineering (MSCSE) to solidify critical programming and software design knowledge in order to prepare for continued studies.
The GCSDD gives students who may be considering a post-baccalaureate degree an opportunity to switch careers and prepare to enter the software engineering industry. This graduate certificate program breaks down barriers and creates access to new job opportunities for those who may have felt discouraged pursuing software engineering in their undergraduate bachelor’s program.
What languages does the program use?
The GCSDD curriculum uses C++ to teach object-oriented programming, data structures and algorithms, and programming aspects of operating systems and network communication.
Does the program start any time during the year?
No, the graduate certificate is a cohort program that enrolls for autumn quarter only. The application deadline is July 1.
Do the certificate classes count towards the master’s degree?
No, the graduate certificate is a standalone credential. These classes do not count towards the degree requirements for the master’s degree, but it does meet the prerequisites for admission to the master’s programs.
I have some software development experience. Do I need to take all the courses to earn the certificate?
Yes. In order to earn the Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development, you need to complete ALL six courses with a 2.7 GPA or higher in each course and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Can I take the prerequisites at UW Bothell?
Yes. You will need to enroll as an undergraduate non-matriculated student at UW Bothell. Keep in mind that courses may fill quickly, and non-matriculated students are the last to enroll. You can also take equivalent courses at local community colleges to full-fill the prerequisites. View program course equivalencies.
At UW Bothell, the Division of Computing & Software Systems in the School of STEM typically teaches CSS 142 and CSS 143 every quarter. View the time schedule for the latest course offerings.
I took calculus during my bachelor’s degree studies several years ago. Can I use those courses as my prerequisite?
Yes, but you need to be comfortably familiar with the concepts taught in that course. Remember, the grade in your calculus course will be reviewed as part of your application materials.
I still need to take the second quarter of programming in the summer quarter. Since the deadline is in July, do I have to wait till next year to apply?
No. If you are only missing one prerequisite and you are enrolled in that prerequisite for summer, please submit all of your application materials by the July deadline. You will need to include a transcript or registration receipt that shows the summer quarter classes you are currently registered for. You will need to include a note in your Personal Statement explaining your summer quarter schedule.
Applicants enrolled in their final prerequisite in summer have their application put on a hold status by our office until summer quarter grades are submitted (typically at the end of August). Applicants will receive instructions from our office on how to submit those final grades. Admission review for applicants on hold status will be made after all final grades have been submitted. This does NOT mean you can turn your application in late. Only applicants who submitted their complete applications by the July deadline will be reviewed.
Can I use my work experience as equivalent to the two quarters of programming?
For very few, this may be possible. Your work experience will have to show strong programming skills in either Java or C++, and you need to be comfortable with object-orientation, recursion, inheritance, generic programming, constructs (lists, stacks, queues) and algorithms (searching, sorting). If you would like us to review if your work experience is equivalent to the required computer programming prerequisites, email our office a copy of your transcript and resume. To see an example of the coursework taught in the GCSDD, please view our Sample Homework Page.
Can I pick and choose which classes I want to take in the GCSDD?
No. The GCSDD curriculum is designed so that each course in the programming and design sequence are prerequisites for each other. In order to earn the graduate certificate you need to complete the full six-course requirement: CSS 501, 502, 503, 506, 507, 508.
What is the instructor-to-student ratio?
Ratios change on a yearly basis, and are dependent upon the enrollment level of the online and on-campus cohorts. On average, there are about 40 students in each cohort with a ratio of 1:40.
Who teaches the classes?
Faculty in the Division of Computing & Software Systems regularly rotate teaching schedules every year. This ensures that students receive a mix of tenure and lecture track faculty instruction. On occasion, the division may also hire part-time faculty who specialize in specific course content.
What is the time commitment for doing this program?
The GCSDD is an innovative and intense series of courses that is intended to teach the core concepts derived from a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Software Engineering in just nine months. Students are expected to learn challenging material at an accelerated rate. Previous students have reported spending as little as 5 hours and as much as 22 hours studying outside of class per week. Students will have weekly homework and/or lab work outside of class. For those working full time, adjusting to taking classes is a different process for everyone. For some, it’s similar to taking on another part-time job, and for others it is exactly the type of challenge and change of environment they need.
If I complete the GCSDD, am I guaranteed admission to the MSCSSE/MSCSE?
No. The master’s program has a competitive admission review and each candidate will receive a holistic review of their application materials. Students who successfully complete the GCSDD coursework with a strong academic record have completed the prerequisites for admission to the MSCSSE or MSCSE.
I’d like to study at UW Bothell on an F-1 visa. Can I take the GCSDD?
The GCSDD does not meet the minimum enrollment requirements for students studying in the United States on an F-1 Visa. There may be some exceptions to this restriction; please contact the Center for International Education at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
How much is tuition?
Tuition is charged on a cost-per-credit basis and structured the same way as our MSCSSE/MSCSE courses. View details on current tuition and fees. The cost for the GCSDD program is the same for both the online or on-campus cohorts.
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