This certificate targets students who are working on or possess an undergraduate degree in a technical (science or engineering) field but lack a formal credential in the computer science field. The certificate also targets students who have shown an aptitude for graduate study but do not have the academic prerequisites required for admittance into a graduate MS computer science program.

The undergraduate certificate in computer science may be pursued on a full-time basis except when limited by prerequisite constraints.


Students must have two semesters of calculus (equivalent to MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core) and MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II), two semesters of programming experience (equivalent to CS 112 Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core) and CS 211 Object-Oriented Programming), and either a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.00 GPA or current enrollment in an undergraduate major.


For policies governing all undergraduate programs, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Banner Code: EC-CERB-CS

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 28

This certificate may be pursued on a full-time basis only.

Basic Computer Science

CS 262Introduction to Low-Level Programming3
CS 310Data Structures3
CS 330Formal Methods and Models3
CS 367Computer Systems and Programming4
CS 471Operating Systems3
CS 483Analysis of Algorithms3
Total Credits19


MATH 125Discrete Mathematics I (Mason Core)3
Total Credits3

Additional Coursework

Complete two of the following:6
Software Engineering
Visual Computing
Game Programming I
Language Processors and Programming Environments
Database Concepts
Computer Graphics
Virtual Reality
Computer Communications and Networking
Comparative Programming Languages
Computer Systems Architecture
Secure Programming and Systems
Concurrent and Distributed Systems
Mobile Application Development
Natural Language Processing
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Computer Vision
Data Mining
Autonomous Robotics
Introduction to Cryptography
Special Topics in Computer Science 1
Total Credits6