Certificate Programs

The USF computer science department offers two 9-month certificate programs:
  • Certificate in Computer Security.
    A two-semester computer security certificate that teaches students how to create secure computer infrastructures and applications, evaluate security risks, and protect electronic assets and privacy.
  • Certificate in Bioinformatics.
    A two-semester Bioinformatics certificate that teaches students the techniques and mathematics for analyzing biological and biomedical data.
These nondegree certificate programs appeal to working professionals or others with undergraduates degrees in computer science, mathematics, engineering or other related disciplines. Applicants must have a solid foundation in programming in order to successfully complete either certificate.

Certificate in Computer Security
A student must complete the following four courses:
  • Computer security foundations (CS681)
  • Applied computer security and privacy (CS 683)
  • Web systems and algorithms (CS 680)
  • Network programming (CS 621)

Certificate in Bioinformatics

A student must complete a total of four courses.  The following course is required:

  • Bioinformatics (CS 640) (required)

Students then choose 3 of the following:

  • Bioinformatics Research (CS 642)
  • Artificial Intelligence (CS 662)
  • Biostats (Math 102)
  • Genetics (Biol 310)
  • Topics in Biophysics  (PHYS 386)

What are the pre-requisites for the Certificate Programs?

An applicant must have an undergraduate degree as well as foundation courses in computer programming (such as Java, C++, C# or Python), data structures, and analysis of algorithms to qualify for entry into these certificate programs. For example, the following USF courses provide a minimum background: CS212 Software development, CS245 Data structures and algorithms.

When and where are classes held?

All classes typically meet in the afternoon or evening in San Francisco, CA on the University of San Francisco’s main campus.  Courses meet either three times a week for 1:05min or twice a week for 1:35min.

How many courses do I take at a time?

This is a nine month certificate program that has course offerings from August until May each year. Students will be taking two courses for the Fall 15 week semester and two courses in the Spring semester.

How to apply

To apply for any of the Certificate Programs, please submit your resume, computer science background essay, and transcripts from any university level programs along with a paper application and a $55 application fee. 

Mail all application documents to:

Office of Graduate Programs
College of Arts and Sciences, HR240
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117

For more information, please contact Professor Terence Parr at advisor@cs.usfca.edu