Learn the techniques and theory of modern software design and development through this software engineering certificate. You can build on your programming knowledge by learning to test and analyze program behavior. You will gain expertise in high-level languages and systems programming, and develop a deeper understanding of low-level machine organization and design principles.

Certificate courses: online and on-campus options

For the software engineering certificate, take five of the following software engineering courses for graduate credit. A basic background in computer science is helpful.

Required courses:

One of the following courses:

Two of the following courses:

Note that you can count only one of the these three courses toward a certificate: CSCI E-62, CSCI E-65, ot CSCI E-164.

Earning the certificate

No application is required. Simply choose the software engineering courses you’d like to take first and register for graduate credit. Most students take one or two courses a term.

If you are taking courses online, review the technical requirements outlined in How Distance Education Works.  

You can monitor your academic progress toward the certificate by logging in to online services and choosing “Certificate Course Tracker and Request Form.” This online form will confirm the certificate courses that you’ve taken in the past (within the three-year time frame) as well as courses for which you are currently registered.  

Software engineering certificate requirements:

  • Take all five courses for graduate credit.
  • Earn at least a B in all five courses.
  • Complete all courses within three years.

Requesting the certificate

When you are registered in your final certificate course(s) or once the fifth and final grade has been officially awarded, log in to online services, “Certificate Course Tracker and Request Form,” to request your certificate. If you wait until you have all your five grades, be sure to request the certificate within two weeks of when grades are posted online (see calendar for dates). Certificates are not awarded retroactively.

After your request is reviewed and approved, the award is noted on your transcript, and the certificate is mailed. 

Considering a master’s degree?

You can count software engineering courses from this certificate toward the Information Technology Graduate Program if you plan well.

First, review the degree admission requirements and see how your certificate coursework can fit within the framework of the degree requirements.

Apply to the degree program when you have completed the admission requirements, then continue on with your coursework toward the certificate (which you apply for after five courses) and the degree. This will ensure you’re meeting degree completion deadlines and academic standing policies.

Have questions?

We are happy to answer general questions about the certificate.

  1. First, read our common questions about certificates.
  2. Then e-mail us at professional_certificates@dcemail.harvard.edu.