This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Certificate in Computer Science is available to students who have received bachelor’s degrees in other subject areas and wish to pursue the study of computer science. Additionally students must have completed one semester of calculus or discrete mathematics (MATH 200 or MATH 211 or equivalent with a minimum grade of B) and maintained a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in their bachelor’s degree for acceptance into the program. Students who receive the certificate through this program equip themselves for many professional opportunities in the scientific community and with government agencies. The certificate is also designed to allow interested students to prepare for graduate study in computer science.

This program requires a minimum of 30 credits in computer science at the 200 level or higher. Appropriate course work completed before or after receiving the bachelor’s degree can be applied to the certification with approval.

Course Title Hours
Required courses
CMSC 255Introduction to Programming4
CMSC 256Data Structures and Object Oriented Programming4
CMSC 257Computer Systems4
CMSC 302Introduction to Discrete Structures3
CMSC 311Computer Organization3
CMSC 401Algorithm Analysis with Advanced Data Structures3
Additional courses
The remaining three courses must be at a 300-level or higher in computer science with at least one of these courses at the 400-level (including CMSC 506 or 508).9
Total Hours30

The minimum total of credit hours required for this certificate is 30.

For additional specializations, check departmental requirements.

Upon successful completion of all course work in five years or less, with a minimum GPA of 2.5, the student is awarded the computer science certificate. Successful completion of this program does not guarantee admission to the master’s degree program in computer science.