The Professional Capstone Certificate Program offered by UW–Madison Department of Computer Sciences is designed to prepare students for a career as a qualified software developer. Students must possess a bachelor’s degree from a range of fields. Depending on background, the program can be completed in four to six semesters. Those totally new to computer sciences will begin with two introductory courses, COMP SCI 302 and Comp Sci 367 , followed by four additional courses to complete the program. Those with a basic background to computer sciences will skip the introductory courses.  Designed for the working professional, many courses are offered in the evening. There is also an option to continue (part-time or full-time) in our Professional Master's Program to obtain an M.S. degree in computer sciences in another one to one-and-a-half years.

Further detail, including tuition and other cost, is available at the program website or by contacting the department:

Professional Programs Coordinator
Department of Computer Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1210 West Dayton Street , Room 5378
Madison, WI 53706-1613


Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree. Applications are  accepted on a rolling basis for each term.  Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) is the admitting office for all University Special students. However, the Department of Computer Sciences makes the final admission decision upon review of all applicant materials. Please contact for assistance with applying.

Application steps

A complete application includes the following information:

1. An online application for admission as a University Special student, selecting UNCS Capstone Certificate and the program: Computer Science for Professionals. 

2. The Professional Capstone Certificate Program Supplement form required by the department.  It is provided on the program website or from .


Admitted students receive a formal letter of admission to UW–Madison from Adult Career and Special Student Services along with general enrollment information.

The Department of Computer Sciences will send an email to admitted students with specific information pertaining to enrollment in courses and completion of the capstone program. 

Additional detail about the enrollment process is provided on the ACSSS enrollment page

  • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.000
  • Courses must have a grade of C or better to be accepted

Introductory Courses

Prerequisite courses.


Fundamental Courses

Take four from the following list: 

COMP SCI/​E C E  354 Machine Organization and Programming3
COMP SCI/​E C E  506 Software Engineering3
COMP SCI/​E C E/​M E  532 Theory and Applications of Pattern Recognition3
COMP SCI 536 Introduction to Programming Languages and Compilers3
COMP SCI 537 Introduction to Operating Systems4
COMP SCI 540 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence3
COMP SCI/​E C E  552 Introduction to Computer Architecture3
COMP SCI 564 Database Management Systems: Design and Implementation4
COMP SCI 570 Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction4
COMP SCI 559 Computer Graphics3
COMP SCI 577 Introduction to Algorithms4
COMP SCI 640 Introduction to Computer Networks3

400 Level Course Requirement

Select at least two from the following list:

COMP SCI 402 Introducing Computer Science to K-12 Students2
COMP SCI 407 Foundations of Mobile Systems and Applications3
COMP SCI 412 Introduction to Numerical Methods3
COMP SCI/​I SY E/​MATH  425 Introduction to Combinatorial Optimization3
COMP SCI/​E C E/​MATH  435 Introduction to Cryptography3
COMP SCI/​STAT  471 Introduction to Computational Statistics3
COMP SCI/​MATH/​STAT  475 Introduction to Combinatorics3
COMP SCI/​E C E  506 Software Engineering3
COMP SCI/​MATH  513 Numerical Linear Algebra3
COMP SCI/​MATH  514 Numerical Analysis3
COMP SCI 520 Introduction to Theory of Computing3
COMP SCI/​E C E/​I SY E  524 Introduction to Optimization3
COMP SCI/​I SY E/​MATH/​STAT  525 Linear Programming Methods3
COMP SCI/​I SY E  526 Advanced Linear Programming3-4
COMP SCI/​E C E/​M E  532 Theory and Applications of Pattern Recognition3
COMP SCI/​E C E  533 Image Processing3
COMP SCI 534 Computational Photography3
COMP SCI 536 Introduction to Programming Languages and Compilers3
COMP SCI 537 Introduction to Operating Systems4
COMP SCI 538 Introduction to the Theory and Design of Programming Languages3
COMP SCI/​E C E/​M E  539 Introduction to Artificial Neural Network and Fuzzy Systems3
COMP SCI 540 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence3
COMP SCI 545 Natural Language and Computing3
COMP SCI 547 Computer Systems Modeling Fundamentals3
COMP SCI/​E C E  552 Introduction to Computer Architecture3
COMP SCI/​I SY E/​M E  558 Introduction to Computational Geometry3
COMP SCI 559 Computer Graphics3
COMP SCI 564 Database Management Systems: Design and Implementation4
COMP SCI/​B M I  567 Medical Image Analysis3
COMP SCI 570 Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction4
COMP SCI/​B M I  576 Introduction to Bioinformatics3
COMP SCI 577 Introduction to Algorithms4
COMP SCI 578 Contest-Level Programming1
COMP SCI/​DS  579 Virtual Reality3
COMP SCI/​L I S  611 User Experience Design 13
COMP SCI/​L I S  612 User Experience Design 23
COMP SCI/​I SY E  635 Tools and Environments for Optimization3
COMP SCI 638 Undergraduate Topics in Computing1-4
COMP SCI 640 Introduction to Computer Networks3
COMP SCI 642 Introduction to Information Security3
COMP SCI 679 Computer Game Technology3
COMP SCI 681 Senior Honors Thesis3
COMP SCI 682 Senior Honors Thesis3
COMP SCI 691 Senior Thesis2-3
COMP SCI 692 Senior Thesis2-3
COMP SCI 698 Directed Study1-6
COMP SCI 699 Directed Study1-6
COMP SCI 701 Construction of Compilers3
COMP SCI 703 Advanced Topics in Programming Languages and Compilers3
COMP SCI 704 Principles of Programming Languages3
COMP SCI 706 Analysis of Software Artifacts3
COMP SCI/​E C E  707 Mobile and Wireless Networking3
COMP SCI 710 Computational Complexity3
COMP SCI/​MATH  714 Methods of Computational Mathematics I3
COMP SCI/​MATH  715 Methods of Computational Mathematics II3
COMP SCI/​I SY E  719 Stochastic Programming3
COMP SCI/​I SY E  723 Dynamic Programming and Associated Topics3
COMP SCI/​I SY E/​MATH/​STAT  726 Nonlinear Optimization I3
COMP SCI/​I SY E  727 Convex Analysis3
COMP SCI/​I SY E/​MATH  728 Integer Optimization3
COMP SCI/​I SY E/​MATH  730 Nonlinear Optimization II3
COMP SCI 731 Advanced Artificial Intelligence3
COMP SCI 733 Computational Methods for Large Sparse Systems3
COMP SCI 736 Advanced Operating Systems3
COMP SCI 737 Computer System Performance Evaluation and Modeling3
COMP SCI 739 Distributed Systems3
COMP SCI 740 Advanced Computer Networks3
COMP SCI 744 Big Data Systems3
COMP SCI 747 Advanced Computer Systems Analysis Techniques3
COMP SCI/​E C E  750 Real-time Computing Systems3
COMP SCI/​E C E  752 Advanced Computer Architecture I3
COMP SCI/​E C E  755 VLSI Systems Design3
COMP SCI/​E C E  756 Computer-Aided Design for VLSI3
COMP SCI/​E C E  757 Advanced Computer Architecture II3
COMP SCI 758 Advanced Topics in Computer Architecture3
COMP SCI/​E C E/​E M A/​E P/​M E  759 High Performance Computing for Applications in Engineering3
COMP SCI 760 Machine Learning3
COMP SCI/​E C E  761 Mathematical Foundations of Machine Learning3
COMP SCI 764 Topics in Database Management Systems3
COMP SCI 765 Data Visualization3
COMP SCI 766 Computer Vision3
COMP SCI/​B M I  767 Computational Methods for Medical Image Analysis3
COMP SCI 769 Advanced Natural Language Processing3
COMP SCI/​ED PSYCH/​PSYCH  770 Human-Computer Interaction3
COMP SCI/​B M I  776 Advanced Bioinformatics3
COMP SCI 777 Computer Animation3
COMP SCI 784 Foundations of Data Management3
COMP SCI 787 Advanced Algorithms3
COMP SCI 790 Master's Thesis1-9
COMP SCI 799 Master's Research1-9
COMP SCI 809 Mathematical Techniques in the Analysis of Algorithms3
COMP SCI 812 Arithmetic Algorithms3
COMP SCI/​MATH  837 Topics in Numerical Analysis3
COMP SCI 838 Topics in Computing1-3
COMP SCI/​B M I/​PSYCH  841 Computational Cognitive Science3
COMP SCI 880 Topics in Theoretical Computer Science3
COMP SCI 899 Pre-Dissertator Research1-9
COMP SCI 900 Advanced Seminar in Computer Science1
COMP SCI/​B M E/​B M I/​BIOCHEM/​CBE/​GENETICS  915 Computation and Informatics in Biology and Medicine1
COMP SCI 990 Dissertation1-6
COMP SCI 999 Dissertator Research1-6

Students will build a skill set in software development, analysis, and testing.