Regardless of your major, you can enhance your career with a background in computer sciences. The computer sciences certificate is designed to deepen and validate your computing savvy for your future career prospects and/or graduate school. Compared to a major in computer sciences, the certificate requires fewer courses and offers more flexibility in course selection

All undergraduate, degree-seeking students are eligible to declare the computer sciences certificate, except for students majoring in Computer Sciences and Computer Engineering.


To declare the computer sciences certificate, students must meet the following requirements:

Students having difficulties meeting the above requirements should schedule a meeting with a computer sciences advisor to discuss alternatives.

For instructions on declaring the certificate, see the Department of Computer Sciences website.


Five courses and at least 14 credits from: 1
COMP SCI 300 Programming II3
Two courses numbered 400-679:6-8
Programming III
Foundations of Mobile Systems and Applications
Introduction to Numerical Methods
Introduction to Combinatorial Optimization
Introduction to Cryptography
Introduction to Computational Statistics
Introduction to Combinatorics
Software Engineering
Numerical Linear Algebra
Numerical Analysis
Wearable Technology
Introduction to Theory of Computing
Introduction to Optimization
Linear Optimization
Advanced Linear Programming
Matrix Methods in Machine Learning
Image Processing
Computational Photography
Introduction to Programming Languages and Compilers
Introduction to Operating Systems
Introduction to the Theory and Design of Programming Languages
Introduction to Artificial Neural Networks
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Introduction to Software Security
Natural Language and Computing
Introduction to Computer Architecture
Introduction to Computational Geometry
Computer Graphics
Probability and Information Theory in Machine Learning
Database Management Systems: Design and Implementation
Medical Image Analysis
Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction
Building User Interfaces
Introduction to Bioinformatics
Introduction to Algorithms
Virtual Reality
Tools and Environments for Optimization
Introduction to Computer Networks
Introduction to Information Security
Undergraduate Elective Topics in Computing
Two additional courses, chosen from courses numbered 400-679 (above) or these:5-8
Introduction to Discrete Mathematics
Introduction to Computer Engineering
Fundamentals of Human-Computer Interaction
Digital System Fundamentals
Problem Solving Using Computers
Data Science Programming II
Machine Organization and Programming
Web Programming
Total Credits14

Courses taken Pass/Fail do not meet requirements of the Certificate.


  • At least 7 Certificate credits must be completed in Residence
  • Minimum 2.000 GPA on all COMP SCI and Certificate courses

Undergraduate/Special Student Certificate

This certificate is intended to be completed in the context of an undergraduate degree and for those seeking this certificate that is preferred. For students who have substantially completed this certificate at UW–Madison and may need one or two courses to complete the certificate, they may do so immediately after completion of the bachelor’s degree by enrolling in the course as a University Special (nondegree) student. The certificate must be completed within a year of completion of the bachelor’s degree. Students should keep in mind that University Special students have the last registration priority and that may limit availability of desired courses. Financial aid is not available when enrolled as a University Special student to complete an undergraduate certificate. 

  1. Recognize and apply the core principles of Computing (abstractions and algorithms) to solve real-world problems.
  2. Use fundamental and detailed knowledge, skills, and tools (e.g., specific algorithms, techniques methods, etc.) of computer science and develop the ability to acquire new knowledge, skills, and tools.
  3. Design, implement, and evaluate software in multiple programming paradigms and languages.
  4. Can solve problems by applying a broad toolbox of knowledge and techniques.


The undergraduate coordinators in the Department of Computer Sciences are ready to help students with questions about the major, L&S degree requirements and policy, and course selection. Information on academic advising for students interested or declared in the computer sciences major is posted to the Computer Sciences advising page

L&S career resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.

Professors  A. Arpaci-Dusseau, R. Arpaci-Dusseau, Bach, Barford, Banerjee, Cai, Doan, Dyer, Ferris, Gleicher, Jha, Livny, Miller, Mutlu, Patel, Reps, Ron, Sankaralingam, Sohi, Swift, van Melkebeek, Wright, Zhu

Associate Professors I. Diakonikolas, Lee, Sifakis

Assistant Professors Albarghouthi, Chatterjee, D'Antoni, J. Diakonikolas, Fernandes, Gupta, Hanna, Hsu, Kim, Koutris, Li, Liang, Sala, Sinclair, Tzamos, Venkataraman, Yu, Zhao

Faculty Associates Ayari Ben Hadj Kacem, Captain, Caraza-Harter, Dahl, Deppeler, Doescher, Hasti, Heimerl, Kuemmel, Legault, Lewis-Williams, Renault, Skrentny, Syamkumar, Williams