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Software Development
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Graduate Certificate in Software Development

The purpose of this certificate is to provide students with a solid foundation in the tools and principles that underlie modern software development.   The emphasis is on object-oriented software design and development, the most widely used approach for building complex software systems today.  Beyond just learning to program, the certificate will prepare students to plan, manage, and assess software development projects and software quality. The emphasis in applications will be on distributed systems (e.g., web, cloud, mobile), which represents the most rapidly growing sector of software development. 

For many years, every Bureau of Labor Statistics projection of employment growth has listed software engineering and software development as an area with great demand. Computer Science departments alone cannot graduate enough students to meet this demand. In many cases, students with non-CS undergraduate degrees can take advantage of informal and self-study resources to learn to program.  However, in order to undertake a major software development effort, advanced training is critical. This certificate will be an efficient mechanism for students from a variety of backgrounds to gain the foundation they need to participate in and even lead significant software development projects. 

Learning Outcomes
: Students who complete this certificate will be able to
  • Design and implement software systems using an object-oriented language such as Java.
  • Identify and apply appropriate design patterns and software development processes to develop software systems.
  • Learn languages and technologies needed to develop applications for modern mobile devices.
  • Design and implement distributed software systems deployed over a web-based and cloud-based environment. 
Target Audience and Time to Complete: 

The target audience is Virginia Tech graduate students who are interested in adding expertise in software development to that gained in their current degree program. 
However, we also expect that a number of other professionals will pursue the certification 
both for job knowledge and career enhancement. Those students will be admitted as non-degree seeking, MIT-Commonwealth students.

In most cases time to completion will be two semesters. Degree-seeking students may take courses in conjunction with their regular course load. Students attending full-time can complete

the certificate in a minimum of one academic year and a maximum of four academic years.Degree-seeking students attending part-time can complete the certificate in approximately two academic years and a maximum of three academic years. 

Non-degree seeking, full-time students can complete the certificate in a minimum of one academic year (two semesters). Non-degree seeking, part-time students, taking one course per semester, can complete the certificate in two academic years (four semesters).

Master of Information Technology (MIT) Program

MIT Graduate Certificates
How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Software Development

Admission to the Graduate School and completing a Graduate Certificate Application are required for both degree- and non-degree seeking students. 

Degree-seeking applicants: The Graduate School requires completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better for admission to Certificate Status.  Applicants with an undergraduate GPA < 3.0 may qualify for Commonwealth Campus admission. Students pursuing a degree and a certificate simultaneously are classified within their degree program.

For students interested in pursuing both the Master's degree in MIT and the certificate in Information Technology Management no more than fifty percent of certificate courses will be included toward completion of the MIT degree. 

Non-degree seeking applicants
: A qualified person who wishes to enter Virginia Tech to obtain a graduate certificate, without being enrolled in a degree program, may apply for graduate admission to Graduate Certificate by completing the certificate application

Applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • GPA of 3.0 for admission for the last half of the credits earned for the undergraduate (bachelors) degree*
  • Official transcripts must be submitted
  • Academic background meets the requirements of the admitting academic unit
  • International Applicants must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper-based (PBT) or 80 internet-based test (iBT) is required for consideration of the application. On the iBT, sub-scores of at least 20 on each subject test (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) are required for admission. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required for admission. Some departments have higher TOEFL or IELTS score requirements than those set by the Graduate School. 
Admissions - MIT Graduate Certificates 

Curriculum Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Software Development

Number of Credit Hours: 

A total of twelve credit hours are required. Transfer credits are not permitted. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the designated courses.

Required Courses: 

CS 5044: Object-Oriented Programming with Java: Object-oriented programming concepts and the Java programming language. The application of design strategies, notations, and patterns related to object-oriented systems. Techniques and libraries for developing applications related to the World Wide Web. Credit will not be given for both 2704 and 5044. Not for Computer Science major or minor credit; not for graduate credit for CSA or INFS programs. Pre: Proficiency in a high-level programming language (e.g., FORTRAN, C, C++, or Java) equivalent to 1044 and prior course work, practical training, or work experience related to developing computer software and systems. 

CS 5244: Web Application Development: Languages and technologies needed to develop modern data-centric web applications. Commonly used protocols and standards. Client-side technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; server-side technologies such as Servlets and JSP; and database access with SQL. Principles and technologies for web application architecture, electronic commerce, and web application security. Pre: CS 5044 

CS 5704: Software Engineering: Study of the principles and tools applicable to the methodical construction and controlled evolution of complex software systems. Tools for all phases of the life cycle are presented; particular attention focuses on the design, testing, and maintenance phases. Attention to measurement models of the software process and product, which allow quantitative assessment of cost, reliability, and complexity of software systems. Pre: CS 5044

CS 5254: Mobile Application Development: Languages and technologies needed to develop applications for modern mobile devices. Mobile infrastructure and devices. Interactive graphical user interfaces for mobile devices. Protocols and standards for using mobile device features such as sensors, networking, location, camera, and audio. Mobile app architecture, performance consideration, and asynchronous programming. Principles and technologies for mobile security. Pre: CS 5044