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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. 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. 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:

The target audience is professionals in organizations or fields of software development and information technology, and would pursue the certification for job knowledge and career enhancement. Those students will be admitted as non-degree seeking, MIT-Commonwealth students.

We also expect graduate students, full- or part-time and currently enrolled in a VT graduate degree program related to software development, to be interested in adding this certification as a supplement to their degree.

How To Apply:

External applications should complete the VT-MIT online application as a certificate-seeking student at

Current VT students should contact the MIT Program Office about their interest in this certification at

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

Virginia Tech requires admission to the Graduate School and completion of a Graduate Certificate Application for both degree- and non-degree seeking certificate applicants. 

Degree-seeking applicants: The Graduate School requires completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or greater for admission to Certificate Status. MIT applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 may qualify for Commonwealth Campus admission and will need to comply with MIT requirements of Commonwealth Campus status prior to admission to Certificate Status. Students pursuing a degree and a certificate simultaneously are classified within their degree program.

For students interested in pursuing both the MIT degree and the certificate(s), no more than fifty percent of certificate courses will be included toward completion of the MIT degree. 

Non-degree seeking applicants: Applicants that wish to obtain a graduate certificate only, without being enrolled in a VT degree program, may apply by completing an abbreviated application to MIT's Certificate program. The Graduate Certificate Application Form is required after admission.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Earn a GPA of 3.0 or greater or  credits earned during the last half of their undergraduate degree.

  • Submit official transcripts.

  • Meet the academic background 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). 

    • Earn a minimum TOEFL score of 577 paper-based (PBT) or 90 internet-based test (iBT). For the iBT, earn a minimum of 20 on each subject test (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing).

    • Earn a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.

    • 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. Pre: Proficiency in a high-level programming language (e.g. C#, C, C++, or Java), practical training, and/or work experience related to developing computer software 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 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

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.