Application deadline – July 1, 2024

The Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development (GCSDD) admits for the autumn quarter only. The GCSDD does not meet the minimum enrollment requirements for students studying in the United States on an F1 Visa.

View general details about STEM Graduate Admissions to learn about application fee waivers and our commitment to inclusive admissions processing.


Admissions requirements

Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development (GCSDD) requires completion of the following prerequisites:

  • Computer programming 1 & computer programming 2 (or equivalent coursework and/or in-depth work experience)
  • College level calculus
  • A regionally accredited bachelor’s degree (or equivalent international degree) with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of study
  • English language proficiency

View the prerequisite guide for course equivalencies.

Gauge your programming knowledge

Sample prerequisite coursework

Course content moves very quickly through advanced object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts at a graduate level using C++. You will need to be comfortable with the material covered in the programming admission prerequisites (CSS 142 & CSS 143) to be a successful student in the GCSDD. To help you gauge your programming knowledge, check out sample coursework from these prerequisites.

Sample homework assignments

Once you complete the sample prerequisite coursework, we encourage you to take a closer look at the graduate certificate curriculum. The simplest way to confirm if the certificate is a good fit for your educational goals is to examine the course content. Assess your own abilities and level of preparedness for the graduate certificate classes through sample homework assignments.

For those with in-depth work experience, computer programming I and II can be met through a program assessment test to determine OOP skill level for admission to the graduate certificate. If you would like us to review if your work experience is equivalent to the required computer programming prerequisites, email our office a copy of your transcript and resume.

How to apply – the application checklist

The application to the Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development is submitted online via the Graduate School Application. All Application materials should be submitted online, and are due by the application deadline.

To learn more about the application process to the University of Washington, please read Understanding the Application Process.

Select a checklist item to navigate for detailed instructions:

1. Application & paid fee

Complete the Graduate School Application and pay the application fee. Applications must be completed online.

  • Create an application profile or log in to an existing applicant profile
  • Create a new application
  • Select your application type (choose from the drop down list: Graduate)
  • Select “Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development” from the drop down list of graduate programs
  • Complete application as directed

2. Unofficial transcripts

Upload your unofficial transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree, Calculus I, and Programming I and II. View the program prerequisites to determine course equivalencies and options for those with in-depth work experience to meet the programming I and II requirement.

Applicants with degrees from outside the United States must upload detailed official mark sheets (front and back) and official documentation showing degree earned. It is encouraged to include the grading scale/scheme used if not already listed on the transcript. All documents must be in English, and be the official translation from the institution in which the degree(s) was earned.

3. Current resume

Upload a current Resume showing detailed relevant work experience and any information relevant to the admission prerequisites.

4. Personal statement

Upload a Personal Statement detailing your object-oriented programming knowledge and experience; why the Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development is of interest to you; and how the GCSDD will support your scholarly and career goals. Approximately 300-500 words.

5. English language proficiency

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington as outlined in Policy 3.2. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Proficiency for this program can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  1. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States where English is the medium of instruction.
  2. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom and where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.
  3. Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #2 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School; credential service reports are not acceptable. Acceptable documentation must be one of the following:
    • Official or attested letter from the undergraduate college, University Registrar, or Controller of Examinations office.
    • Official transcripts, attested mark sheets, or degree statements are also accepted if English is stated as the medium of instruction.
  4. Official English Language Test Score. The School of STEM Graduate Programs require the minimum scores listed:
    • 92 on the TOEFL iBT (sent via ETS to institution code 4854)
    • 7.0 on the Academic IELTS (sent via E-TRF to organization code 365)
    • Autumn 2024: 120 or higher on the Duolingo English Test (sent via Duolingo to University of Washington Graduate Admissions (Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma))
      • Effective starting Winter 2025: 125 or higher on the Duolingo English Test