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Undergraduate Certificates | Computer Programming

Computer Programming

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Engineering

The modern workplace holds multiple opportunities for professionals with computer programming knowledge. Society’s technological needs are growing exponentially, and industries often struggle to find professionals trained in the various areas of computer science needed to create, maintain, and support technology needs. No longer reserved for the computer programming industry, the skills of the computer programmer are critical to all industries. Nearly every office worker may enhance his or her credentials and advance professionally by developing strong computing skills. The Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Programming is designed to help you do just that!

Open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any field other than computer science or computer engineering, the University Certificate in Computer Programming (CPC) is ideal for working professionals and offered entirely online. Specifically designed to help you gain fundamental computing skills to further your current career, prepare for career change, and support further education in computing, the CPC provides a professional credential; it verifies your programming competency and understanding of the theoretical foundations of computer science. The required courses focus on developing Java and C programming skills that you can use to successfully program in any environment. The CPC is administered by NC State's Engineering Online (EOL) program.


Enrolling in Engineering Online’s undergraduate-level computer science courses as a non-degree Undergraduate Studies (UGS) student is a multi-step process. To enroll in an online computer science course as a non-degree student follow the instructions below.

Engineering Online Registration Form
Once you have selected your desired course(s), complete our online registration form. Submitting this form notifies our office of your desire to be an Engineering Online student, and helps us guide you through the next steps in the process.

Engineering Online Review
Engineering Online staff will review your registration form prior to enrolling you in the requested course(s). Admission as a non-degree student taking undergraduate computer science courses is a non-competitive process. However, to enroll in these courses, you must have a bachelor's degree (B.S. or B.A.) in a field other than computer science or computer engineering and meet the prerequisites for each course you wish to take.* Our staff will contact you if more information is needed to verify your academic credentials prior to enrollment.

*Students are asked to provide an unofficial transcript to document enrollment in courses higher than CSC 116.

University Non-Degree Studies Application Form
Once you have submitted the registration form and our office has approved your request to enroll in Engineering Online courses, you will be instructed to complete the Non-Degree Studies Application Form (opens in new tab). Within this form, indicate that you have been accepted to the Computer Programming Certificate (CPC) program so that you will not have to pay the application fee charged to other non-degree applicants. Submitting this form notifies central campus offices that you intend to be a student at NC State University. Among other things, this generates a campus ID number for you, as well as the Unity ID that allows you access to crucial campus systems and course material.

International Applicants
With an international student population numbering in the thousands, NC State University’s College of Engineering is committed to international diversity and the global exchange of ideas. To support this mission, Engineering Online strongly encourages qualified foreign nationals to participate in our undergraduate computer science courses.

Prospective foreign national non-degree students must receive clearance from the Office of International Scholar and Student Services (OISSS) each term before enrolling in classes. Instructions for doing this will be provided through email once Engineering Online staff have reviewed your submitted registration form.

EOL Staff: Keeping You Updated
Engineering Online staff will update you via email throughout the UGS admission process. You will be notified of any steps that need to be completed, and receive a confirmation email once your admission as a non-degree student is finalized and you are successfully enrolled in your requested course(s).

Plan of Study

The certificate requires 22 credit hours (eight courses). Students pursuing university certificate programs are considered non-degree studies (NDS) students for the purpose of university registration. NDS students may register for a maximum of eight credit hours per semester. Thus, the certificate may take from four to eight semesters to complete.

Career Prospects

The Engineering Online program at NC State University is designed for working professionals. The Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Programming from NC State provides individuals with the skills needed to change careers, develop a better foundation for a technical management career, prepare for graduate level work in computing, and establish a programming competency and an understanding of the theoretical foundations of computer science. The required courses focus on developing Java and C programming skills that can support transfer of foundational knowledge to other programming languages and environments
supplying the knowledge and skills needed to advance into entry level technical positions in the workplace.

Additional Resources

For detailed information regarding engineering online programs and how to apply and enroll, please visit the Engineering Online website.