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PAC Course of Study & Requirements

Enrollment for the Undergraduate Certificate Program in Applications Of Computing (PAC) can be done using this form

Please contact Program Coordinator, Michelle Medici if you have any questions.



A certificate candidate's courses and thesis must form a coherent plan of study that fulfills both the program requirements and the requirements of the candidate's major department. This planning is done in consultation with the program advisor and the student's academic advisor in the major department. The following are the requirements:

  1. Prerequisite: COS 126 or ISC 231-234, or instructors permission to take COS 217 or 226 (Chistropher Moretti).
  2. Two courses from among the following four: COS 217, COS 226, COS 323 (cross listed as ORF 363)  and/or COS 324.
  3. One COS departmental at the 300- or 400-level, not including COS 397, COS 398, COS 497, COS 498, COS 323 (ORF 363) or COS 324. That is, if requirement (2) is satisfied with COS 217 and 226, then COS 323 (ORF 363) or COS 324 still can not count towards satisfying this requirement.    
  4. One additional 300- or 400-level course with substantial computing content. This may be either a second COS departmental, or an outside course including but not limited to: 
    Department Course Number
    APC 524
    ARC 374
    CBE 422, 442, 448;
    CHM 303
    ECO 312, 326
    EGR 491
    ELE 375, 381, 396, 463, 464, 475, 481, 482. 535
    MAE  345, 412, 433
    MAT 305
    MOL 457
    MUS 315
    NEU 314, 325, 330, 437
    ORF 301, 307, 309, 311, 350, 363 (cross listed as COS323), 417, 467, 523
    POL 346
    PSY 322, 330
    QCB 408
    WWS 357

  5. A senior thesis on a topic that makes significant use of some aspect of computer science. The intent is that this thesis satisfy the requirements of both the program and the student's major department and is thus necessarily interdisciplinary. A wide range of thesis topics is possible. In the last few years of the program, students have earned certificates with a variety of majors, including anthropology, chemistry, classics, economics, electrical engineering, history, philosophy, and psychology.  

    A list of recent thesis and project topics is here.

    The thesis work is coordinated through the student's thesis advisor in the major department. When this is not possible, the student must complete one additional 300- or 400-level computer science departmental.   If you would like to add an additional course instead of the thesis, please follow #6.

  6. Contact Michelle Medici at mmedici@cs.princeton.edu explain why your thesis does not meet the requirements outlined above and the course # that you will take in liu of the thesis.   She will respond via email with the course approval notice.  

P/D/F policyStudents may use no more than one course taken on a Pass/D/Fail basis to satisfy program requirements.

Concentrators in departments with computer-related concentrations: Students in these departments who are doing a computer-related concentration are not eligible for PAC. Students in these departments who are not in a computer-related concentration are eligible. For example, ELE majors who want to receive the PAC certificate must concentrate in a noncomputational area of ELE (such as circuit design or photonics).

Courses used to satisfy departmental requirements:   No courses used for a departmental concentration requirement may satisfy PAC requirements. For example, ELE students may not use ELE 206/COS 306 to satisfy PAC requirements.

Courses used to satisfy other certificate program requirments. No more than one course that is used to satisfy any other certificate or certificates can be used to satisfy PAC requirements. 


Deadline to join the Class of 2019 Applications of Computing Certificate Program will be Friday, March 1, 2019. 

** In order to be eligible for the program, students must fill out this worksheet and be approved by Program Coordinator, Michelle Medici.** 

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