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 adviser and the student's academic adviser in the major department. The following are the requirements:
- Prerequisite: COS 126 or ISC 231-234, or instructors permission to take COS 217 or 226 (Christopher Moretti).
- Two courses from among the following four: COS 217, COS 226, COS 323/ORF 363 and/or COS 324.
- One COS departmental at the 300- or 400-level, not including COS 397, COS 398, COS 497, COS 498, COS 323 (ORF363) or COS 324. That is, if requirement (2) is satisfied with COS 217 and 226, then COS 323 (ORF 363) or COS 324 cannot count towards satisfying this requirement.
- 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: (Note: If requirement (2) is satisfied with COS 217 and 226, then COS 323 (ORF 363) or COS 324 cannot count towards satisfying this requirement.)
* If your additional course is not COS and you do not see it on the list below please fill out this form and the Coordinator will respond whether or not it has been approved.*
Please be mindful that you CANNOT use the courses below if they count as a core requirement for your major
|ECO*||302, 312, 326|
|ELE||364, 375, 381, 382, 396, 435, 463, 464, 475, 481, 482. 535|
|MAE||345, 412, 433|
|MAT||305, 306, 393|
|NEU||314, 330, 437|
|ORF||301, 307, 309, 311, 350,363 (cross listed as COS 323) 401, 409, 417, 467, 523|
|PSY||322, 330, 360, 480|
*Beginning with the Class of 2023 CHM 303, all ECO, and Physics courses will no longer count as COS departmentals.
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. Aspects of computer science can be used in the following ways, for example: building an application to test some key element of the thesis; developing or coding significant algorithms to solve some problem in the area of the thesis, such as to simulate scenarios or analyze a set of data; using machine learning perform meaningful analysis or discover meaningful insights (beyond simply running an off-the-shelf piece of software and reporting results); or analyzing data in the context of policy development and analysis; among others. In general, simply using existing software to obtain some results, with no value added computer science aspect from the student, will not qualify.
A list of recent thesis and project topics is here.
The thesis work is coordinated through the student's thesis adviser in the major department. If it is not possible for you to make significant use of some aspect of computer science in the thesis, or to coordinate such a thesis through a thesis adviser in your major department, you must complete one additional 300- or 400-level computer science departmental in lieu of the thesis requirement for the program. If you would like to add an additional course instead of the thesis, please follow #6.
6. Contact Laura Cerrito at firstname.lastname@example.org; explain why your thesis does not meet the requirements outlined above and the course # that you will take in lieu of the thesis. She will respond via email with the course approval notice.