Main Navigation
Apply Now Request Info


Computer Systems Engineering Certificate

Credits to Earn Your Certificate
CSU Online Grad Students Secured Plans Related to Their Career
Grad Students Would Choose CSU Online Again
In research expenditures in FY23
Certificate Overview Open Accordion
Online Computer Systems Engineering Certificate

Earn your computer systems engineering certificate online

The online certificate in computer systems engineering is designed for students and professionals seeking knowledge and skills in state-of-the-art parallel hardware architectures, parallel software programming, algorithms, and networking technologies. Stay current on rapidly advancing technology, and learn to problem solve for future challenges.

Online students take the same engineering courses from the same faculty and receive the same computer systems engineering certificate as students in our on-campus program.

Focus your studies on three areas integral to computer systems engineering:

  • Networking – how the internet works, protocols, standards
  • Embedded systems – the underlying digital intelligence behind all the smart devices at the heart of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution
  • Computer architecture – chip, server, and datacenter design

What you learn

Students will work with a variety of hardware and software tools and analyze research to understand state of the art approaches to computer system design and future challenges the industry will face. The computer systems engineering certificate curriculum includes both individual and group project work. You will:

  • Learn concepts and principles on state of the art networking.
  • Learn advanced computer architecture and system design.
  • Gain knowledge in computer security, including encryption techniques, secure software algorithms, and hardware security issues.
  • Understand concepts in computer reliability, including soft error and aging reliability, dealing with variations, and cross-layer techniques for fault resilience.
  • Learn how to analyze, model, and optimize hardware and software and how they integrate into the embedded system itself.

Topics of study include:

  • Design and exploration of computer systems
  • Computer architecture
  • Fault tolerance
  • Computer security
  • Parallel programming
  • Machine learning
  • Communication networks

Study online with expert faculty

Colorado State University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) has been a leader in innovation for more than a century. The department was awarded two Engineering Research Centers by the National Science Foundation, and is one of the top patent-producing departments at CSU.

The ECE department is known for leading research in areas including embedded systems, lasers and optics, radar systems, and biomedical systems; and is sponsored by industry (e.g., the Dept. of Defense (DOD), Dept. of Energy, the Airforce, and the National Science Foundation). The department maintains strong ties with leaders in the industry and works closely with them to meet the needs of employers through curricular input.

The computer engineering certificate program is taught by experts in the field who have both industry and research experience in computer systems engineering. Faculty have active collaborations with leading semiconductor, system on chip (SOC) design companies, and application-domain experts (e.g., automotive companies). ECE faculty work in partnership with industry to improve products and performance and bring that experience into the online classroom.

Advance in your engineering career with computer systems training

The Graduate Certificate in Computer Systems Engineering prepares students to succeed in job roles such as:

  • Network analyst
  • Network designer
  • Network programmer
  • Computer architect
  • Computer security analyst
  • Big data analyst
  • Other roles requiring computer systems engineering skills and knowledge

Option to pursue a master's degree

Credits completed for this certificate may be applied toward CSU's online electrical or computer engineering master's degrees after formal admission per University transfer policies. Additionally, you can earn a guaranteed admission recommendation into either master's program from the department and bypass the GRE requirement, if you complete two classes from the curriculum with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and with no less than a 2.7 in any course. Learn more about this option and the online computer and electrical engineering master's programs at CSU.

Curriculum Open Accordion

The curriculum for the computer systems engineering graduate certificate is customizable to your interests and educational goals.

You must be admitted to this program for the certificate to appear on your official University transcript.

Select three courses from the list; at least one must be an ECE course.

This certificate can be completed in one year, though completion time will vary based on the number of credits successfully completed each semester.

Note: This certificate may have courses in common with other graduate certificates. A student may earn more than one certificate, but a given course may be counted only in one certificate.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Students can be admitted for either the fall or spring semester. Summer admission is not available. For full consideration, submit your application and supporting documents prior to the dates below.

Fall semester July 1
Spring semester December 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1Review Admission Requirements

This graduate certificate requires applicants to have the following, at a minimum:

  • Bachelor of Science from a regionally accredited institution in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, or related field.
  • International students must hold degrees equivalent to U.S. bachelor's degrees. Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology (BSEET) degrees are not accepted.

Note that meeting the minimum department standards does not ensure admission to the program. Admission to Colorado State University graduate programs is based on a number of factors, including prior academic and professional experience.

2 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Computer Systems Engineering (Certificate) - Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select "Certificate" at the top.)

3 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary):
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Tandi Hawkey
Prospective Student Support Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

10-12 credits
$705 - $715 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Certificate Awarded
Graduate Certificate in Computer Systems Engineering
Time Frame
Can be completed in one year

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 1
Spring semester
December 1

Request Information

By providing your information, you consent to receive calls, emails, and/or text messages from CSU Online. Consent not required to purchase goods or services. For more info, call 1-970-491-5288. We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.