Frequently Asked Questions – SIS Graduate Certificates

COVID-19 Resources

Please visit to be directed to the Niner Nation Cares website, designed for students and their families to get campus health and safety updates in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Graduate Certificates FAQ:

for Graduate Certificates in Human-Computer Interaction, Information Security & Privacy, and Management of Information Technology

What are the admissions criteria for these graduate certificate programs?

To meet the criteria for admission to any of our graduate certificate programs in the Department of Software & Information Systems, applicants need to have earned their bachelor’s degree prior to starting graduate certificate courses.  Applicants should also demonstrate at least a 2.8/4.0 cumulative GPA from your bachelor’s degree program and at least 1 year relevant academic or work experience in a tech-related domain (e.g. computer science, information technology, computer programming, management of information systems, digital design).  

Don’t have a year of tech-related academic or industry experience?  No problem!  Please refer to our Fundamentals of Programming bridge courses for insight into how you can take 1-2 graduate-level introduction courses in object-oriented programming, computer networks, and web-based application development to acquire the fundamentals skills that prepare you for success in our graduate certificate programs!

Back to top of page

What is the application process?

To apply for any of our graduate certificate programs in the Department of Software & Information Systems, please create an application at, then answer Graduate Admissions application questions and provide the following documenation: 

  • unofficial transcript demonstrating at least a 2.8/4.0 cumulative GPA
  • resume
  • elevator pitch/statement of purpose (<1 page)

Back to top of page

When do you accept applications?  What is the deadline for applying?

We accept applications for fall, spring, and summer terms.

Deadlines for Domestic Students (*including international students residing within the United States):

  • Fall – priority deadline is March 1, final deadline is August 1 as seats allow
  • Spring – priority deadline is October 15, final deadline is December 15 as seats allow
  • Summer (May or July) – priority deadline is March 1st, final deadline is May 1 as seats allow

Back to top of page

My undergraduate degree is not in computer science or in any related field to information technology.  Am I still eligible to apply to pursue any of these graduate certificates?

Yes; applicants do not require specific undergraduate degrees to apply to our programs in the Department of Software & Information Systems.  Our department does hold the expectation that applicants will have completed undergraduate coursework or equivalent experience in data structures and object-oriented programming (Java, C++, and C# specifically).  You may develop necessary knowledge through professional experience, through UNC Charlotte courses as a post-baccalaureate student, through relevant community college credits, or through relevant online courses. 

The Department of Software & Information Systems offers two graduate-level foundation courses for those who are seeking to obtain requisite experience in object-oriented programming, algorithms, and web application design and development: ITIS 5101 Foundations of Programming (3 credit hours) and ITIS 5135 Web-based Application Design & Development (3 credit hours).  These courses are offered completely online to enhance accessibility.  Please visit Fundamentals of Programming website or reach out to the Graduate Program Coordinator at for more information.

Back to top of page

What is the cost of attendance for this program (tuition and fee structure)?

You may view up-to-date information about tuition and fees for our program at the following website:

Please note that the tuition and fees are different for on-campus compared to distance education.  Depending on whether you plan to pursue our graduate programs 100% online or through our on-campus offerings, review the tuition and fee charts accordingly.

Back to top of page

Where can I find information about financial support and financial aid?

Several sources of funding and financial aid are available to our graduate students through various means, including scholarships, grants, and campus employment.

Back to top of page

Is a computer required for every student?

Yes.  Due to the nature of computing and technology studies and the increasing need for a remote learning environment in response to the global pandemic, a computer/laptop is a requirement for both Distance Education and Main Campus students.  When on-campus, students will have access to computer labs in our buildings and across campus that hold required programs and tools necessary for completing assignments, though we do not encourage students to rely exclusively on these amenities.  See the OneIT Laptop Initiative website for more on this requirement.

Back to top of page

Can I pursue graduate studies as a part-time student?

Yes; all of our graduate programs in the Department of Software & Information Systems can be pursued part-time or full-time.

Back to top of page

I am a working professional.  Will these courses be offered at times that accommodate my work schedule?  Can I complete this certificate fully online?

Yes; we now offer our Information Security & Privacy, Human-Computer Interaction, and Management of Information Technology graduate certificate programs through Distance Education, allowing us to offer a fully online program experience for increased affordability and accessibility.  Please visit for more details.

For those seeking an on-campus, face-to-face graduate experience, our courses at the graduate level in the Department of Software & Information Systems are available face-to-face, online, or hybrid and are most often hosted in the evening (after 5:30pm) to accommodate the needs of our full-time working professional and part-time students.  We occassionally will offer a Saturday course at Center City Building, which is our Uptown Charlotte campus location.

Back to top of page

I’d like to continue studies from this graduate certificate into one of your Master’s degree programs.  Is that possible?

Absolutely!  Students who successfully earn their graduate certificate in our department may transfer all completed courses into one of our Master’s degree programs.  That means two resume-worthy, graduate-level academic credentials earned in the same time it takes to earn one Master’s degree! 

You may successfully transfer graduate courses earned as part of the Information Security & Privacy Graduate Certificate (12 credit hours) to the MS Cybersecurity program (30 credit hours), and all graduate courses from the Human-Computer Interaction Graduate Certificate (12 credit hours) and Management of Information Technology Graduate Certificate (15 credit hours) successfully transfer into the MS Information Technology program (30 credit hours). 

This is a great pathway into our Master’s degree programs for those who are 1) uncertain if a full Master’s degree is the right decision for their career and want to start with the certificate to explore this opportunity while earning a valuable, standalone credential, or 2) may not meet all the admissions criteria for the Master’s degree program and want to boost their candidacy while gaining skills and course credits through our graduate certificate program.

Back to top of page