Zoe Berg

As the demand for programming classes continues to rise, the Department of Computer Science has added a new programming certificate, which aims to make programming accessible for students with interests in a variety of fields.

All undergraduates who are not majoring in computer science or a computer science joint major are eligible to complete the certificate. To receive the certificate, students must complete a prerequisite course as well as five requirements, among them an introductory programming course, a data structures course, an advanced programming course, a programming elective and an applications or algorithms elective. 

“Programming — and computer science broadly — is now an important or essential tool in many, many disciplines,” wrote computer science professor Benedict Brown in an email to the News. “We want to make sure all students have the opportunity to develop their programming skills whether or not they are CS majors.”

Previously, students looking to accrue a degree in computer science needed to double major in computer science and their other subject of interest if a joint major did not already exist. The programming certificate gives students the opportunity to learn programming and apply programming skills to their interests without majoring in computer science.

Computer science professor and Programming Coordinator Stanley Eisenstat told the News that his department was interested in creating a programming certificate after hearing about the certificate in data science. They proposed the idea to Dean Marvin Chun and then proceeded to design the certificate. 

According to Eisenstat, five students have already registered for the certificate, including four seniors and one junior. Many other students, including Samhitha Josyula ’23, are considering the certificate. Josyula said she appreciated how much easier it would be to finish the requirements of the certificate without having to double in computer science courses during future semesters.

“As someone who has always been intrigued about computer science in relation to my primary field of study (biology), the certificate provides me with an additional track to further my computer science skills without the pressure of double majoring in fields,” she wrote.

According to Brown, the certificate differs from the computer science major in that there is less of a focus on the theory and systems concepts required for the major. 

Due to this difference, Eisenstat and Brown said they expect there to be changes to the certificate in the future in terms of the courses offered. 

“It’s still [in the] early days, so we’re keeping a close eye on how things develop,” Brown wrote to the News. “There’s a pretty good range of options already, but a larger faculty would let us broaden the choices and better meet the demand we’re seeing from students.”

Students can register for the certificate until the end of the fourth week of their last semester at Yale.