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Software Engineering and Quality
Certificate Program

Software Engineering and Quality

Putting quality first

Establish Candidacy View Individual Courses

Certificate Description

Learn QA methodologies and build a strong SQA team

Software errors cost companies millions of dollars; the later bugs are discovered, the more costly the corrective action. When you study quality assurance in the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension Software Engineering and Quality certificate program, you learn to methodically and thoroughly test and manage software projects. You learn to discover and minimize problems early in the life cycle to influence product development and save costs.

We emphasize a rigorous approach to quality assurance that complements established practices in software engineering and user experience design with the latest developments in software testing.

Three QA tracks

We offer three tracks of study to help you prepare for your next software quality assurance job.

    Software Engineering

    A focus on software architecture, software system design, and modeling

    Quality and Testing

    A study of software test automation and quality assurance methods

    User Experience Design

    The practices and methods required to create successful user experience for software across various platforms

Software Engineering and Quality certificate program objectives

  • Demonstrate competence in the software development lifecycle, from requirements to release
  • Design and model software systems using object orientation
  • Develop test plans and quality assurance strategies that minimize defects in software systems
  • Apply accepted software development techniques, such as Agile, in planning a software system’s development
  • Design clean and consistent user interfaces

Our Students

The students in our Software Engineering and Quality certificate program include:

  • Software developers who want to build a foundation in software engineering, architecture, and developmental process.
  • Software QA and test professionals seeking adaptive SQA and testing knowledge and skills.
  • Software project leaders and managers overseeing their team’s on-time delivery of high-quality products.

Estimated Cost (You pay only for courses you enroll in): $5,000 | International Tuition Cost
Required Credits: Total Required: 5–7 courses (14 units). Take 3 core courses (6.5 units) and 3–4 electives (7.5–9 units). End with certificate of completion review.
Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 9–12 months.


Course Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
1. Required Course(s):
Managing Software Projects 1.5 Fall Flexible Spring Flexible
Object-Oriented Analysis and Design 3.0 + +
Software Quality Assurance and Testing 2.0 Fall Flexible Winter Flexible Spring Flexible
2. Electives: Software Engineering [Only 1 'Data Structures and Algorithms' course may be applied towards the certificate
Advanced DevOps Technologies 3.0 Summer Flexible
Data Structures and Algorithms Using C++ 3.0
Data Structures and Algorithms Using Java 3.0 Spring Flexible
Data Structures and Algorithms Using Python 3.0 Fall Flexible Spring Flexible
Designing, Building and Integrating RESTful API 2.0 Winter Flexible
DevOps Technologies 3.0 Winter Flexible Spring Flexible
3. Electives: Quality and Testing
Agile Software Development using TDD/BDD and Python 3.0
JUnit Test Framework 1.5
Quality Management for Enterprises, Products, and Programs 2.0
Web Applications Testing, Comprehensive 3.0 Spring Flexible
4. Electives: User Experience Design
Designing User Experience for AR, Smart Things, Virtual Reality, and Wearable Technology 3.0
Mobile Interface Design 3.0
User Experience Design, Advanced 3.0
User Experience Design Fundamentals 3.0
5. Completion Review:
Software Engineering and Quality Certificate Completion Fee None

Certificate Inquiry Form

Contact Us
Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860


Professional Development

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Credit Toward an M.S. in Engineering

We have a transfer agreement with the University of Wisconsin–Platteville that assists graduates of our Embedded Systems and Software Engineering and Quality certificate programs pursue an online Master of Science degree in Engineering. Applicants to this master’s program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and fulfill the school’s admissions requirements.

Advisory Board


Certificate Program Chair 

ALKA JARVIS, M.B.A., a Distinguished Quality Engineer/senior director at Cisco Systems. She has authored 10 books and is an Exemplar Global certified auditor. Jarvis served as the chair for nine years for the U.S. Technical Advisory Group, which develops ISO 9001 series of standards. She has taught at local universities for more than 22 years and is a recipient of Silicon Valley’s Corporate Woman of the Year Award.

Requisite Knowledge

Please review the course descriptions to ensure that you have taken necessary prerequisites or meet the requirements through job experience or previous education.

Required. Experience with a programming language is required as well as a degree in computer science or engineering or equivalent experience in software development, testing, QA, or project management.

Establish Candidacy

Establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization

Once you create your student account, you can establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization program any time during your studies.

The benefits of enrolling early
  • Lock in your certificate requirements.This means that even if program requirements change, the requirements to complete your certificate will remain the same for you
  • Receive program updates
  • Set your intention
  • It’s free

To complete a program, you must enroll in the certificate program before enrolling in the Certificate Completion Review.

You have five years to complete all necessary courses in a certificate program or three years to finish up a specialization program.

All the necessary units in a certificate must be completed within this window.* The clock begins on the first day of your first course in the certificate program. For example, if you started a course on Sept. 5, 2017, you would have to complete all of the required units in this certificate by Sept. 4, 2022.


Enrolling in a certificate program does not trigger the beginning of the five-year window. It begins the first day of the first course that applies to a certificate program. The Certificate Completion Review process does not have to occur within the five-year timeframe.

For more information: How do I get my certificate or specialization?

* Students participating in a special program, such as workforce, international, Personal Financial Planning, or curriculum partner programs (Udacity, Microfacturing Institutes) may have a shorter completion requirement.

Establish Candidacy

Grade Requirements

Please note that only letter grades of C- or higher may be applied to a certificate, and in some programs, students may have more stringent requirements. Students in most employer- and government-sponsored payment programs, such as workforce development, as well as international students on F-1 visas, need to maintain a B average to meet their requirements. Personal Financial Planning students have additional grade requirements for individual courses to attain a certificate.

See Grading and Credits Policy for further information.