Skip To Content

Athabasca University

University Certificate in Computing and Information Systems

Regulations effective September 1, 2016.

The University Certificate in Computing and Information Systems is designed to provide a solid educational base in computing and information systems. Graduates may use the credits in their future program studies if they wish to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Computing and Information Systems.

During this university certificate program, students will acquire essential computer programming skills by taking COMP 268 and COMP 272, as well as web development skills by taking COMP 266. Students will comprehend the theories and technologies of computer operating systems, computer networks, system analysis and design, as well as database management. In addition, by completing certain elective courses offered in the program, graduates will gain specialized skills in different IT areas such as database management, system administration, computer programming, or web development.

Refer to the SCIS website for course listings of the various specializations, or consult with the program director for advice.

Students are strongly encouraged to register in ENGL 255 or ADMN 233 early in their program. For further information, refer to English Writing Skills Requirement.


Delivery Modes

All courses in the program are delivered though online and distance learning in an individualized study mode in order for students to be able to complete the courses and certificate while employed full time. Contact the School of Computing and Information Systems for more information.


Program Plans

Our online program plans can assist you in selecting the courses needed to fulfill your program requirements.

Counselling Services offers an assessment website, "Mapping Your Future: Your Career and Athabasca University." Athabasca University has also developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their enrolment.

Program Structure
Total credits in the program 33
Required credits 27
Elective credits 6
Residency requirement. A minimum of 18 credits must be obtained through Athabasca University 18
Maximum Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) credits 6

General certificate regulations

Required Courses (27 credits)
COMP 200 Introduction to Computing and Information Systems (3)
COMP 268 Introduction to Computer Programming (Java) (3)
COMP 266 Introduction to Web Programming

COMP 272 Data Structures and Algorithms
COMP 314 Operating Systems (3)
COMP 347 Computer Networks (3)
COMP 361 Systems Analysis and Design (3)
COMP 378 Introduction to Database Management (3)
ENGL 255 Introductory Composition

ADMN 233 Writing in Organizations
MATH 209 Finite Mathematics
(Note: MATH 209 may be replaced with a 200-level 3-credit course in Science upon the approval of the program director.)
Electives (6 credits)
Senior (300/400) level Computer Science (COMP) or Computers and Management Information Systems (CMIS) credits (6)


Specific Regulations

  1. Athabasca University may grant transfer credit for individual computer science courses that were completed more than five years ago if proof of currency in the field is provided in the form of a resumé and letter(s) of employment. The letter(s) of employment need to show evidence of activity in this field over the five-year period prior to the request for transfer credit. Other evidence may be accepted if the letter and the resumé cannot be supplied. Science courses that are over 10 years old will be accepted for transfer credit if evidence of employment in a Science or Engineering field is supplied. Visit the SCIS website for more information regarding transfer credit time limits in relation to SCIS programs.
  2. Preparatory (100-level) courses cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of this certificate.
  3. Precluded Courses: Students cannot receive credit for COMP 203 or COMP 220 in this program.

English Writing Skills Requirement

Students will be exempted* from the English Writing Skills Requirement (ENGL 255) if they have met one of the following criteria:

  • have a grade of B- (70 per cent) or better in an Athabasca University English course above the preparatory (100) level, or
  • receive transfer credit for an English course in which a grade of B- (70 per cent) or better was achieved.

* Note: The exemption must be replaced with a 3-credit course in any discipline at the junior/senior (200 to 400) level.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Updated June 28 2016 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.