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Information System Design Certificate

In today’s information-driven society, people at all levels of an organization need access to data. Data helps us make decisions, supports our strategies, and provides valuable feedback. All of this information must be organized, stored, and protected—which means there’s an increasing demand for information systems professionals.

Offered in conjunction with Pitt’s School of Computing and Information, this flexible 18-credit certificate in information system design is applicable to fields such as banking, healthcare, library science, judicial systems, communication, education, agriculture, private industry, and government..


The CGS Difference

Our certificate program can be a standalone professional development opportunity or completed in preparation for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in an information-related field.

Who Should Participate

  • Professionals in another field who wish to enter the information management field
  • Individuals working in the technology field who want or need more formal training to progress in their careers
  • People wanting to prepare for a master's degree in information sciences

Program Expectations

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Use scientific programming language to introduce information structures such as linked lists, stacks, and queues
  • Develop program modules using a current programming language
  • Use the theories of data structures and programming language design

Credit Requirements

  • The information system design certificate requires at least 18 credits, including five required courses and one  elective.
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade of C (2.0) or better for all courses required for the program.
  • Credits earned at other accredited educational institutions may be eligible for transfer. However, a minimum of nine credits must be earned at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Before applying to this program, students should have completed 1) a college algebra class, and 2) an introductory informations systems course or a programming course, earning a C or better in both.

  • Recommended programming courses: INFSCI 0010 Introduction to Information, Systems, and Society, CS 0007 Introduction to Programming with Java, CS 0008 Introduction to Computer Programming with Python, or CS 0004 Introduction to Computer Programming with Visual Basic.

Please note: Catalog numbers and titles changed as of Fall 2020 (Term: 2211). For course codes and titles prior to Fall 2020, visit the AY 19-20 University Catalog program page: Information System Design Certificate

See also the SCI Courses website for updated course descriptions.

Required Courses: (15 Credits)

Complete all five required courses.


Elective: (3 Credits)

Complete one course from the list of approved electives.


Program Planning Checklist

Download our handy Information System Design certificate checklist (PDF) to plan and track your progress in the program.

Important: Course Overlap Rules

As you plan your certificate coursework, please make sure to review the CGS Course Overlap policy for information on how many courses can be double-counted if a student elects to pursue a CGS certificate in combination with other CGS and non-CGS majors, minors, and certificates. If you have questions, please contact your CGS advisor or CGS Advising at

Note: Requirements are subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.