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.
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
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.
Recent online events
How to get a job in software
Pick up some great tips for your job search and career advancement from two instructors in our Software Engineering Quality certificate program. (May 2023)
Estimated Cost: Starts at $4,625. (You pay only for courses you enroll in.) | International Tuition Cost
Program Requirements: 5–7 courses (minimum 14 quarter units). Take 3 core courses (6.5 units) and 3–4 electives (minimum 7.5–9 quarter units). End with certificate of completion review.
Minimum Hours of Instruction: Minimum 140 hours of instruction.
Estimated Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 9–12 months.
1. Required Course(s):
2. Electives: Software Engineering [Only 1 'Data Structures and Algorithms' course may be applied towards the certificate
3. Electives: Quality and Testing
4. Electives: User Experience Design
5. Completion Review:
Meet Our Instructors
Certificate Inquiry Form
Speak to a student services representative.
Call (408) 861-3860
Recommended Course Sequence
Flexible course sequence
Courses may be taken in any order provided the prerequisites are met.
You may take one elective outside the certificate curriculum, if you receive prior approval from the Academic Services Department.
Some Engineering and Technology courses may be listed in more than one program. However, only one course may be shared between two E&T certificate programs unless otherwise noted.
To receive your certificate
Upon completion of the course sequence you may request your Software Engineering and Quality Certificate Completion Review.
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.
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 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 (such as GreenFig or CLS by Barbri) may have a shorter completion requirement.
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.