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VLSI Engineering
Certificate Program

VLSI Engineering

Building the hardware of tomorrow

Establish Candidacy View Individual Courses

Certificate Description

Integrated circuit curriculum

In the UCSC Silicon Valley VLSI certificate program, you'll explore ASIC, semiconductor, EDA, device, and integrated circuits. In our VLSI lab, our expert instructors will give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience with hardware specification, logic design, verification, synthesis, physical implementation, circuit design, integrated circuit product testing, and the latest EDA tools on Linux.

Skills to go

You'll have the opportunity to learn front-end and back-end ASIC design using premier industry tools from Synopsys and Cadence. When you leave the classroom, you’ll immediately be able to apply your new skills at your job.

You can pursue five tracks of study.

  • Design Methodology
  • Logic and Functional Design
  • SystemVerilog and Verification
  • Physical Design and Timing Closure
  • Circuit Design

VLSI Engineering certificate program objectives

  • Implement Verilog modeling of digital logic
  • Write assertions for formal verification using SystemVerilog
  • Build an advanced UVM verification environment
  • Understand IO technologies such as PCI Express, Ethernet and Fibre Channel
  • Complete practical designs with Xilinx FPGAs

Estimated Cost (You pay only for courses you enroll in): $5,800 | International Tuition Cost
Required Credits: Total Required: 5–7 courses (Minimum 14 units). Take 2 of the 5 core courses (6 units) and 3–5 elective credit courses (8–9 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. Core Course(s): (Choose Two)
Advanced Signaling: Jitter and Noise Analysis 3.0 Fall TBD
Advanced Verification with SystemVerilog OOP Testbench 3.0 Fall Flexible
Analog IC Design, Introduction 3.0 Spring Flexible
Digital Logic Design Using Verilog 3.0 Spring Flexible
FPGA Application in Autonomous Driving Systems, Introduction 3.0
Physical Design Flow From Netlist to GDSII 3.0 Winter Flexible Summer Flexible
Practical DFT Concepts for ASICs: Nanometer Test Enhancements 3.0
System and Functional Verification Using UVM (Universal Verification Methodology) 3.0 Fall Flexible
SystemVerilog Assertions and Formal Verification 3.0 Winter Flexible Summer Flexible
2. Electives: Front-End
Analog IC Design, Introduction 3.0 Spring Flexible
Digital Design with FPGA 3.0
Digital Logic Design Using Verilog 3.0 Spring Flexible
Embedded System Hardware Architectures, Introduction 3.0 Spring Flexible
IO Concepts and Protocols: PCI Express, Ethernet, and Fibre Channel 3.0
IO Design Fundamentals 3.0
Wireless Communications and Mobile Antenna Design, Introduction 3.0 Spring Flexible
3. Electives: Back-End
ASIC Physical Design, Advanced 3.0 Spring Flexible
Comprehensive Signal and Power Integrity for High-Speed Digital Systems 3.0
IO Design Fundamentals 3.0
Physical Design Flow From Netlist to GDSII 3.0 Winter Flexible Summer Flexible
Practical Design with Xilinx FPGAs 3.0
Timing Closure in IC Design 3.0 Spring Flexible
4. Completion Review:
VLSI Engineering Certificate Completion Fee None

Certificate Inquiry Form

Contact Us
Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860


Requisite Knowledge

Technical expertise

You need a degree in a technical field or equivalent knowledge acquired through training and experience in hardware design and development. Experience with UNIX and/or LINUX is required for lab sessions. Knowledge of a programming language such as C, Perl or Bash Shell is helpful.

Please review course descriptions

Make sure you have taken necessary prerequisites or meet the requirements through job experience or previous education before registering for a course.

Advisory Board


Certificate Program Chair

SAM HUYNH, Ph.D., MSEE, is a principal member of technical staff and a senior manager at AMD. He has over 18 years of experience in the field of VLSI design including memory, IO, physical design implementation and full chip integration. He has three patents and 10 publications. He earned a bachelor's and master's degree in Electrical Engineering with a focus on VLSI, and a doctorate in VLSI Mixed Signal Design and Test —all at the University of Washington. He teaches in the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension VLSI certificate program.

Certificate Program Advisory Committee

Account Technology Executive, Cadence Design Systems

Principal Member of Technical Staff, AMD
Instructor, VLSI Certificate Program, UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

Senior Manager, Applications Engineering, Synopsys Inc.

Formal Verification Engineer, Google
Instructor, VLSI Certificate Program, UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Jack Baskin School of Engineering, UC Santa Cruz
Consultant, Esperanto Technologies, Inc.

Principal Engineer, Micron Technology
Chair/Instructor, VLSI Certificate Program, UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

Director, Global Physical Design Lead, Intel Corp.

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.