Earn a Computer Programming Certificate Online
- Complete in as few as 4 months
- Develop key coding and software development skills
- In-demand field projected to grow 26% through 20311
- $320 per credit for 12 credits
- Start your path toward a new career in software development
- Credits earned can be applied to SNHU AS or BS degrees
Computer Programming Certificate Online Program Overview
Take the first step to a high-demand software development career with the online Introduction to Computer Programming Certificate from Southern New Hampshire University.
Designed by SMEs with real-world experience, this 12-credit, 4-course certificate program can help prepare you for entry-level positions in your field – and save time along the way. With 8-week terms and multiple term starts per year, you can earn your certificate in as few as 4 months.
The computer programming certificate hones in on critical areas to succeed in today's workforce – from competency with programming languages like Java, C++ and Python, to collaboration and problem-solving skills.
Upon earning your computer programming certificate, you'll be prepared for entry-level roles in a variety of industries. You may also opt to transfer all 12 certificate credits to continue your education at SNHU. For example, our AS in Computer Science, BS in Computer Science and BS in IT with a concentration in Software Development all seamlessly build upon the certificate program – saving you even more time and tuition in pursuit of your goals.
Learn how to:
- Use foundational programming and software development knowledge and skills to develop efficient software applications
- Apply object-oriented programming concepts and principles throughout the various phases of the Software Development Lifecycle
- Develop collaborative skills to create solutions to problems within an agile development environment
- Explore various programming and software development concepts and principles such as data structures, inheritance, polymorphism, abstraction and encapsulation
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future is bright for computer programming professionals.1
Software developer jobs are set to soar 26% through 2031 – far faster than the national average for all occupations.1 In 2021, professionals in these roles reportedly earned a median annual salary of $120,730.1
A computer programming certificate program can help position you for success in an entry-level role.
"A major advantage of the Introduction to Computer Programming Certificate is that you'll learn multiple programming languages with hands-on experience," said Curtis George, Technical Program Facilitator at SNHU. "This provides a tangible experience that you can use to land your first job in computer programming."
In addition to growing job prospects and competitive pay, computer programming offers opportunities to make an impact in any number of industries.
You could work in healthcare, for example, building apps that streamline the patient enrollment process. You could develop secure backend coding for a financial institution, or even help design simulation software for military training. For those willing to build and fine tune their skills, the possibilities are endless.
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Computer Programming Certificate
Why SNHU For Your Online Computer Programming Certificate
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 160,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
The online Introduction to Computer Programming Certificate can be a powerful first step to continued educational advancement. Consider applying your credits toward an associate degree in computer science or a bachelor's with our online computer science degree.
You'll have the chance to participate in extracurricular activities and events like National Cyber League competitions, in which you'll join practical, hands-on experiences.
93.6% of online students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
Simply work with an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so we can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
Note that standalone certificates may not qualify for financial aid. Please talk to your financial advisor to learn more.
Courses & Curriculum
The curriculum for the Certificate in Computer Programming is designed by SMEs with real-world experience in their field. It is specifically designed to help position you for professional success – whether you're changing your career or just getting started.
"The curriculum of the Introduction to Computer Programming Certificate is one of the most advanced and inclusive being offered online," said Dr. Sharon Kibbe, Associate dean of STEM at SNHU.
"Preparing students for a job or enhancing the skills of a current job were foremost in the minds of the course developers to offer a flexible and career-focused opportunity."
The program includes 4 courses:
- Introduction to Scripting
- Foundation in Application Development
- Programming Languages
- Software Development Lifecycle
In the Introduction to Scripting course, you'll learn the fundamentals of programming concepts including data types, variables, decision statements, loops, functions and file handling. By developing simple scripts, you'll use common scripting language constructs including lists, literals and regular expressions to build useful applications.
Foundation in Application Development will have you use programming as a problem-solving technique in business and engineering applications. You'll write computer code in a logical, structured and organized manner, then learn how to incorporate the key concepts of object orientation into your programming. Additionally, you'll learn to write, review and document interactive applications and work with Software Development Kits and Integrated Development Environment tools.
In Programming Languages, you'll develop functional programs that comply with industry regulations and best practices using various programming languages. You'll also focus on the importance of developing code that is not only functional but also secure, efficient and professional.
Finally, the Software Development Lifecycle course will have you explore the stages of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). Looking through the lens of developers and testers, you'll examine the characteristics, documentation and purpose of each stage in the cycle. You'll then apply SDLC stages within an agile development environment, helping you learn the principles and best practices used to develop high quality software while also assessing the impact of communication, documentation, and ethics on the SDLC.
Please note that students enrolled in the program must take all 4 courses at SNHU, and cannot use transfer or PLA credits.
Minimum Hardware Required Specifications
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|Certificate in Introduction to Computer Programming|
|Courses May Include|
|Certificate in Intro to Computer Programming|
|IT 140||Introduction to Scripting||Students will learn the fundamentals of programming concepts including data types, variables, decision statements, loops, functions and file handling. By developing simple scripts, students will understand how to use common scripting language constructs including lists, literals, and regular expressions to build useful applications.|
|IT 145||Foundation in Application Development||Students will use programming as a problem-solving technique in business and engineering applications. In writing computer code in a logical, structured, and organized manner, students will learn how to incorporate the key concepts of object orientation into their programming. Additionally, students will learn to write, review, and document interactive applications and work with Software Development Kits and Integrated Development Environment tools.|
|CS 210||Programming Languages||Students will develop functional programs that comply with industry regulations and best practices using various programming languages. Special attention will be paid to the importance of developing code that is not only functional, but also secure, efficient, and professional.|
|CS 250||Software Development Lifecycle||Students will explore the stages of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) through the lens of developers and testers to examine the characteristics, documentation, and purpose of each stage. Through applying SDLC stages within an agile development environment, students will learn the principles and best practices used to develop high quality software while also assessing the impact of communication, documentation, and ethics on the SDLC.|
|Total Credits: 12|
Tuition & Fees
At SNHU, we’re committed to making education more accessible, by making it more affordable.
Beyond low tuition rates, we help our students save through transfer credits, credit for prior learning, grants and scholarships, tuition assistance and more. U.S. service members, both full and part time, as well as the spouses of those on active duty are also eligible for a 30% tuition discount.
This certificate is not eligible for federal financial aid. Students seeking alternatives to federal financial aid can explore tuition assistance, grants and scholarships, as well as private loans. To learn more about private loans, visit our Funding Your Education with Student Loans page.
Online Undergraduate Programs
Per Credit Hour
Cost for 18 credits
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: Students receiving the military discount rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs: No Application Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is computer programming?
At its most basic, computer programming is a set of instructions designed to facilitate specific actions.
Based on the requirements or purposes of these instructions, computer programming can be as simple as adding two numbers. It can also have much more complex applications. For example, computer programming can be used to:
- Read data from temperature sensors to adjust a thermostat
- Sort data to complete intricate scheduling or critical reports
- Take players through multi-layered worlds and challenges in games
And that's just scratching the surface. With so many demands across a number of industries, there's no limit to what you can achieve as a programmer.
What can you do with a computer programming certificate?
A computer programming certificate can be a powerful first step in a new career. It can be a launching point for continued education or a gateway to your first programming job.
Programmers are highly valued in just about every industry – from healthcare and real estate to banking, travel and a number of other sectors.
As a student of the certificate program, you'll engage in hands-on learning, explore popular programming languages like C++ and Java and start building a portfolio of your work. You'll demonstrate real experience to future employers – so you can ultimately land the role you want.
Is a computer programming certificate worth it?
A computer programming certificate could be a worthy investment for a number of reasons.
First, it's affordable. SNHU's online tuition rates are already some of the lowest in the nation. But when you also consider that our certificate program requires only 12 credits to complete, you'll save even more.
That's not even factoring in how quickly you can finish – as a full-time student (2 courses per term), you can complete all 4 certificate courses in as few as 4 months.
If you decide to continue your education, we also offer a seamless transfer pathway to a 2-year or 4-year program. Our AS in Computer Science, BS in Computer Science, and BS in IT with a concentration in Software Development, for example, all build upon the computer programming certificate perfectly.
Another benefit is that professionals with computer programming skills are in high demand. Through 2029, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% growth rate for software developers – far above the national average for all occupations.1 In addition, software developers reported earning $107,510 in 2019.1
Last, but not least, our computer programming degree is designed by experts. Just ask Dr. Curtis George, a faculty lead at SNHU who helped build the university's computer science curriculum. As an accomplished developer who worked for NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other high-tech leaders, he understands the demands of the field.
“Having a basic knowledge of software programming, including working with others (on) teams, is a good starting point for any job,” George said.
Can you get a job with a computer programming certificate?
SNHU's computer programming certificate is specifically designed to help you build skills employers want to see.
"With this certificate, students will increase their knowledge and gain the appropriate skills to obtain a job as an entry-level computer programmer," said Curtis George, an SNHU faculty lead who helped develop the certificate program. "This is an excellent path for anyone who wants a start in today’s jobs in data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, software or full-stack development."
Outside of the course curriculum, SNHU students will have access to a number of networking opportunities. From conferences like the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing to competitions like the National Cyber League and Teradata Data Competition, these experiences can help you connect you with employers, peers and industry insiders.
Do computer programmers get paid well?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with computer programming skills do get paid well above the national average for all occupations.1
In 2021, software developers reportedly earned an annual wage of $120,730.1 By comparison, the median annual wage for all workers in that same time frame was $45,760.1
What computer languages will I learn in this certificate program?
The Introduction to Computer Programming Certificate explores three major computer programming languages: C++, Python and Java.
According to Tech Republic, these programming languages – among others – have topped lists of most popular programming languages in recent years, dominating rankings as millions use them for a variety of tasks.3
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm (viewed Nov. 1, 2022).
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to a 2022 survey with 17,000+ respondents.
3 Tech Republic, “8 of the most popular programming languages” on the internet, at: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/8-of-the-most-popular-programming-languages/ (viewed Feb. 9, 2021).