Graduate Certificate in Cloud Software Development - Portland

Program Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Cloud Software Development provides students of all backgrounds with the foundational skills needed to pursue a career in cloud computing. This four-course program, offered by Northeastern's Khoury College of Computer Sciences, emphasizes hands-on, industry-facing experiential learning via the college’s partnerships with leading cloud platform companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft and their suppliers. Students gain the technical ability, exposure, and experience to work on any cloud computing platform, as well as the career-building resources to put them on the fast track in this growing field.

All Roux Institute programs provide content relevant to the urgent and emerging needs of industry in Maine and the rapidly evolving regional, national, and global economy. Opportunities for experiential learning will be concentrated in Portland, the state of Maine, and the Northeast region. Students are encouraged to pursue co-ops and special virtual Experiential Network projects with the institute’s founding corporate partners, a group of leading employers in Maine.

We are currently offering a limited number of scholarships, equivalent to one free class for each of the first two semesters (up to $12,500 value). Priority will be given to students with the greatest financial need, but all applicants are eligible to apply.

  • Portland


  • Full-Time


  • 8-12 months

    Duration of Program

Unique Features

  • Program readies students of all backgrounds to immediately pursue a career in cloud computing
  • Scholarships are available to cover up to 50% of the tuition cost
  • While the certificate is designed as a stand-alone offering, it is stackable into the Master of Science in Computer Science degree
  • Through company partnerships, the Khoury College of Computer Sciences will provide career transition support (e.g., resumé reviews, practice technical interviewing, prep for certification exams) to ensure that students are positioned to enter the workforce quickly
  • The program is delivered through a hybrid model of online and on-site learning

Program Objectives

  • Acquire extensive experience in object-oriented design and development with Java.
  • Solve problems using established design patterns, explain strengths and weaknesses of their solutions, and use industry-standard code management, build, and quality assessment tools.
  • Design, build, and deploy full-stack applications on cloud platforms.
  • Design advanced browser-based interfaces, securely process user requests using cloud-based services in Java/JavaScript/Python, and design and utilize cloud SQL/NoSQL storage solutions.
  • Design, develop, and deploy secure cloud applications using appropriate cloud services.
  • Analyze cost and engineering trade-offs of using specific application and system architectures, and be able to visualize these using application management platforms.
  • Utilize knowledge of distributed systems theory and architecture to build high-performance, scalable, and cost-optimized cloud applications.
  • Design and implement application observability to quantitatively enable performance visualization and analysis for system evolution.

Career Outlook

Students who successfully complete the certificate are ready for a wide range of cloud computing roles, including software development engineers, product managers, solutions architects, support engineers, and system engineers.

The cloud computing market has grown from $15 billion to more than $210 billion in the past 10 years, with projections to double again by 2025. In fact, many IT decision makers believe the only obstacle to even more explosive growth in the field is a shortage of qualified talent to fill roles.

Scholarships and aid



Estimated Total Tuition

This is an estimate based on the tuition rates for Academic Year 2020-2021 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time. For more detailed information, please visit Student Financial Services.

Generous scholarships

The Roux Institute is currently offering generous scholarships to meet the financial needs of all students through its Alfond Scholars Initiative. Each award is determined by an individual assessment. And Northeastern alumni receive a Double Husky Scholarship —a tuition discount of 25 percent.

Learn more about the Alfond Scholars Initiative

Corporate tuition benefits

Many employers subsidize education for their employees. Speak with yours about any tuition benefits your company may offer.

Special military scholarships

For military veterans and servicemembers, a limited number of donor-funded scholarships are available even after all other aid has been awarded to help with commuting costs, childcare, and other costs of living.

Learn more about military scholarships

Federal aid

You can apply for federal aid grants and loans through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

Learn about the FAFSA

Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (PDF or scanned copies of unofficial undergraduate transcripts; you can submit official transcripts from colleges/universities attended at the time of admission).
  • Completion of CS5001, “Intensive Foundation of Computer Science,” or equivalent college intro to CS course OR adequate programming experience.
  • TOEFL score of at least 100 for international students who have a bachelor’s degree from a non-English speaking country (international students only). We are also accepting DuoLingo and IELTS scores at this time. 
  • Statement of purpose including description of academic or professional goals and relevant work experience.
  • A confidential letter of reference from an individual that knows your academic record and/or potential for graduate study.
  • To be considered for a scholarship students must complete the FAFSA

Admission Dates

  • Deadline for domestic applicants: August 15, 2021

Program Curriculum

Graduate Certificate in Cloud Software Development

Graduate Certificate in Cloud Software Development General Requirements

Courses and their associated credit hours are listed below.

CS 5004 - Object-Oriented Design4.00
Presents a comparative approach to object-oriented programming and design. Discusses the concepts of object, class, metaclass, message, method, inheritance, and genericity. Reviews forms of polymorphism in object-oriented languages. Contrasts the use of inheritance and composition as dual techniques for software reuse—forwarding vs. delegation and subclassing vs. subtyping. Offers students an opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of the principles of object-oriented programming and design, including software components, object-oriented design patterns, and the use of graphical design notations such as UML (unified modeling language). Illustrates basic concepts in object-oriented design with case studies in application frameworks and by writing programs in Java.
CS 5610 - Web Development4.00
Discusses Web development for sites that are dynamic, data driven, and interactive. Focuses on the software development issues of integrating multiple languages, assorted data technologies, and Web interaction. Considers ASP.NET, C#, HTTP, HTML, CSS, XML, XSLT, JavaScript, AJAX, RSS/Atom, SQL, and Web services. Each student must deploy individually designed Web experiments that illustrate the Web technologies and at least one major integrative Web site project. Students may work in teams with the permission of the instructor. Each student or team must also create extensive documentation of their goals, plans, design decisions, accomplishments, and user guidelines. All source files must be open and be automatically served by a sources server.
CS 6510 - Advanced Software Development4.00
Designed to integrate academic concepts and practical experience of software design by having students work as part of a programming team, with an option to lead a subteam. Offers students an opportunity to study, in-depth, some aspects of the development process. The goal is to have students participate in a large-scale project, taking time to reflect and analyze the work and the process, rather than concentrating exclusively on the final product. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.
CS 6620 - Fundamentals of Cloud Computing0.00
Covers fundamentals of cloud computing, including virtualization and containers, distributed file systems and object stores, infrastructure as a service platforms, open source cloud platforms, key big data platforms, and topics in data center scale systems. Combines classroom material delivered via lectures, readings from literature, student presentations, and a semester-long software project.

Experiential Learning

Learning integrated with professional experience is a hallmark of Northeastern and the Roux Institute. Students gain a clear understanding of real-world industry needs in Portland, the state of Maine, and the Northeast—and valued workplace skills like communication and teamwork—through assignments at companies and nonprofit organizations. Students can complete a six-week virtual project relevant to their studies through the university’s Experiential Network (XN) of employers, or even for their own company. Or they can apply for four- and six-month, full-time co-op positions. All opportunities enable students to build their resumés, expand their professional networks, and chart a path to in-demand careers.

Contact us to explore your options.

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