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Embedded Systems Graduate Certificate

Credits to Earn Your Certificate
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Overview Open Accordion
Online Embedded Systems Certificate

Earn your embedded systems certificate online

Gain an introduction to embedded systems, including hardware design and software engineering principles. Learn to apply electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science principles in real-world embedded platforms.

Students in the online certificate program complete the same embedded systems courses and learn from the same faculty as students in the on-campus program.

Learn to solve real-world challenges in the smart tech industry

The online certificate in embedded systems prepares students with the skills to design, analyze, and optimize strategies in embedded systems, with a focus on:

  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Real-time performance
  • Predictability
  • Power and energy
  • Cost

Topics of study include the design and exploration of multi-core processor, memory, interconnection, and sensor architectures. Students learn to overcome and anticipate current and future challenges for embedded systems professionals. Examples of such challenges include:

  • How to design a system that is secure, reliable, and cost effective.
  • How to write embedded software.
  • How to specify, model, and optimize embedded systems, including both software and hardware.
  • Being able to understand the trade-offs between various embedded system designs and external demands.
  • How to handle demands for continually increasing performance of devices.

Online embedded systems courses

Coursework includes both group and individual projects. Students can tailor projects on individual interests and focus on software or hardware, or both. Online classes provide embedded systems training on how to:

  • Analyze and explore an embedded system design space, including processors, memories, networks, and sensors.
  • Address contemporary design challenges pertaining to reliability, power and thermal efficiency, real-time performance, and security.
  • Model embedded hardware and software components for simulation and exploration.

Study with expert engineering faculty

The Graduate Certificate in Embedded Systems is taught by experts in the field who have both industry and research experience. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University is known for leading research in areas including embedded systems, lasers and optics, radar systems, and biomedical systems, and is sponsored by industry (e.g., the National Science Foundation (NSF), Dept. of Defense (DOD), Dept. of Energy, and the Airforce).

CSU faculty have active collaborations with leading semiconductor companies, system on chip (SOC) design companies, and application domain experts (e.g., automotive companies). These partnerships aim to improve products and performance. Faculty share that experience in the online classroom so students gain both practical and academic knowledge of existing and future challenges for embedded systems.

Gain skills to advance in your career

The online embedded systems certificate prepares students for careers in roles such as:

  • Embedded software/hardware designer
  • Embedded Systems architect
  • System integrator
  • Embedded Systems Analyst
  • Systems engineer
  • Engineering manager

Get on top of the Internet of Things trend

Embedded systems are the underlying digital intelligence behind smart electronic devices and the Internet of Things (IoT).

"There is currently a huge demand for embedded systems designers, individuals who can both write software and design hardware. We are surrounded by hundreds of embedded systems in our everyday lives. ES is also the fastest growing computing platform in terms of market share. Those who can understand and design these systems can have a big impact on people's everyday lives."

– Sudeep Pasricha, Professor

Examples of embedded systems

Embedded systems are integral to any device using a smart card, or computer system within a larger mechanical or electrical system, such as:

  • Digital consumer electronics (smartphones, mp3 players, watches, refrigerators, etc.)
  • Telecom systems
  • Traffic lights
  • Computer networking
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Missiles and satellites
  • Medical equipment

Option to pursue a master's degree

Credits completed for this certificate may be applied toward CSU's online electrical or computer engineering master's degrees after formal admission per University transfer policies. Additionally, you can earn a guaranteed admission recommendation into either master's program from the department and bypass the GRE requirement, if you complete two classes from the curriculum with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and with no less than a 2.7 in any course. Learn more about this option and the online computer engineering master's program and electrical engineering master's program at CSU.

Curriculum Open Accordion

Embedded Systems Graduate Certificate courses cover the skills needed to understand modern processor, memory, network, and sensor architectures, as well as analyze and optimize various embedded hardware design and software architectural candidates.

You must be admitted to this program for the certificate to appear on your official University transcript.

Select three courses from the following. At least one ECE course is required.

Note: This certificate may have courses in common with other graduate certificates. A student may earn more than one certificate, but a given course may be counted only in one certificate.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Students can be admitted for either the fall or spring semester. Summer admission is not available. For full consideration, submit your application and supporting documents prior to the dates below.

Fall semester July 1
Spring semester December 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1Review Admission Requirements

This graduate certificate requires applicants to have the following, at a minimum:

  • Bachelor of Science from a regionally accredited institution in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, or related field.
  • International students must hold degrees equivalent to U.S. bachelor's degrees. Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology (BSEET) degrees are not accepted.

Note that meeting the minimum department standards does not ensure admission to the program. Admission to Colorado State University graduate programs is based on a number of factors, including prior academic and professional experience.

2 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Embedded Systems (Certificate) – Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select "Certificate" at the top.)

3 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary):
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Tandi Hawkey
Prospective Student Support Coach
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Program Details

$705 - $715 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Certificate Awarded
Graduate Certificate in Embedded Systems
Admission Reqs.
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution.

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 1
Spring semester
December 1

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