Researcher putting together a machine in a lab.

Certificate of Advanced Scientific Computing

This certificate is open to all masters and PhD students currently enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. The certificate can be completed in 1 year and all courses may be able to count towards other majors and degree requirements.

Upon successful completion, students will:

  1. Develop unique skills at the nexus of high-performance scientific computing, data science, physical science and engineering
  2. Become equipped to solve the complex scientific and technological problems that carry societal impact through theory and computing.
  3. Earn a Certificate of Advanced Scientific Computing which will appear on the student’s official Penn transcript.

Policy for Non-Engineering Graduate Students:  Students must have a minimum of two full semesters remaining in their primary program to be eligible to apply.


In order to complete The Certificate of Advanced Scientific Computing students must:

  1. Download and fill out the registration form. Have the form signed by your advisor and then submit the form, either via email or in person, to Julia Esposito (
  2. Complete four credit units. Options include:
    • 1 C.U. in Theoretical and Applied Mathematics; examples include: CIS 5620 (Computer Animation), CIS 5450 (Big Data Analytics), ENM 5020 (Numerical Methods and Modeling), CIT 5960 (Algorithms and Computation), and others
    • 1 C.U. in Computer Simulations; examples include: CIS 5600 (Interactive Computer Graphics), BE/CBE/SCMP 5590 (Multiscale Modeling of Chemical and Biological Systems), MSE 5610/MEAM 5530 (Atomic Modeling in Materials Science), SCMP 7000 or SCMP 5590 (Design Project or Independent Study), and others
    • 2 C.U.’s in Machine Learning: ENM 5310 (Data-driven Modeling and Probabilistic Scientific Computing), CIS 5190 (Applied Machine Learning), STAT 5710 (Modern Data Mining), BE 5160 (Introduction to High-Performance Scientific Computing), and others
    • Please reach out to Julia or Ravi regarding course exceptions. This certificate is intended to be flexible and is not an all-inclusive list of potential courses.
  3. Attend at least 2 workshops hosted by PICS. More information here.
  4. Attend 8 AMCS or PICS colloquia, hosted on various Fridays from 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST. More information here.

  • I’m uncertain whether my courses will count toward this certificate. Should I still fill out the applications form?

    You can reach out to either Julia Esposito ( or Ravi Radhakrishnan ( with any questions on whether courses will count. You can still submit an application form with a statement of purpose even if you are uncertain. If there is an issue with the courses listed, we are happy to let you know and wait for you to re-submit.

  • How do I show I attended the colloquia and workshops?

    Once accepted into the program, you will be invited into a Canvas page where you can complete the assignments and show proof that you attended both the colloquia and workshops. Please keep track of the colloquia and workshops you have attended. These will not be confirmed without valid proof.

  • I am an Accelerated Master’s Student. Can I count my undergraduate courses toward this certificate?

    No. All four credits must be graduate level courses and undergraduate level courses cannot count toward this certificate.

  • What is the deadline to apply?

    You may apply anytime. Eligible Courses you have completed before the application is submitted can also be counted. It is recommended that students carefully read the requirements before applying, though, as students need time to complete both the colloquia and workshop requirements.

  • Is there a limit to the number of students who can enroll?

    No, there is no limit on student enrollment.

  • Does it need to be completed in one year?

    The certificate is not required to be completed in one year although it can be. Students can take longer than a year to fulfill the certificate’s requirements.

  • Can I count a class I was a TA for toward one of the four credits?

    Unfortunately, we are not able to accept TA credits. You must have been enrolled in the class.