High-Performance Computing

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduate Certificate
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus, Virginia Science and Technology Campus - Ashburn

Program Overview

The certificate in high-performance computing offers an alternative to a Master of Science degree program for professionals who wish to align their background with the rapid changes in computing technologies and to expand their education beyond the Bachelor's degree but might not have the time to commit to a full graduate degree program.

With processor chips now having multi-cores and turning into multiprocessors, all computing is turning into high-performance computing.  This program addresses the professional preparedness needs arising from these current transformative developments and draws upon our advanced research engagements and our cutting-edge facilities in high-performance computing.

The objective of this program is to provide a mechanism for interdisciplinary computational engineers and scientists, as well as for computer engineers and scientists, to acquire up-to-date knowledge in the advances of computer systems.  The certificate in high-performance computing program addresses the rapid growth and applications of multicore processors, parallel computers, hardware accelerators, and networked computing as a tool for engineering and scientific modeling. It is carefully tailored to provide students with the necessary knowledge in the basic aspects of high performance computing, including programming, performance, architectures, systems, and applications.  This certificate program offers an alternative to a Master of Science degree (M.S.) program, but it may also serve as a path towards the M.S. and/or doctoral degree(s). 

The certificate is comprised of five graduate courses, or 15 credit hours.  Three of these courses are required core courses and two are selected from a set of electives. The required courses are all computer engineering courses and the approved electives come from a list that spans many other disciplines in the university and are mostly of computational or parallel nature. Students who are not required to take any prerequisites can complete the certificate requirements within one year. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering M.S. program accepts all certificate courses into its graduate programs leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree.

The graduate engineering certificate program will admit applicants on an open enrollment basis. Applicants will be subject to the same admissions process as applicants to the M.S. in computer engineering except that they will indicate their choice of certificate program.  Additional perquisites may be needed as determined by the faculty member acting as the principal advisor for this certificate program. Courses are selected from the regular offering as per the university schedule of classes.   Most of these classes are offered on a once per week basis and meet either late afternoon or early evening.  Cohorts can be arranged by mutual agreements. 

Students will be awarded the Graduate Engineering Certificate in High-Performance Computing after completion of all five of the courses in the program with a grade point average of 3.0 and with no more than two courses with a grade of C.

The faculty advisor responsible for the graduate engineering certificate program is Professor Tarek El-Ghazawi.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – January 15
Spring – September 1
Summer – March 1

Standardized test scores:

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.  Minimum scores:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based; or
  • PTE Academic: 53.

Applicants with lower test scores may qualify for our full-time Applied English Studies program.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If academic records are in a language other than English, a copy in the original language and an English language translation must be uploaded. Transcript evaluations should not be uploaded. Applicants with degrees from Indian universities should upload transcripts and/or detailed marksheets.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 to 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University; describe your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans; and discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned.

International applicants only:

International applicants requiring a visa from GW are not eligible to apply for admission to this program, but may apply for the M.S., Ph.D., or a professional degree (App.Sc. or Engr.) in computer engineering with an area of focus in computer architecture and high performance computing.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the SEAS Frequently Asked Questions page

Contact for questions:
[email protected] - 202.994.1802 - 202.994.1651 (fax)
9:00 – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Skype: GW Engineering