Skip to main content

Start at the very beginning; learn the basic language of computers

Professional Certificate in
Introduction to Computer Science

What you will learn

  • Fundamentals of analytic logic
  • How logic relates to computer science
  • How to write basic programs in Python
  • Functions, loops, and conditionals in Python
  • How to process files

Please note on June 30, 2020, this program will be retiring and no longer available on edX. If you are interested in earning the Professional Certificate you must complete the program by June 30, 2020, in order to earn the certificate.

Millions of people use computers every day but few understand how computers do what they do. Even if you don’t plan to be a professional programmer, you’ll benefit from understanding the very basics of digital machines and from learning to write basic programs in a managed but powerful environment. By understanding how a computer works and learning to think logically, you’ll write better programs and be able to troubleshoot technical problems more easily.

This Professional Certificate will start you at the absolute beginning teaching you about the fundamental binary language of modern computers. You’ll learn about the Turing Machine—a model for the digital computer. You’ll also learn the basics of analytic logic and how learning and applying basic principles of logic can help you both work with and work on technical solutions. You’ll work in a managed environment and learn to code your very first program in Python – a powerful but simple programming language used by app developers and data scientists.

You’ll be able to monitor your progress through regular assessments and hands-on projects will give you the foundational experiences you need to understand modern digital machines. The exercises and assessments will help you continually evaluate your learning and help you focus on the areas where you need to improve your skills. The courses in this certificate program will provide you with a solid foundation for working with computers in any field.

Expert instruction
3 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
4 months
3 - 4 hours per week
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. Microsoft's Introduction to Computer Science Professional Certificate

  2. 3–4 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    In this course that's perfect for true beginners, learn Python basics and start coding right away.

  3. 3–4 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Build on what you learned in the "Introduction to Python: Absolute Beginner" course, and dig into data structure basics.

  4. 2–3 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    Build a solid foundation for programming by learning basic logic and exploring how logic forms the foundation of computer programs.

    • Junior software developer focusing on automation and test
    • Junior technical writer
    • Junior technical program manager

Meet your instructors

from Microsoft
Eric Camplin
Senior Content Developer
Paul Pardi
Principal Content Developer
Microsoft Corporation

Experts from Microsoft committed to teaching online learning


Drive your career forward with university-backed credit programs and verified certificates


Study and demonstrate knowledge on your schedule


Try a course before you pay


Learn with university partners and peers from around the world