The Human Language Technology Graduate Certificate Program (HLT Certificate) offers a Master’s-level certificate, which accompanies a normal MA or MS degree in one of the three human language technology disciplines: Computer Science; Linguistics; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.


The explosive growth of the Web and the vast improvements in computing power in the last decade have led to a strong need for education and research in human language technology. Human language technology is an interdisciplinary field that includes the following key technological and scientific areas:

  • Computer Speech Recognition and Understanding
  • Natural Language Understanding and Generation
  • Text-based Information Retrieval
  • Web-based Dialog Agents

CU Boulder’s interdisciplinary HLT Certificate, offered jointly by the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS), the Center for Computational Language and EducAtion Research, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Linguistics, and the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, provides a rich and broad background for students interested in computational tools for human language processing.

Applying for Admission

Students apply to the HLT Certificate program by being admitted to a graduate degree program in Computer Science, Linguistics, or Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences departments, then applying for admission through ICS.


Apply by completing the following six steps. Submit all items to to

Step 1

First be admitted to a Master's, 5-year concurrent Master's or PhD program in one of
the below CU Boulder programs:

Step 2

Contact the HLT Curriculum Committee member in the appropriate department.

         Computer Science 
 Jim Martin,

         Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences
Kathryn Arehart,

Martha Palmer,

Step 3

Your department's HLT Curriculum Committee member will forward your inquiry to the Institute of Cognitive Science office. Once you have been contacted by ICS, you will complete the remaining steps.

step 4 Submit an ICS Graduate Program Application Form 
Step 5 Submit an Unofficial Transcript from your department/unit  
Step 6 Submit an HLT Plan of Study/Progress Report Form



The curriculum for the certificate consists of five different courses:

  • One semester of programming (CSCI 1300) (waived for those with programming background).
  • Three courses from the core list; at least two of these three must be outside the student’s home department and college.
  • One course from the optional course list (or two from the optional list if programming was waived). Extra courses from the core list (beyond the required three) can also be counted as optional courses.

Three of these five required courses must be taken at the graduate level.


While the certificate only requires CSCI 1300 (Programming) we strongly recommend other programming courses, especially CSCI 2270 (Data Structures), but also LING 5200 (Computational Corpus Linguistics and Python Programming), or TLEN 5833. We also recommend any relevant statistics course, such as SLHS 2100, PSYC 3101, PSYC 5741/5751, or EDUC 5716. 

Students must take three courses from this core list. At least two of the three must be outside the student's home department and college.

Required Course

CSCI/LING 5832 Natural Language Processing

Courses in Designing and Using Interactive Language Systems

CSCI 4838/6838 User Interface Design and Evaluation

Courses in Human Communication


LING 5030 Phonetics
LING 5420 Morphology and Syntax


CSCI/LING 7800 Computational Lexical Semantics
CSCI/LING 7800 Computational Morphology and Phonology

Students must take at least one other course from this optional list (or two if the programming requirement was waived)

CSCI 5582 Artificial Intelligence
CSCI 6622 Advanced Machine Learning
CSCI 3104/6454 Algorithms
CSCI 3155 Principles of Programming Languages
CSCI 3434/5444 Theory of Computation
CSCI 4402/5402 Human Language Technology Laboratory
CSCI 5535 Fundamental Concepts of Programming Languages
CSCI 6302 Speech Recognition and Synthesis
ECEN 5622 Information Theory and Coding
ECEN 4242 Communication Theory
ECEN 5612 Noise and Random Processes
ECEN 5652 Detection and Extraction of Signals from Noise
LING 5200 Introduction to Computational Corpus Linguistics
LING 6450 Syntactic Analysis
LING 7420 / 5420 Syntactic Theory
LING 7430 / 5430 Semantic Theory
PHIL 2440 Symbolic Logic
PHIL 4440/5440 Mathematical Logic
PSYC 5185 Cognitive Processes in Reading
PSYC 4165 Psychology of Perception
PSYC 7051 Psychology Research Practicum
PSYC/LING 5300 Psycholinguistics
PSYC/LING/SLHS 4560 Language Development
SLHS 2010 The Science of Human Communication
SLHS 5272 Augmentative Alternative Communication: Theory and Use
SLHS 7202 Motor Control and Speech Production
SLHS 6006 Advanced Hearing Science
SLHS 6106 Experimental Phonetics 1

*Independent Study: if a student needs to replace one required course to satisfy program requirements due to unavoidable scheduling issues,complete and submit the Independent Study Approval Form to

Four Steps to Complete the Program

Step 1 Complete all required courses with a minimum grade of B.
Step 2 Submit an Unofficial Transcript to the Academic Program Director at The Director will confirm whether all required courses have been completed.
Step 3

Complete the HLT Plan of Study/Progress Report Form. Submit the completed form electronically to

Step 4 The Academic Program Director will review the transcript, Progress Reports to confirm that requirements were met. Once approved, ICS will contact the Registrar's Office to include the Certificate on the student's official transcript. Certificates are awarded at the end of academic year ICS celebration.

For more information on becoming a University of Colorado graduate student prior to applying for the ICS Human Language Technology Certificate program, contact the following departments/units directly:
         Computer Science
         Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences

For more information on the Cognitive Science Programs contact:
Institute of Cognitive Science