Professional Master of Computer Science

The Master of Computer Science (MCS) from Illinois Computer Science allows you to continue your education and accelerate your career by learning from world-class faculty advancing computer science's frontiers. MCS students must complete 32 hours of graduate coursework but are not required to take the GRE or work with an advisor to write a thesis or dissertation. Your courses will cover the same cutting-edge content offered to students enrolled in our research-focused MS and PhD degree programs. 

Choose the MCS degree that's right for you.

MCS on campus

The Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science.Join the student body on the Urbana-Champaign campus for full-time studies and earn an MCS degree in as little as three semesters.

Space on campus is limited, but this option provides students with the most courses to satisfy the MCS degree requirements.

Students pay full tuition and fees and have access to Big 10 Division I sports, marquee theatre and performing arts, and outstanding health and recreational facilities.

Learn about the MCS on campus

Attend classes in downtown Chicago or through an online hybrid model. to pursue an MCS degree full-time in as little as three semesters or take up to five years as a part-time student.

Designed with maximum flexibility in mind for students. Busy professionals can complete a degree while they continue to meet their current life and career obligations. Students will have opportunities for corporate engagement, professional networking events, industry-led presentations, and entrepreneurship events. Students pay full tuition and applicable fees.

Online MCS 

Busy professionals can complete a degree online while they continue to meet their current life and career obligations. Illinois Computer Science has partnered with Coursera to use its massive open online course (MOOC) platform to offer the MCS to students more flexibly and affordably than is possible on campus.

This innovative format offers video lectures through Coursera's platform. It includes assignments, projects, and comprehensive exams required for university degree credit, along with advising, discussion, and feedback from Illinois faculty, staff, and teaching assistants so they can be completed successfully. The Online MCS is designed to allow students to study at their own pace to provide time for work, family, or other obligations.

Students can earn the Online MCS aggressively in as little as one year, more leisurely over three years, or, with occasional pauses, over as many as five years.

Learn about the Online MCS

Online MCS in Data Science 

A woman sitting in a library with a water bottle looks up from her laptop.

Learn about new statistical and computational methods transforming business and society from the Illinois faculty pioneering them. Illinois Computer Science offers a specialized course track that satisfies the MCS degree requirements but with coursework focusing on data science — the art of extracting new knowledge and finding meaningful information in a massive sea of data.

The Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) leads to the same MCS degree as above, but through core competencies in machine learning, data mining, data visualization, and cloud computing, as well as interdisciplinary data science courses offered in cooperation from the Department of Statistics and the School of Information Science.

As with the Online MCS, the Online MCS-DS is provided through our partnership with Coursera on its MOOC platform.

Learn about the Online MCS-DS