MCS Data Science Track

Join the Data Science Revolution! Enroll in this completely online degree to learn about new statistical and computational tools that are transforming business and society from the Illinois faculty who are pioneering them.  Discover Data Science: the art of extracting new knowledge and finding meaningful information in a massive sea of data.  With our innovative professional Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) track, offered in partnership with the School of Information Sciences and the Department of Statistics, students receive lectures through Coursera’s massive open online course (MOOC) platform, but are advised and assessed by Illinois faculty and teaching assistants on the more rigorous set of assignments, projects, and exams required for university degree credit.

Students interested in other areas of computer science, like software engineering, parallel programming, or high performance computing, might want to consider our more comprehensive Online MCS.

Apply by October 15 for Spring 2019 admission.

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Who may apply? Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. If it is not in computer science, applicants must have sufficient background in computer programming as well as data structures and algorithms. The recommended undergraduate GPA for applicants applying to the Professional Master's program is a 3.2/4.0 or higher. For questions, please first read the FAQ, then email if your question is not addressed there.


Tuition for the MCS-DS track is $600 per credit hour, for a total of $19,200 for the complete 32 credit hour degree.

Additional Fees

  • Coursera fees:  $79 per each Coursera MOOC course that is applied toward the MCS-DS track (Each credit-bearing course of enrollment at the University of Illinois has two associated MOOC courses.)

    Note: If a required Coursera course has been completed for a certificate before the official MCS-DS course started, students do not need to re-pay.

    More information on Coursera payments and Coursera financial aid can be found here.
  • ProctorU fees: Most MCS-DS courses require one or more exams. Exams are proctored online through the ProctorU service, which will be billed directly to the student when an exam is scheduled, at $8.75 (30-min. exam), $14.75 (1-hr. exam), $21.50 (90-min. and 2-hour exam), or $30.25 (3-hour exam).
  • Other fees: Some courses can require additional fees, such as the Amazon Web Services cloud programming platform used for the cloud computing courses.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Computer Science does not offer research or teaching assistantships to students enrolled in our online programs, including the MCS Data Science track. The MCS-DS program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and enrolled students are eligible for financial assistance. See the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information.

Get Updates

If you are interested in receiving updates about the MCS-DS program, please complete Coursera's Interest Form.