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Illinois Computer Science Expands Affordable MOOC-Based Professional Master’s Program

3/5/2018 9:41:42 AM Colin Robertson, CS @ ILLINOIS

Illinois Computer Science is partnering with Coursera, a leading online education company known for massive open online courses (MOOCs), to offer a fully-fledged professional Master of Computer Science (MCS) on the company’s platform, with the first cohort starting this fall.

The Online MCS will expand upon the existing MCS in Data Science (MCS-DS) Track, which launched on Coursera in 2016 and which will continue to deliver students a specialized set of data science courses.  Today’s new expansion will allow students to select other areas of emphasis, including software engineering, parallel programming, and high performance computing, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional degree programs.  Tuition is only $19,200 for the complete 32 credit hour degree.

Professor Vikram S. Adve
Professor Vikram S. Adve

“We’ve been excited about the response to the MCS in Data Science Track, which has quickly grown to become our largest graduate program with nearly 500 students enrolled from across the globe,” said Vikram S. Adve, Interim Head of the Department of Computer Science. “Now, with the Online MCS, those who have other interests have an affordable, flexible option to gain access to a quality Illinois education.”

“We are realizing that the vast reach of MOOCs makes them a powerful gateway to degrees,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s CEO. “We are working with our university partners to build degrees on top of our open online learning platform that are high quality, affordable, scalable, and flexible.”

Since courses are stackable, students can try them out on Coursera before committing to the full degree program, where they are assessed by Illinois faculty and teaching assistants on the more rigorous set of assignments, projects, and exams required for university credit.  Online MCS students may complete the degree in as many as five years, allowing flexibility for work or family obligations.

Professor John C. Hart
Professor John C. Hart

“The demand for workers who have computer science training continues to skyrocket.  But, not everyone can stop what they’re doing to refocus and retrain.  Coursera’s platform really allows us to meet busy professionals where they are,” said John C. Hart, Director of Online and Professional Programs for the Department of Computer Science.  “The Online MCS is a tremendous opportunity for those who want to expand their knowledge or need refresh their skills in computer science.”

The deadline to apply for the Master of Computer Science is May 30, 2018, with the first cohort starting on August 27, 2018. Learn more about the program or explore other University of Illinois courses offered on Coursera.

About the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Since its founding in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has earned a reputation as a global leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. With our land grant heritage as a foundation, we pioneer innovative research that tackles global problems and expands the human experience. Our transformative learning experiences are designed to produce alumni who desire to make a significant, societal impact. Consistently ranked among the top-5 computer science graduate programs in the United States, Illinois Computer Science has a global reputation for groundbreaking research across the spectrum of computer science.

About Coursera
Coursera is an online education company that partners with 160 of the world’s top universities and industry leaders to offer courses, Specializations, and degrees that empower learners around the world to achieve their career, educational, and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives. Since launching in 2012, the company has grown to 30 million registered learners who can choose among 2,500 courses and 236 Specializations. Leading universities are now also working with Coursera to offer online degrees in areas like business, computer science, and public health.