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An Ivy League MOOC-based Computer Science Degree for Non-CS Majors

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Coursera announced its eleventh MOOC-based online degree. This time it has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania, one of the eight Ivy League Schools. The Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) is a graduate degree for students without a computer science background, though you still need to have a bachelor’s degree of some sort to be accepted into the program.

University of Pennsylvania Online Master of Computer and Information Technology

Last month, I wrote about how MOOC providers are investing heavily in launching fully online degrees. The recent spate of online degree announcements and the resources being spent by MOOC providers and universities alike is giving me a feeling of deja vu. I called this phenomenon, The Second Wave of MOOC Hype. And now Penn has thrown its hat into the ring.

Penn and Coursera go way back. in 2012, Penn along with California Institute of Technology put in a combined investment of  $3.7 million dollars in equity funding. It has launched over 100 courses and currently has around a dozen active Specializations on Coursera. Note: Penn also offers a few courses on edX. A complete list can be found here.

The MCIT degree program costs a total of $26,300 ($25,000 (tuition) + $1,300 (fees) and take anywhere between 20 to 40 months. The offline counterpart of the same degree costs around $75,000. The degree consists of six core courses (listed below) and four electives in areas such as Data Science and Machine Learning.

  • CIT 591 Introduction to Software Development
  • CIT 592 Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science
  • CIT 593 Introduction to Computer Systems
  • CIT 594 Data Structures & Software Design
  • CIT 595 Computer Systems Programming
  • CIT 596 Algorithms & Computation

The application process requires a potential student to submit a personal letter, two letters of recommendation, and an unofficial transcript. GRE scores are optional, but TOEFL is required for international applicants and non-U.S. citizens/permanent resident applicants if they are non-native English speakers.

More details about MCIT can be found here. You can find a complete list of MOOC-based degrees here.