Penn teams up with Coursera to offer fully online computer science degree

Beginning January 2019, the Ivy League university will offer a computer science master's degree on Coursera — at one-third the cost of its on-campus alternative.

The University of Pennsylvania will offer a completely online master’s degree in computer science, in a bid to make the field more accessible to non-traditional learners.

Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science will begin offering an online Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) degree beginning in January 2019, the Ivy League university announced Wednesday.

The degree will be offered exclusively through Coursera, the California-based online learning platform that, as of June, had more than 33 million users. Coursera also offers online degree programs through the University of Illinois, University of Michigan and others.

The new, two-year master’s program will cost $26,300 — or about one-third of the cost of the $75,000 on-campus alternative. The program, which requires no prior knowledge or experience in computer science, is meant to be a more accessible option for non-traditional students and people already in the workforce.


“MCIT Online is a game-changer for people who want to earn a Master of Computer Science but don’t have a tech background or can’t attend an on-campus program,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, in a statement.

Students will be required to take six core courses and four electives in areas including machine learning, software development and data science. Upon graduating from the online program, they will have full access to Penn’s alumni network.

“This degree represents the democratization of computer science,” said Maggioncalda. “It brings a world-class, Ivy League degree within reach of people of all backgrounds, from anywhere in the world.”

Latest Podcasts