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

The University of Pennsylvania announces a fully online Master of Computer and Information Technology on Coursera for ~$26k

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.

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.

Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

Comments 3

  1. GP

    I was hoping the cost of the next degrees would be closer to the GeorgiaTech one, which is ranked higher!

    By the way, edX has 13 future masters on the website to register interest, but no further info available. They created an “online degree” section for them
    You were absolutely right, an era of online degrees through mooc platforms is upon us

  2. Muvaffak GOZAYDIN

    I have been dedicated to online for the last 25 years . Initionally we spent about $ 1 million per 30 weeks course for high schools . But in 25 years technology advanced a lot . Now we have openedx software to develop an inclass course to an online one . Everybody can do it . Even I can do it See the program at edx STUDIO . So simple . Free . So the cost of online course is only a professor’s salary for 2 may be 3 months . That is $ 30.000 . Use of internet is also costless. only $ 0.01 per person per year . Well you may say there is an overhead of the University . OK Let us say it is $ 1.000 per course. So divide 31.000 $ to about 1.000 enrollment in several terms , cost is less than $ 35 per 3 credit course . What is this price of $ 10.000 per 10 courses . $ 1.000 per course . Gentelmen , you ruin the education in the USA . Tomorrow there will not be any USA if you go on like this . Please stop making huge moniees . Just cost plus 10 % is more than enough .
    See China will pass USA within several years by online sincde they charge very small for online courses .
    If you want to bankrupt soon then go on doing so . You will not be on the earth .

  3. Muvaffak GOZAYDIN

    Stop to be wild capitali,st . Please charge cost plus 10 % to save the country .


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