Master of Computer Science

University of Illinois

Accredited diploma

Offered by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Taught in English

Engage in group discussions with professors and peers

12-36 months

8 courses total, 32 credit hours, 10-12 hours per week

100% online

Hands-on learning from anywhere, no travel required

$21,440 USD total cost

Advance your career with a master's from a top-5 computer science school; also voted best online master’s in data science.*

*Source: US News and World Report and Fortune

Earning your master’s degree with the pioneering University of Illinois faculty is an ideal way to launch and advance a successful data science or computer science career. The Master of Science in Computer Science is a non-thesis (coursework-only) degree that requires 32 credit hours of graduate coursework, completed through eight graduate-level courses each at the four credit hour level.

There are two paths available. Choose a data science (MCS-DS) or computer science (MCS) program, and apply today.

Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS)

Data science is transforming our global economy, redefining how we do business, and changing our lives for the better in countless ways. Data scientists are in high-demand across industries, valued for their ability to help businesses make date-driven decisions. If you’re interested in extracting knowledge and insights from massive data sets and are eager to put these skills to work in a rewarding career, then enroll in the Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) program from the University of Illinois today, and start mastering the skills necessary for a successful data science career.

Fortune ranked University of Illinois as the #1 best online Master’s in Data Science program in 2022. With the MCS-DS, you’ll gain core competencies in machine learning, data mining, data visualization, and cloud computing. You can also dive into interdisciplinary data science courses offered in cooperation with the Department of Statistics and the nation’s top-ranked School of Information Sciences.

Master of Computer Science (MCS)

The University of Illinois offers a separate, more flexible track for students who are eager to explore several advanced topics in computer science as part of their degree program. This track is ideal for learners who want to build skills in at least four core areas of computer science, choosing from topics that include artificial intelligence, database and information systems, interactive computing, software engineering, scientific computing, and high-performance computing.

As a graduate of this program, you’ll be able to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory to real-word problems, and you’ll know how to analyze a problem and identify the computing requirements appropriate to its solution. You’ll also possess the skills to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program, and apply design and development principles to construct software systems of varying complexity.

Application Information

  • Spring 2023 Application Open: June 2, 2022
  • Spring 2023 Priority Deadline: August 17, 2022
  • Spring 2023 Application Deadline: October 15, 2022
  • Class Start Date: January 17, 2023

Applications are open three times per year, for cohorts starting in the fall, spring, and summer.

Why should you apply by the priority deadline?

  • Early Decision: Receive your admission decision by September 30, 2022.
  • Early Access: Get early access to the MCS onboarding course and a guaranteed seat in one course of choice – from Cloud Computing to Data Visualization and more.
  • Early Engagement: Attend a new student webinar and start meeting your classmates! Receive department newsletters and other MCS highlights in your inbox.

Update: In response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries impacted by COVID-19, the Graduate College will temporarily accept Duolingo English Test examination results for tests taken between February 1, 2020 and August 1, 2023. Please refer to the English proficiency page for further details on how admissions requirements may have been impacted by COVID-19.

Get a head start on your degree studies by earning a certificate from one of these participating programs.

Prepare for this degree

Take courses to prepare yourself for this degree program

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Get started today

You don’t have to wait to get started towards your MCS degree — you can try out an open course, or MOOC, online and begin learning today.

If you later apply and are admitted to the degree program, any assignment that was only peer or auto-graded for a previous Coursera MOOC version of a course can be re-submitted when taking the Online MCS offering of the course for consideration by the faculty and staff to satisfy the requirements to confer university credit. However, for-credit course content may be revised and updated for course improvement, making previously completed MOOC assignments no longer compatible with the degree requirements.

If you do not have graded and transcripted prerequisite CS coursework in the areas of data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented programming, check out our new Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals Specialization that is designed to help you prepare for the Data Structures Proficiency Exam, which can strengthen your application for admission.

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About the Program

Admissions

Applicants must hold a 4-year bachelor's degree (or equivalent). Students with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than CS are encouraged to apply, but to succeed in graduate-level CS courses, they must have prerequisites in object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, linear algebra, and statistics.

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Academics

The Master of Computer Science (MCS) is a degree program that includes advanced coursework in artificial intelligence, databases, interactive computing, software engineering, scientific computing, and high-performance computing. A well-known track specifically for studies in data science (the MCS-DS) is available.

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Careers

Join the ranks of technology industry visionaries who have degrees from Illinois Computer Science, including founders and leaders of Match.com, Microsoft, Netscape, PayPal, YouTube, and Yelp.

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Student Experience

The MCS program is developed and taught by the same faculty that teaches the on-campus MCS. The University of Illinois leverages Coursera’s online education platform to deliver the program curriculum, allowing MCS students to benefit from Coursera features such as interactive video transcription, in-course note taking, and seamless learning across multiple devices.

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About University of Illinois

From ILLIAC (one of the earliest computers) to Blue Waters (the fastest university supercomputer), from the first vectorizing compilers to LLVM (the modern industry-standard compiler), and from Mosaic (the first popular web browser) to the launch of YouTube and many other internet startups, Illinois Computer Science continues to define the forefront of computing education, innovation, and research.

Learn more about University of Illinois

Try A Degree Course

Wondering if the Master of Computer Science or Master of Computer Science in Data Science is right for you? From cloud computing to data visualization to artificial intelligence and machine learning, preview the curriculum and get started today!

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Events

Aug17

Priority application deadline

Oct15

Application deadline for Spring 2023 cohort. Start your application here.

Remember, your application needs to be paid and submitted by 11:59pm US Central Time on Oct 15th.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Coursera does not grant credit, and does not represent that any institution other than the degree granting institution will recognize the credit or credential awarded by the institution; the decision to grant, accept, or transfer credit is subject to the sole and absolute discretion of an educational institution.