Master of Computer Science

University of Illinois

Filled Play
A degree that fits your life

Deepen your knowledge and boost your career with a degree from a top-5 Computer Science graduate program in the U.S.

The degree program is designed to be flexible and fast — you can earn your Master’s with 100% online courses in as little as 12 months, while applying your learning immediately to your job.

The Online MCS program requires 32 credit hours of graduate coursework, completed through eight graduate-level courses. The MCS requires that four of these eight courses are chosen from four different core areas of computer science, and that three of these eight courses are at the advanced graduate level (500-level). The Online MCS currently offers coursework in the core areas of artificial intelligence, databases, interactive computing, software engineering, scientific computing, and high-performance computing.

Master of Computer Science in Data Science

Students interested in data science can select the Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) track. This track is for students who want to prepare for data science careers by learning how to mine useful insights from massive datasets. The Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) confers the same MCS degree, but focuses on core competencies in machine learning, data mining, data visualization, and cloud computing, as well as interdisciplinary data science courses offered in cooperation with the Department of Statistics and the School of Information Science.

Learn more about the Master of Computer Science in Data Science

  • Clock
    12 - 36 months
    Each course requires 10 - 12 hours per week, depending on the student’s background
  • Curriculum
    32 credit hours (8 courses)
  • Money
    Total Cost
  • Globe
    Completely online

Application Deadline: October 15, 2019

The next cohort starts on January 21, 2020.

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

Get Started Today

You don’t have to wait to get started towards your MCS degree — you can try out an open course online and begin learning today. If you later apply and are admitted to the degree program, your assignments completed in open courses can count toward completion of degree courses.

Also, 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 Online MCS Entrance Exam, which can strengthen your application for admission.

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About the Program



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.

Learn more about admissions


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.

Learn more about academics


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

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Student Experience

Student Experience

Students watch lectures at their own pace on the Coursera platform. They are also advised and assessed by Illinois faculty and teaching assistants on rigorous assignments, programming projects, and comprehensive exams.

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About University of Illinois

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

Try A Degree Course

Wondering if the Master of Computer Science or Master of Computer Science in Data Science is right for you? Preview the curriculum and get started today!

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Upcoming Events


Application deadline - Start your application here. Remember, your application needs to be paid and submitted by 11:59pm Central Time on October 15.


Admissions webinar - This is a great opportunity to meet our team, ask questions, and get more information about the curriculum and student admissions process. Register today


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.

Sit in on a degree course

There are multiple ways to start the path to your Master’s.