Student Experience

University of Illinois


The Coursera Platform

Coursera partners with leading universities to deliver the world’s best online degree programs.

The MCS program is developed and taught by the University of Illinois, and comes from 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.

Degrees on Coursera are powered by technology that empowers you to learn on your schedule and on the device of your choice. Courses are made up of modules that can be completed during commutes or other short periods of spare time. They include supplementary readings, video lectures, assignments, and discussion forums that help you spark connections with your peers.

Students also attend live classroom sessions with professors, work together on group projects using Zoom and Slack, and get access to instructors during live office hours.

Watch current and graduate student stories

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MCS-DS Student

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Fernando D.

Fernando D.

IL MCS-DS Student

Hear from our Students

“What made the MCS-DS program attractive to me is that I have already been working full-time in the Bay Area, and it helped fit with my work schedule. I've been able to use some of the skills that I've learned through the program actively in my work, especially in the aspects of data cleaning. It's helped make my work more productive.

What I like best about the program is the flexibility. Commutes are a major thing in today's society, and being able to do the lectures along in the commute. It really helps maximize time. What's been the most surprising about the program is despite the fact that it's at a distance, there's so many different software tools that you can use to stay in contact with your team members, as well as with the professors.

I particularly love the Coursera platform, which was what made me so excited about the program to begin with. The assignments for the courses link up well with real-world work. Programming assignments are done through GitHub and GitLabs, just as it is at an actual job.”

- Brad Ballard, MCS-DS Student, Veteran

“I have been in cloud operations world for a very long time. You keep hearing about data science all the time. I’m an engineer at heart, I’ve done software development, I’ve done architecture. I’m a senior director now so I don’t do as much hands-on work, but it was important for me to truly understand this field. I’m just jazzed by the opportunities and the potential.

I have a full-time job, so I couldn't go to campus. I couldn’t even go to evening classes. So, to have unlimited access to the material and to the lectures and to professors on demand. I’ve done my lessons at 3 a.m. in the morning, I’ve done them at 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Having that flexibility was really important for me.

if you are passionate about learning about data science and if you want flexibility from a high-quality of the program, it’s definitely worth taking a plunge. I think it’s a phenomenal option.

- Ashish Kumar, MCS-DS Student

Modular Course Structure

Lectures are organized into weekly modules, which can be absorbed via video playback or interactive transcript. Pace yourself through online lectures before meeting with the professor and your classmates to dive deeper into the material.


Access your courses from anywhere — you can even download them to your mobile device and study offline without using your data plan.

Global Community

Interact and make connections with fellow students through course forums.

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.