Master of Computer Science (Featuring Data Science Track)

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.

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.

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.

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

  • Summer 2022 Application Deadline: February 15, 2022
  • Decision Deadline: March 31, 2022
  • Class Start Date: May 2022

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

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 and August 1, 2022. Please refer to the English proficiency page for further details on how admissions requirements may have been impacted by COVID-19.

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 Data Structures Proficiency 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.

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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

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

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? Preview the curriculum and get started today!

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Filled Play
The Master of Computer Science in Data Science: A top-ranked degree that fits your life

The Master of Computer Science in Data Science: A top-ranked degree that fits your life

"There are some 200,000 jobs in the data sciences that go unfilled each year. The MCS-DS degree unlocks those career opportunities. The main thing that we learn from the students is that they value practice and you have to show how what you're talking about in the fundamentals and the theory actually applies to the real world." - John Hart, Professor of Computer Science and Director of Online and Professional Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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.