The Online Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) is an online masters degree in Computer Science tailored for non-Computer Science majors Offered by the University of Pennsylvania. This new program brings the long-running, established on-campus MCIT degree online. The MCIT program empowers students without computer science backgrounds to succeed in computing and technology fields. MCIT students come from diverse academic backgrounds ranging from business and history to chemistry and medicine.
Computer science might not be in your past, but it will be in your future. Technology has an immense impact on our lives, and is creating fields and positions that didn’t exist five years ago. Equipped with a competitive computer science degree, MCIT graduates will be uniquely positioned to fill roles in finance, healthcare, education, and government, as well as in the core software development industry. Exposure to real-world projects throughout the program will prepare students to utilize skills that positively impact society.
This program fosters a rich and inclusive community for students, granting access to core university services that support their well-being and future career goals. This support, combined with a strong alumni network and career services, prepares students to succeed even if they are new to the tech industry. Upon completion of the degree, on-campus MCIT alumni have gone on to earn jobs with competitive salaries at leading technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Bloomberg.
Applications for the Fall 2020 cohort are now open.
The early application deadline is March 1st.
The final application deadline is May 1st.
Get familiar with online learning by taking Penn Engineering’s stand-alone online course, Computational Thinking for Problem Solving, and assess your ability to think like a computer scientist.
The Online Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) program is a rigorous graduate-level program that offers talented students with no prior experience in computer science an opportunity to embark on a highly successful career in technology. The program accepts applications for fall and spring semesters.Learn more about Admissions
The accelerated MCIT Online curriculum is designed for students to build the strong foundation needed to pursue the graduate-level electives taken by students in traditional computer science Masters programs.Learn more about Academics
Computer science and technology have the power to reshape your career and your life. Graduates of MCIT have gone on to pursue careers in diverse industries including finance, healthcare, education, and government, as well as in the core software development industry.Learn more about Careers
MCIT Online is about more than just the curriculum. Students in this program will have access to core services across the university to support their well-being and future career goals. Although MCIT Online students do not study on Penn’s campus, they are considered members of the Penn community.Learn more about Student Experience
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, research-intensive university located in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Penn traces its origin to 1740 and continues to pursue the principles of its founder, Benjamin Franklin: invention, outreach, entrepreneurship, innovation, and the pragmatic unity of theory and practice. Penn’s educational offerings balance the arts and sciences with the professions.Learn more about University of Pennsylvania
Try Penn Engineering’s stand-alone online course, Computational Thinking for Problem Solving, and assess your ability to think like a computer scientist.Learn how to find out if the MCIT Online is the right fit for you
Early Application Deadline
Final Application Deadline
Yes – there is a Letters of Recommendation section on the Penn FAQ page.
No, but there is a Computational Thinking for Problem Solving course to help you decide whether the program is the right fit before you apply.
Here is a link to Penn’s Clery Act and Crime Reporting information.
Yes! There is a Computational Thinking for Problem Solving course to help you decide whether the program is the right fit before you apply. In 2020, elective courses will be open to the public as well.
MCIT is intended for students with little or no recent CS experience. Applicants who have recent undergraduate degrees in CS or a related field may not find value in this program. If you would be able to test out of more than two core courses, it is likely that you are over-qualified. Our goal is to create a diverse cohort of students and during our evaluation process, we will consider whether an applicant’s background and experience make them an ideal fit for our program.
No. The MCIT (Master of Information and Computer Technology) degree is a Master’s degree but not a Master of Science degree. MCIT is its own unique credential that has earned an excellent reputation on Penn’s campus over the last 17 years. It is considered a STEM degree by the US government and the knowledge gained is comparable to a Master of Science in Computer Science.
The University of Pennsylvania is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Learn more about accreditation here.
Graduates of MCIT have gone on to pursue careers in diverse industries including electronics and robotics, consumer technology, biotechnology, automotive, aerospace, nonprofits, education, chemical and biomedical engineering, computer graphics and game technology, electrical engineering, nanotechnology, embedded systems and more.
No, no prior knowledge of computer science is required.
MCIT was founded on the belief that rigorous computer science courses designed for people with non-technical undergraduate degrees can prepare graduates for rapid entry into the computing industry or improve and strengthen their working knowledge as an industry professional. There are no required prerequisite courses; however, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school or university.
Absolutely! The MCIT program was designed for students without a STEM background. You’ll learn everything you need to know. That being said, the program needs to see evidence of your quantitative abilities in your application. For example, they will take note of grades that you received in math, science, and engineering courses. If you have not taken courses in these areas, or if you received low grades in the past, there are other ways that you can demonstrate your quantitative abilities. The GRE is one option, as well as earning online certificates in STEM, computing or data science courses.
You may submit unofficial transcripts (translated to English if necessary) with the application. Official transcripts must be submitted before matriculation if an offer of admission is made. All other official documentation must be received before the application deadline in order to be considered (i.e., letters of recommendation, and, if applicable: GRE and TOEFL).
You may submit unofficial transcripts (translated to English if necessary) with the application. Official transcripts must be submitted before matriculation if an offer of admission is made.
You will be notified by email that a decision is available to be viewed online. You will need to log into your application to view the actual decision.
The first step is to accept our offer and pay the deposit. Next, send an email to the MCIT Online program which includes the specific reason for the deferral and the term that you are planning on attending.
The deadline to request a deferral is the last day before classes begin for your first graduate semester. If approved, you can defer for up to two semesters (one academic year) at a time, and for a total of four semesters (two academic years).
Yes! In fact, the quantitative skills gained from your undergraduate degree will be useful as you progress through the MCIT curriculum.
You can check the status of your application by looking at the application checklist. When your application is complete, it will say “Ready for Review.” Your application status will remain “Ready for Review” until you receive an admissions decision.
We will reach out to you if we require any additional documents or information.
To check the status of your application, please look at your application checklist. If your checklist reads “Materials Needed,” that indicates that we have not yet received one of the required documents: a letter of recommendation or official TOEFL test scores.
Your checklist status will say “Ready for Review” when we consider your application complete. Your checklist will remain as “Ready for Review” until you are sent an admissions decision.
No! In fact, it’s better if you submit your application as soon as possible. We are only able to link letters of recommendation and English proficiency requirements to your application after it is submitted.
No, the GRE is optional. If submitted, exam results will be taken into consideration in the evaluation process and can have a favorable impact.
If you receive an offer of admission, you must submit your official transcripts before matriculation. We must receive an official, final transcript from each institution where you earned course credit. You must also send a graduation verification certificate, if it is not stated on the final transcript from your degree granting institution. If you are admitted to the MCIT Online program, we will contact you with instructions on how to submit your official transcripts.
No, the program is not able to sponsor visas for online students since the entire degree is online.
No. However, this is available with the on-campus MCIT program.
All international applicants, non-US Citizens, and non-US Permanent Resident applicants for whom English is not the native language must submit official scores for the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) will not be accepted in place of the TOEFL.
This requirement can be waived if the candidate has completed a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree where the medium of instruction at the institution is English, by the time of matriculation. Applicants are required to submit documentation of the medium of instruction along with the waiver. Applicants will have the opportunity to apply for a waiver upon submission of their application.
Unofficial transcripts (translated to English if necessary) from all institutions where course credit was earned are required for admission. Official transcripts must be submitted before matriculation if an offer of admission is made.
Current Penn students may not enroll in the MCIT Online program while they are simultaneously enrolled in a degree program on-campus. Current master’s students interested in MCIT should consider applying for the on-campus dual degree program instead.
Current Penn students may not enroll in the MCIT Online program while they are simultaneously enrolled in a degree program on-campus. On-campus students can apply to submatriculate into the on-campus MCIT program.
Only students who have been admitted to the MCIT Online program are permitted to take online courses for credit. There is a Computational Thinking for Problem Solving course that is open to all learners. We will also offer more computer science electives on Coursera down the road, although they will not be for credit.
Current Penn students may not transfer into the MCIT Online program. Current master’s students interested in MCIT should consider applying for the dual degree program instead.
In order to maintain the cohort experience and for capacity planning purposes, transferring between the on-campus and online MCIT programs is not permitted.
Only students who have been admitted to the MCIT Online program are permitted to take online courses for credit.
All exams and coursework are completed online.
Currently this is not an option for MCIT Online students.
No, this is not available for MCIT Online students.
You may transfer up to two courses taken prior to matriculation at Penn, subject to faculty approval. Please see the Penn Engineering Graduate Handbook for further details.
The MCIT curriculum is designed so that students can quickly build a strong CS foundation and then be prepared to take graduate-level electives which are exactly the same as those taken by students in traditional CS Masters programs.
Many of the courses provide students the opportunities to engage in applied, industry-relevant projects that prepare them for the current CS job market, and that are built on a rigorous theoretical underpinning that ensures that they will be able to adapt along with the field as it changes over the years.
The main difference between a traditional CS Masters and MCIT is that MCIT students take more core courses, whereas traditional CS Master’s students can often take more electives which allows them to go deeper into a particular subject area or broader across various topics in their coursework.
Despite this, however, and as shown through Penn’s recent Career Services reports, the job placement results of MCIT students has been comparable to that of students completing our traditional CS Masters in terms of the types of companies, starting salary, and other compensation.
The MCIT Online curriculum includes Java (including data structures), C and C++.
If you are interested in learning Python, it will be taught in the Computational Thinking for Problem Solving course, as well as in some of the program's elective courses such as Machine Learning and A.I.
All students are required to take the following courses:
Additionally, you’ll complete four electives in areas such as machine learning, data science, and computing systems.
We do not plan to offer scholarships at this moment. Should we decide to do this in the future, such opportunities will be made known to prospective and enrolled students.
Applicants who are admitted and decide to join the program will need to submit a non-refundable $300 USD enrollment deposit, which will be applied towards tuition.
Online students who are enrolled at least half-time (at least two courses) will be eligible to apply for federal student loans. International students’ eligibility may vary depending upon their international status.
Please be mindful of the FAFSA deadlines in relation to the application deadlines.
Yes! This program is tuition remission eligible for Penn employees. You can learn more at the Penn Benefits website: https://www.hr.upenn.edu/PennHR/benefits-pay/tuition
The total cost of tuition and fees for the program is $26,300. You will pay per semester based on the number of courses you are taking. For example, if you take one course in Spring 2019, you will pay $2,630 ($2500 tuition + $130 fees).
For payment options please visit the Student Registration & Financial Services website.
Yes. MCIT Online is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of adult learners and working professionals. For example, there are no required synchronous (real-time) sessions.
The program is made up of 10 courses and will take 20-40 months to complete.
The majority of interactions with faculty will be virtual, e.g., during the weekly office hours via video conference. That said, the program will likely schedule a few in-person meet-ups for local folks involved with MCIT Online as well.
Yes. For details, see the Penn Engineering Graduate Handbook.
Yes. The online application will be available here once the first cohort has completed their first semester.
You can find information about Coursera’s accessibility policy here.
Admitted students can use the Self-ID form on the Student Disabilities Services website to voluntarily register a disability with the University.
We highly recommend our new course called Computational Thinking for Problem Solving which will teach you some basic Python programming. Reviewing basic algebra, probabilities, and statistics would be helpful as well.
MCIT is intended for students with little or no recent CS experience. Applicants who have recent undergraduate degrees in CS or a related field may not find value in this program. If you would be able to test out of more than two core courses, it is likely that you are over-qualified. The program's goal is to create a diverse cohort of students and during the evaluation process, they will consider whether an applicant’s background and experience make them an ideal fit for the program.
Admission to MCIT Online is extremely competitive and you’ll want your application to be as strong as it can be. The program looks for applicants who are likely to succeed in, benefit from, and contribute to the MCIT program and your application should emphasize those things as much as possible.
Although the GRE is optional for MCIT Online, very high scores, especially in the Quantitative section of the exam, will help demonstrate that you have an aptitude for quantitative subjects. If your undergraduate degree is not in a quantitative subject, or if you did not take or do well in many quantitative courses, then achieving a high GRE score will help your application.
Of course, you can’t go back and change things in your past like your undergraduate GPA, but if there are grades that you are not particularly proud of, address them in your personal statement and explain how you have learned from those experiences and why you’ll still be able to succeed in MCIT Online.
Your personal statement should also make it clear that you understand the MCIT Online curriculum and how it matches your career goals, explain your reasons for applying to the program, and give specific examples of things that you’ve done in the past that show that you will succeed in the future. You should also describe the ways in which you will contribute to the program and to the MCIT community.
Additionally, it is helpful to demonstrate that you have experience completing online courses because the online learning environment is unique and requires commitment, flexibility, and organizational and time management skills. If you have taken any online courses (regardless of subject area), please include them on your resume and/or in your personal statement and mention the platform (e.g., Coursera, edX, Blackboard, Moodle, etc).
Although you will not write your letters of recommendation, of course, we suggest that you speak to your letter writers about your motivation for applying to the program and what you consider your strengths to be, and ask your writers to reflect those in their letters.
Last, although MCIT Online does not have any specific prerequisites in terms of coursework or CS knowledge, taking and doing well in one or two introductory CS courses (whether online or on-campus at another institution) is a good way of showing interest and aptitude. If you’re looking for an online course to help you get ramped up, the Computational Thinking for Problem Solving course is a good place to start.
Can I edit a recommender?
Can I re-use letters of recommendation?
The letters should be in reference to the MCIT Online program so it is not recommended that you use letters that you may have used to apply to another program.
Can I send you my recommendation letters via email or mail?
How can I add another recommender?
Is it beneficial to have more than two letters?
Is it possible to waive letters of recommendation?
If you have any questions, please contact the MCIT Online Admissions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-573-0655.
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.
We encourage you to investigate whether this degree meets your academic and/or professional needs before applying.
Penn Engineering offers an online Computational Thinking for Problem Solving course on Coursera to help you decide whether the program is the right fit before you apply.