University of Pennsylvania


Applications for the Spring 2021 cohort are now closed.

Applications for the Fall 2021 cohort will open on January 4, 2021.


Who should apply

MCIT Online is for motivated students with little or no background in Computer Science who want to launch a rewarding career in the computing industry or use computer science to innovate in their current field.

In order to succeed in this rigorous and accelerated program, students should have both a passion for learning computer science and the ability to dedicate significant time and effort to their studies. While there is no specific undergraduate GPA requirement, successful applicants typically have a GPA above 3.0.

Take this quiz from Penn Engineering to see how this degree would fit into your life.

Note: This quiz will in no way factor into your application -- this is purely to inform your choice to pursue an online degree and to assess your ability to thrive in an accelerated online program. This blog post further describes ways to be successful when studying computer science online.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must have a 3 or 4-year bachelor's degree from an accredited School or University prior to intended matriculation date.

Application Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited school or university
  • A personal statement
    • The personal statement should be a 500-1000 word essay that answers the questions below. Please provide detailed and specific examples from academia, industry or research when possible.
      • What makes you interested in the MCIT Online program?
      • How will you benefit from the program?
      • Why will you succeed in the program?
      • How will you contribute to the MCIT Online community?
      • Please describe your career goals and how the MCIT Online curriculum will help to achieve them.
      • Given that the program is designed for people without a CS background, if you feel that your resume could be perceived as overqualified, please explain why MCIT Online is right for you.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts (translated to English if necessary)
    • From every university or college attended where course credit was earned, including transfer credit transcripts
    • Must include courses taken, credit hours and grades earned
  • Official transcripts will be required following an offer of admission.
  • Your resume
    • Your resume should be in English and 1-2 pages in length (5 pages is the maximum).
    • Penn is interested in your functional job skills, breadth and depth of experience, demonstrated leadership, and any experiences with online learning. Penn is more concerned with what you have learned in your positions than they are with the length of time you’ve been in the workplace.
  • TOEFL scores for international applicants and non-U.S. citizens/permanent resident applicants if English is not your native language. More details can be found on the MCIT Online website.
  • GRE scores are optional. If submitted by the application deadline, official exam results will be taken into consideration in the evaluation process and can have a favorable impact. The test must have been taken within 5 years of application submission. GMAT scores are accepted for consideration.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees for MCIT Online are based upon course units (CUs) with students completing a total of 10 course units during the program.

Rates for Fall 2020 / Spring 2021, per course unit (CU)

Tuition = $2,500 USD per course ($25,000 USD Total)

Online Services Fees = $136 USD per course ($1,360 USD Total)

  • Please be aware that tuition and fees are posted as a guide and may be subject to change.

Students may also be required to purchase textbooks or supplies for a few of the courses in the program.

Tuition will vary depending upon how many course units a student enrolls in each semester. Please see the table below for details.

Number of Course UnitsCost
1 Course Unit$2,500 Tuition + $136 Fee ($2,636 Total)
2 Course Units$5,000 Tuition + $272 Fee ($5,272 Total)
3 Course Units$7,500 Tuition + $408 Fee ($7,908 Total)
4 Course Units$10,000 Tuition + $544 Fee ($10,544 Total)

Students will be billed only for the course units they take each semester. If a student needs to take a term off, they won’t be charged during that term. The core courses must be taken in sequential order. Students may not waive or replace more than two core courses.

For a sample tuition payment schedule, see the “Program Length” section on the Academics page.

Students may have the opportunity to seek tuition reimbursement from their employer. Connect with your manager or HR department to see what’s available to you as an employee.

Technology Requirements

  • MCIT Online is an online degree program and it is your responsibility to have and maintain internet access that permits you to receive and transmit information freely for the duration of the program. Penn is not responsible for any inability to access the program due to disruptions in your internet service, whether caused by technical problems, governmental or other third party actions.
  • Coursera’s Technical Requirements
  • Internal or external webcam
  • ProctorU Technical Requirements

Financial Resources

To learn more about financing your degree visit the Degrees Financial Resources Hub.

Student Loans

Online students who are enrolled at least half-time will be eligible to apply for federal student loans. For the purposes of financial aid, half-time is at least two courses in a semester. International students’ eligibility may vary depending upon their international status.

Please be mindful of the FAFSA deadlines in relation to the application deadlines. You can find more information here.

Student Loan Options for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

Students have access to non-need-based loan funding to cover expenses associated with their degree. Please note that a student's total financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, and all education loans) cannot exceed the financial aid budget for the academic year.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program is available to all U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who meet basic federal requirements (i.e. student has never defaulted on a federal loan, is not currently involved in filing bankruptcy, registered for Selective Service etc). Students can choose to borrow either Federal Direct Graduate PLUS or private student loan funds to supplement the Unsubsidized Loan annual maximum of $20,500. Students should research loan lenders to determine which option is best for their individual situation.

To apply for federal student loans, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Read more about Federal Direct Loans at the Department of Education website.

Your total financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, and all education loans) cannot exceed the estimated expenses plus tuition and fees.

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.

Try before you apply

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.

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