A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.
Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.
When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.
What is the refund policy?
Can I just enroll in a single course?
Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.
Is financial aid available?
Can I take the course for free?
Is this course really 100% online? Do I need to attend any classes in person?
This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.
How long does it take to complete the Specialization?
Time to completion can vary widely based on your schedule. Most learners are able to complete the Specialization in 4-5 months.
How often is each course in the Specialization offered?
Each course in the Specialization is offered on a regular schedule with sessions starting about once per month. If you don't complete a course on the first try, you can easily transfer to the next session, and your completed work and grades will carry over.
What background knowledge is necessary?
Basic working knowledge of computers and computer systems
Familiarity with common programming languages (e.g., C, C++, Java)
Do I need to take the courses in a specific order?
It is recommended that the courses in the Specialization be taken in the order outlined. In the Capstone Project, you will have the opportunity to synthesize your learning in all the courses and apply your combined skills in a final project.
Will I earn university credit for completing the Specialization?
MCS courses in Coursera do not carry University of Illinois credit on their own. Each course has an enhanced for-credit component. You can earn academic credit if you combine an MCS Coursera course with the enhanced for-credit component offered on the University of Illinois platform. Some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.
What will I be able to do upon completing the Specialization?
There will be hands-on laboratory experiments (Load Balancing and Web Services, MapReduce, Hive, Storm, and Mahout). Case studies will be drawn from Yahoo, Google, Twitter, Facebook, data mining, analytics, and machine learning. We will also explore current practice by talking to leading industry experts, as well as looking into interesting new research that might shape the cloud network’s future.
More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.