More on Penn Engineering’s New MCIT Online Program

More on Penn Engineering’s New MCIT Online Program

Penn Engineering faculty members Susan Davidson and Chris Murphy filming their first MCIT Online course.

Yesterday, Penn Engineering announced its first completely online master’s degree: MCIT Online. The program, offered on Coursera, is aimed at students who want to break into tech, but don’t have a computer science background.

Read coverage about the program’s launch on Coursera’s blog:

In the US, there are currently 10 times more computing jobs available than there are students graduating with computer science degrees to fill them. Demand for specialized trained workers across all industries is growing rapidly. Efforts are being made to introduce computer literacy skills at a younger age, but there’s also a need to create better opportunities for adults who might want to make a significant change in their careers or upskill to meet the changing demands of their jobs.

At Coursera, we’ve heavily invested in online degrees to address this growing need. Today, we’re excited to launch the first Ivy League degree on Coursera. The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Computer and Information Science has partnered exclusively with us to bring their on-campus Master of Computer and Information Technology program online. The MCIT Online is Penn Engineering’s first online master’s degree and the only Ivy League graduate computer science degree that has absolutely no computer science prerequisites. For the first time, anyone — even those with a degree outside the field of computer science — can pursue this valuable credential on their own time and from their own home.

In the Philadelphia Inquirer:

This master’s program admits students with no computer science background, and the online version will cost around one-third of its on-campus counterpart. The standard program typically accepts about 80 new students each year, but the online effort will allow Penn to accept several hundred more from around the world, said Boon Thau Loo, associate dean at Penn Engineering, who oversees the school’s master’s programs.

Loo said the ability to graduate in two years with a master’s degree in computer science without any background in the subject makes MCIT one of Penn Engineering’s most popular programs. “It has a very transformational impact on the lives of its students,” allowing them to go on to computer science jobs at places such as Google and, Loo said. “We’re looking to potentially tap into mid-career professionals who have been working for a while and are looking at this as a way to upscale or are looking for a career change.”

In Inside Higher Ed:

While they’re enrolled, however, the university said online students will benefit from flexibility that is built into the Coursera platform.

The online degree will include elements of self-pacing, such as allowing students to access lectures at night or on mobile devices. The platform also allows professors to create programming assignments that combine automated and peer grading, as well as grading by on-campus teaching assistants and faculty members. But students will be able to participate in regular live video office hours with professors who teach on campus.

“This degree represents the democratization of computer science,” Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s CEO, said in a written statement. “It brings a world-class, Ivy League degree within reach of people of all backgrounds, from anywhere in the world.”

The first cohort of the ten-course program will begin in January 2019. Applications are open now. Go here to learn more.