Online Master of Computer and Information Technology

The only online Ivy League master’s degree in Computer Science designed for students without a Computer Science background.

About the Program

The online Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) degree is a first-of-its-kind graduate-level degree program in Computer Science tailored for non-Computer Science majors. Hosted on Coursera, this new program brings online the long-running, established on-campus MCIT degree that empowers students without computer science backgrounds to succeed in computing and technology fields.

Upon completion of the degree, MCIT alumni have gone on to earn jobs with competitive salaries at technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Bloomberg.

Degree Requirements | Curriculum

Degree Requirements

The online MCIT degree program requires the completion of 10 courses made up of six core courses and four electives. All courses are fully online and there are no required real-time sessions.

6 Core Courses

  • CIT 591 Introduction to Software Development
  • CIT 592 Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science
  • CIT 593 Introduction to Computer Systems
  • CIT 594 Data Structures & Software Design
  • CIT 595 Computer Systems Programming
  • CIT 596 Algorithms & Computation

The core courses must be taken in sequential order. Students may not waive or replace more than two required MCIT courses.

4 Electives

MCIT Online students must also complete four graduate-level electives. We are planning to offer some of the graduate courses listed on the CIS website as electives over time. Our electives will be broadly in the areas of machine learning, data science, and computing systems.

Enrollment Options

Courses are offered by semester and follow the University of Pennsylvania academic calendar. Fall and spring semesters are required whereas the summer semester is optional and condensed. View a few sample course plans here.

Students may enroll in the MCIT Online program on a part-time or full-time basis. Students are allowed a maximum of seven years to complete the MCIT degree program.

Course Descriptions

6 Core Courses

  • CIT 591 Introduction to Software Development
    This course is an introduction to fundamental concepts of programming and computer science, including principles of modern object-oriented programming languages: abstraction, types, polymorphism, encapsulation, inheritance, and interfaces. This course also focuses on best practices and aspects of software development such as software design, software testing, pair programming, version control, and using IDEs.
  • CIT 592 Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science
    This course introduces students to math concepts that form the backbone of the majority of computer science. Topics covered include sets, functions, permutations and combinations, discrete probability, expectation, mathematical induction, and graph theory. The goal of the course is to ensure that students are comfortable enough with the math required for most of the CIS electives.
  • CIT 593 Introduction to Computer Systems
    This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts of computer systems and computer architecture. Students learn the C programming language and an instruction set (machine language) as a basis for understanding how computers represent data, process information, and execute programs.
  • CIT 594 Data Structures & Software Design
    This course focuses on data structures, software design, and advanced Java. The course starts off with an introduction to data structures and basics of the analysis of algorithms. Important data structures covered include arrays, lists, stacks, queues, trees, hash maps, and graphs. The course also focuses on software design and advanced Java topics such as software architectures, design patterns, and concurrency.
  • CIT 595 Computer Systems Programming
    This course is a continuation of CIT 593 and introduces students to fundamental concepts in computing systems. The course is divided into two parts. The first half of the course introduces important concepts in modern operating systems: processes, scheduling, caching, and virtual memory. The second half of the course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in the design and implementation of networked systems, their protocols, and applications. The course will use the C program language, and will develop your knowledge on C system calls, and libraries for process/thread creation and manipulation, synchronization, and network communication.
  • CIT 596 Algorithms & Computation
    This course focuses primarily on the design and analysis of algorithms. It begins with sorting and searching algorithms and then investigates graph algorithms. In order to study graph algorithms, general algorithm design patterns like dynamic programming and greedy algorithms are introduced. A section of this course is also devoted to understanding NP-Completeness.

The core courses must be taken in sequential order. Students may not waive or replace more than two required MCIT courses.

4 Electives

MCIT Online students must also complete four graduate-level electives. We are planning to offer some of the graduate courses listed on the CIS website as electives over time. Our electives will be broadly in the areas of machine learning, data science, and computing systems.

Faculty

Arvind Bhusnurmath
Director, Master of Computer and Information Technology and Senior Lecturer
Department of Computer and Information Science

Susan Davidson
Weiss Professor
Department of Computer and Information Science

Tom Farmer
Senior Lecturer
Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering
Department of Computer and Information Science

Zack Ives
Adani President’s Distinguished Professor and Department Chair
Department of Computer and Information Science

Sampath Kannan
Co-Director, Online Master of Computer and Information Technology
Henry Salvatori Professor
Department of Computer and Information Science

Boon Thau Loo
Associate Dean, Master’s and Professional Programs and Applied Science Professor
Department of Computer and Information Science

Chris Murphy
Co-Director, Online Master of Computer and Information Technology
Associate Professor of Practice
Department of Computer and Information Science

Val Tannen
Professor
Department of Computer and Information Science

The Experience

  • Courses are offered year round (spring, summer, fall) and follow the University of Pennsylvania academic calendar
  • 24/7 access to video lectures from world class faculty
  • Weekly synchronous office hours with faculty
  • Assessments that blend Computer Science theory and applied, project-based learning using real-world tools and environments
  • Diverse, supportive, inclusive community of students and alumni

Our Commitment to Inclusion

The University of Pennsylvania’s special character is reflected in the diversity of the Penn community. Diversity is prized at Penn as a central component of its mission and helps create an educational and working environment that best supports the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship

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