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University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering Launches Online Master's in Computer Science

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Affordable Ivy League Degree Offered on Coursera Aimed at Students
Who Want to Break Into Tech

The University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied
Science today announced its first completely online master's degree, a
Master of Computer and Information Technology. MCIT
Online
is designed to be affordable, at one-third the cost of an
on-campus degree, and open to students with no previous background in
computer science. Offered exclusively on Coursera, MCIT Online is ideal
for students who wish to pursue a variety of high-potential career
paths, ranging from software development to product management to data
science, that require a strong technical foundation.

"Computer Science is now as fundamental to our future as math, reading
or writing. And while we can't predict the future, we can help people
prepare for it by making a strong grounding in these fundamentals as
easy to acquire as possible," says Vijay Kumar, Nemirovsky Family Dean
of Penn Engineering. "Our vision is for a high-impact program that is
more accessible and more affordable for more students."

MCIT Online confers the same degree as the on-campus MCIT,
the only Ivy League Computer Science degree that has no computer science
prerequisites. This design enables people with diverse academic
backgrounds to pursue a career in technology. MCIT is a well-established
program from a top 20 engineering school. The degree has more than 1,000
graduates who have gone on to work at top employers including Amazon,
Facebook, and Google.

"This degree represents the democratization of computer science. It
brings a world-class, Ivy League degree within reach of people of all
backgrounds, from anywhere in the world," says Jeff Maggioncalda,
Coursera's CEO. "MCIT Online is a game-changer for people who want to
earn a Master of Computer Science but don't have a tech background or
can't attend an on-campus program. We're thrilled to deliver this degree
from the University of Pennsylvania that shares our commitment to
providing universal access to the world's best education."

The total cost of the MCIT Online degree is $26,300, roughly a third of
the cost of the on-campus degree, due to its online delivery model, with
the same level of academic rigor and excellence for which the University
of Pennsylvania is known. The Coursera platform enables professors to
build a variety of beginner to advanced programming assignments that
combine auto, peer, and human grading done by on-campus teaching
assistants and faculty. Students will also have the opportunity to
participate regularly in live video office hours with the same faculty
who teach on campus.

"Not only is computing permeating our everyday lives, but there's so
much potential for it to help solve some of the world's major problems
and have significant social impact. This program will allow people from
all backgrounds to participate in that," says Chris
Murphy
, Associate Professor of Practice in Penn Engineering's
Department of Computer and Information Science (CIS) and co-director of
MCIT Online. "We've spent the past 17 years refining the MCIT curriculum
so that it prepares our students to be computer scientists, not just
programmers. That's so important for supporting their long-term careers
throughout all areas of computing."

The rigorous curriculum, composed of 6 core courses and 4 electives in
areas such as data science and machine learning, features a blend of
both computer science theory and applied, project-based learning.
Students will gain experience working as part of a collaborative
development team and combining mathematical foundations and engineering
principles to develop solutions to real-world computing problems.
Students will have the chance to work on projects using a variety of
programming languages (Python, C, SQL, Java), data analytics tools
(Hadoop, TensorFlow), and computing environments (Linux, Amazon Cloud),
preparing them for careers in industries such as bioinformatics,
medicine, finance, and telecommunications, as well as in the core
software development industry.

"I was searching for a well-rounded education, and MCIT allowed me the
flexibility to explore my interests in business and prepare me for the
real world," says Priyanka Vergadia, who graduated from the MCIT program
in 2011. "I'm now at Google, working with customers and helping them to
adopt cloud computing."

Upon graduating, MCIT Online students will become part of the University
of Pennsylvania alumni community and have access to career services and
networking opportunities.

"One of the best things about MCIT is the incredibly strong community of
students and alumni," says Sampath
Kannan
, Henry Salvatori Professor in CIS and co-director of MCIT
Online. "We fully intend to include our online students in that
community and give them meaningful opportunities for personal
experiences."

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

About Penn Engineering: Penn Engineering prepares students for
leadership roles in a technological world where creativity, critical
quantitative thinking, effective communication skills and a strong
commitment to humane values are essential. Established in 1852 as the
School of Mines, Arts and Manufactures, Penn Engineering is among the
oldest and most respected engineering schools in the United
States. ENIAC, the first general purpose digital computer was developed
at Penn Engineering in 1946, and the Department of Computer and
Information Science awarded the first doctoral degree in Computer
Science in 1965. With six academic departments and numerous
interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and laboratories, Penn
Engineering graduates close to 1,000 students each year and has a
worldwide alumni network of more than 31,000.

About Coursera: Coursera is an online education company that
partners with 170 of the world's top universities and industry leaders
to offer courses, Specializations, and degrees that empower learners
around the world to achieve their career, educational, and personal
enrichment goals throughout their lives. Since launching in 2012, the
company has grown to 34 million registered learners who can choose among
2,700 courses and 250 Specializations. Leading universities are now also
working with Coursera to offer online degrees in areas like business,
computer science, data science, and public health. Coursera is backed by
leading venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,
New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, International Finance
Corporation, Laureate Education Inc., and Learn Capital.

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