Master of Computer Science (MCS)

CS at Illinois consistently ranks among the elite programs in the U.S. and worldwide for both undergraduate and graduate studies (graduate programs currently ranked #5; US News & World Report).

Online MCS Program

The Professional Master's (MCS) program is a non-thesis, non-research degree program. All students receive the same lectures, class assignments, exams and projects as on-campus students. The Department of Computer Science's online Professional MCS degree enables busy professionals to enhance their education and advance their careers, while continuing to meet their current career obligations. Our uniquely designed courses are identical to our top-tier on-campus programs--the only difference is your location. The online MCS allows you to leverage our world-class faculty and research, and your on-campus peers for a distance learning program unlike any other.

Degree Requirements

The MCS degree requires 32 credit hours (a thesis is not required). Students choose a specialty area and also have the option to develop cross-disciplinary programs in consultation with their advisers. Online students can complete this degree in as little as three years (by completing 4 credit hours per semester). Online students must complete the program within 5 years. The Professional MCS degree awarded online is the exact same as the on-campus degree.

(The online MCS program and online CS classes are restricted to off-campus students and are not intended for University employees or students in on-campus programs.)

Admissions Requirements

Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science must have sufficient background in computer programming, data structures and algorithms, computer architecture, and theory of computation. We highly recommend applicants complete courses in these areas at a local university near them prior to submitting their application. The recommended undergraduate GPA for applicants applying to the Professional Master's program is a 3.2/4.0 or higher. The average GPA of applicants recommended for admission by the Department of Computer Science is much higher - 3.6/4.0. All applicants must submit an application form, three letters of reference, and official transcripts from all completed university coursework. TOEFL scores may be required of International applicants.

Admissions Deadlines

Summer or Fall Semester: January 15
Spring Semester: October 15

Contact Information

Professor Brian Bailey, Director of Graduate Programs
Email: bpbailey@illinois.edu

Kara MacGregor, Admissions Procedures
Email: kmacgreg@illinois.edu

Viveka P. Kudaligama, Coordinator of CS Graduate Programs and Advisor for MCS program
Email: kudaliga@illinois.edu

Scott Cimarusti, Technical Support, Lecture Capture and Delivery
Email: cimarust@illinois.edu

Phone and Email for General Assistance
Phone: (217) 333-4428
Fax: (217) 244-6073
Email: academic@cs.illinois.edu

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00am to 11:45am
1:00pm to 4:45pm

Mailing Address
Computer Science Department Academic Office
201 N. Goodwin Ave, Suite 1210
Urbana, IL 61801-2302

For additional information regarding Engineering Online graduate programs, contact the Office of Online and Professional Engineering Programs.