Online Learning

U Illinois Intros Online Foundation Courses Leading to Tech Master's

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has launched a new set of courses through Coursera that will help prepare non-technical people to tackle technical master's degrees. The specialization is intended to act as a "performance pathway" for the institution's online graduate degrees in computer science and data science. The three foundation courses will help students prepare for an entrance exam that could strengthen their application to the degree program.

Developed by CS Teaching Assistant Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider, "Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals" begins today and is open to all learners on Coursera's platform. Study will cover practical object-oriented programming, ordered data structures and unordered data structures. Students can audit the course for free, but only a paid enrollment will give them access to all assignments, lectures and other functionality. The specializations include hands-on projects and earn successful students a certificate of completion.

"We're seeing strong demand ... from prospective students who want to apply computer and data science to their discipline," said CS Professor John Hart, in a statement. "However, these students may lack key prerequisites that are required for success in our top-5 CS graduate program." The specialization not only gives them a path into the study of CS and data science, he added, but it brings down the cost and makes the programs "more accessible."

Tuition totals $21,440 for the complete 32-credit-hour master's degrees, which are also available online through Coursera.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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