Program Information

Can MCIT Online students continue through the CIS/MSE dual degree?

Currently this is not an option for MCIT Online students.

How much time will I need to spend on the program each week?

It depends on the course topic, your background, your learning style, and the particular assignments in a given week. In general, you can expect each course to require 15-18 hours per week. Some courses will take less time, while for others you might need to spend 25 hours on a particularly challenging programming assignment. 

Every student in this program will have a different level of familiarity with the content in the MCIT Online core courses. Therefore, the 15 hours per week per course that our students have reported, are only an average estimate. In reality, these courses could take a little less or a lot more time than estimated based on your prior education or work experience. Not only that, one course can vary week to week: one course could take 10 hours one week and way more in the next!

A good thought exercise before the semester starts is to map out the extra time you typically have in your week and whether you can dedicate 15 hours of that time to your class. What if it was more than 15? Think critically about what would happen if you have a challenging assignment that took you 20-25 hours to complete. Be aware that some of our students spend this much time every week for one course

Does MCIT Online require a thesis?

No, MCIT Online students are not required to write a thesis.

Does the MCIT Online degree qualify me for a PhD?

It’s possible to go on to a PhD program, but you would likely need to supplement your studies with research to be prepared for a PhD program.

What programming languages will I learn in the MCIT Online program?

The MCIT Online curriculum includes Python, Java (including data structures), C and C++.

You will also learn fundamental concepts that allow you to quickly learn many other languages – including Rust, Go, JavaScript, etc. – even though they are not explicitly taught in our curriculum.

Are online electives different from on-campus options?

Specific course options may vary, but MCIT Online electives are comparable to the on-campus version. Course topics reflect the most popular areas of interest. 

Is the MCIT degree the same as a Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science degree?

No, they are different credentials but graduates have very similar outcomes.

The Master of Information and Computer Technology (MCIT) curriculum begins with a strong CS foundation and goes on to graduate-level electives that are exactly the same as those taken by students in a traditional MS in CS degree program.

MCIT graduates’ career outcomes are extremely comparable to those of Penn’s MS in CS degree in terms of the type of companies, starting salary, and other compensation. See Penn’s most recent Career Services reports for details.

What career options will I have with the MCIT Online degree?

Graduates of MCIT go on to rewarding careers in aerospace, consulting, education, finance, healthcare, and technology, to name a few. For details, see Alumni Outcomes Report.

Do I need to be proficient in a particular programming language for MCIT Online?

No, the program is specifically designed for students with minimal or no prior computer science experience.

I have been admitted to MCIT Online but I would like to defer my admission. What should I do?

The first step is to accept our offer and pay the deposit. After enrollment, you will receive additional information about selecting your start term. You will be able to submit your specific reason for the deferral and the term that you are planning on attending.

The deadline to request a deferral is the last day before classes begin for your first graduate semester. If approved, you can defer for up to two semesters (one academic year) at a time, and for a total of four semesters (two academic years).