I am a current Penn Engineering Online student; when may I begin applying for the Online Graduate Certificate Programs?

Current Penn Engineering  students may begin the Graduate Certificate application process in the final term of their degree program.

Am I qualified for the MCIT Online program?

MCIT Online welcomes applicants from all backgrounds. Admittance to MCIT Online is competitive. However, no background in computer science is required, the only qualification to apply is a bachelor’s degree in any field. While cohort sizes are limited, if you have a strong interest in computing and have an aptitude for quantitative subjects (particularly in math!), then you are qualified to apply to MCIT Online!

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

Currently this is not an option for MCIT Online students.

I have been admitted to MCIT or MSE-DS 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).

Advice regarding quantitative ability

MCIT Online is designed for people without a background in computer science. That being said, we need to see evidence of your quantitative abilities in your application. For example, we will take note of grades that you received in math, science, and engineering courses. If you have not taken courses in these areas, or if you received low grades in the past, there are other ways that you can demonstrate your quantitative abilities. The GRE or GMAT is one option, or you can earn online certificates in STEM, Computing, Data Science, or Math courses, as well as taking additional college level math courses to show your quantitative ability.

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 our Outcomes page. 

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 a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Is MCIT Online right for me?

MCIT Online is intended for students with little or no recent CS experience. If you would be able to test out of more than two of our core courses, you are probably overqualified. In this case, we recommend exploring our online Master of Science in Engineering in Data Science degree program which requires a bachelor’s in computer science as a prerequisite.

Can I use my military education benefits for MCIT Online?

Yes. MCIT Online students are eligible for VA education benefits.

What requirements do international students need to meet?

In addition to the standard requirements for admission, you’ll need to provide English-language transcripts from every institution where you’ve earned course credit. If English is not your native language, you’ll also need to submit official TOEFL scores. See the MCIT Admissions page for details.

How do I check the status of my Penn Engineering online application?

You can check the status of your application through the applicant portal. If your application is complete, the app status will read “Under Review.” If your application is missing required materials, you can view the missing materials listed in the checklist.

The questions on the questionnaire do not apply to my recommenders. What should they do?

Your references can leave a section blank or approach the questions through a broad lens. For example, your recommender can respond to “How many students do you supervise?” by writing about your role in supervising employees.

I’ve submitted my application for MCIT Online or MSE-DS Online. Can I make changes to my list of recommenders?

To make changes to your recommenders, log in to the application portal and follow the link to the recommenders page of your application. You can then edit the recommender’s information or exclude the recommender and add a new one by clicking the “edit” button.

How can I check on the status of my letters of recommendation for my application?

You can see the status of your letters of recommendation by reviewing your application checklist. You can even send your recommender a reminder by following the link to the recommenders page of your application and clicking “edit.”

What do you look for when evaluating applications for MCIT Online?

Admission to MCIT Online is very competitive. We look for applicants who are likely to succeed in, benefit from, and contribute to the program. For tips on how to strengthen your application, read “5 Tips to Strengthen Your MCIT Online Application from the Program Director.”

How do I apply to MCIT Online?

In addition to the online application, you’ll need to submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume, along with TOEFL scores if you’re an international applicant or a non-U.S. citizen/permanent resident. For details, see the MCIT Online Admissions page

Do I need to meet any prerequisites for the MCIT Online program?

No, there are not any prerequisite courses. At a minimum, you need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school or university. In addition, ideal candidates will have a strong mathematical or otherwise quantitative aptitude.

If your undergraduate degree is not in a quantitative subject, or if you did not take or do well in many quantitative courses, we recommend taking a for-credit math course (e.g., algebra or calculus) or the GRE. If you don’t have experience with online learning, we recommend taking one of our introductory CS courses, such as Computational Thinking for Problem Solving or Introduction to Python & Java.

What are the requirements for English proficiency for Penn Engineering Online?

All international applicants, non-US Citizens, and non-US Permanent Resident applicants for whom English is not the native language must submit official scores for the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 100 is required and scores are valid for two years. We must receive your official TOEFL score directly from ETS by the application deadline.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) will not be accepted in place of the TOEFL.

This requirement can be waived if the candidate has completed a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree where the medium of instruction at the institution is English. The degree must be completed before matriculation into the MCIT Online program. For applicants that meet this qualification, the TOEFL requirement will automatically be waived upon submission of the application. Waived TOEFL requirements will show a grey checkmark on the applicant checklist.

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