University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to Launch Professional Master of Computer Science Degree with the Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago | Computer Science

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is introducing a new Professional Master of Computer Science degree in Chicago, Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), designed as a path for CS students to continue their education and accelerate their careers.

The Grainger College of Engineering graduate program in computer science, ranked #5 nationally by US News & World Report, has begun accepting applications for its first cohort of 20 students, scheduled to begin in January at the Chicago campus. Notable alumni of the program include founders and leaders of, Malwarebytes,, Netscape, Optimizely, PayPal, YouTube and Yelp.

Nancy Amato
Nancy M. Amato

“The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign CS program is growing strategically to meet the tremendous demand for a world-class CS education,” said Nancy M. Amato, Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and director of the University of Illinois Department of Computer Science . “By offering this Professional Master of Computer Science degree in Chicago, we are offering our students a unique opportunity to connect and contribute to Chicago’s tech community.”

Connections across the state understand the opportunity and support the growth of computer education.

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“Here in Illinois, we know that innovation is critical to economic prosperity,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “This new Professional Master of Computer Science degree at DPI in Chicago will prepare the next generation of computer science students for the jobs of the future—while contributing to the economic sustainability of our great state. This world-class program is also accessible thanks to a hybrid model and will greatly increase diversity in the technology world. That’s what I call partnership at its finest.”

Graphic includes Chicago skyline with text:
Connections across the state of Illinois have supported the growth of computer education through this new Professional Master of Computer Science offering in Chicago.

“The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has produced some of the brightest minds in the world in technology, and I’m thrilled that students here in our city can join their ranks,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “I applaud this new program’s efforts to unlock Chicago’s talent pool and look forward to seeing the incredible innovations that the first cohort will bring.”

The program is hosted at the DPI, a unit of the University of Illinois System that aims to transform Chicago into a distinguished and inclusive tech economy over the next decade.

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“As a Grainger engineer, I know that a talent pipeline between Urbana-Champaign and Chicago — both faculty and undergraduate — will only strengthen our state,” said Bill Jackson, executive director of the Discovery Partners Institute. “The job market is tighter than ever and the demand for computer scientists is skyrocketing. The addition of this program creates a clear next step for UIUC graduates to remain in the state and earn another degree from one of the top computer science programs in the world.” The Professional Master of Computer Science degree, which does not require a GRE, includes 32 hours of graduate coursework led by world-class UIUC CS faculty. You will teach student cohorts in person or through an online hybrid model at the DPI.

Grainger Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir
Rashid Bashir

“Bringing our world-class CS program to Chicago is just one way Grainger Engineering is expanding computer participation and attracting new talent to Chicago and the state of Illinois,” said Rashid Bashir, Dean of Grainger College of Engineering. “Our drive and influential ideas will address the needs of diverse professional learners in Chicago and provide them with a new path to forge their own commitment to excellence, teamwork and success in computing.”

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International applicants are advised that the Chicago Spring 2023 MCS program is only available to those who do not require a valid student visa. However, it is expected that the program will be available to all applicants at a later date. The application deadline is October 31, 2022.

“This new program combines two parts of the University of Illinois system to meet the growing need for high-caliber computer scientists in Chicago and across the state,” said Tim Killeen, president of the U of I system. “This partnership is a great example of how the system is working to develop a sustainable economic future that will benefit all Illinois residents.”

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