Applying to a university degree program during COVID-19 just got easier | Coursera Blog

As students across the globe continue to see their learning plans significantly disrupted, our university partners are modifying admissions requirements to make it easier to apply for degree programs on Coursera. We recognize that many of our applicants may be experiencing uncertainty about their futures, and earning a high-quality and affordable degree from a world-class institution completely online can offer much-needed stability in the face of ongoing uncertainty. 

Here are some of the actions our University partners are taking to ease the admissions process for students during COVID-19:

Extended application deadlines

If you’re considering applying for a degree program, but are worried about getting your application materials together in time, these Coursera university partners have extended their application deadlines for the Fall. And remember, applying is easy, it only takes a day or so.

The University of Illinois Gies College of Business has extended its deadlines for both the online Master of Business Administration (iMBA) and online Master of Science in Accounting (iMSA) programs from June 1 to June 15. 

Arizona State University will now allow applications to their Master of Computer Science program to be submitted as late as July 23 for the Fall cohort.

Waived application fees and enrollment deposits

During a time where many applicants may be experiencing financial burden or uncertainty, Gies College of Business has removed the application fee and enrollment deposit for all Fall 2020 applications for the online Master of Business Administration (iMBA), Master of Science in Accounting (iMSA), and Master of Science in Management (iMSM) programs, making it possible to now apply with no upfront cost.

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Adjusted testing requirements

Recognizing that sitting for a GMAT, GRE, IELTS, or TOEFL exam is not possible with testing centers closing in response to COVID-19, our university partners are accepting other forms of test scores, and in some cases are removing testing requirements altogether.

Arizona State University’s Master of Computer Science and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Master of Computer Science (MCS) and Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) programs are accepting Duolingo English Test examination results as an alternative to TOEFL scores for meeting English proficiency.

Illinois’ MCS and MCS-DS programs are also accepting test scores from the launch of new take-at-home tests, such as the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test and GRE General Test. 

GMAT or GRE scores are no longer required for application to the online Master of Science in Accounting (iMSA) from the University of Illinois Gies College of Business, and they are completely optional for the online Master of Business Administration (iMBA) and Master of Science in Management (iMSM).  

Transcript flexibility

The online Master of Data Science from HSE University—a top 10 Russian university—is temporarily accepting scanned unofficial copies of required application documents before their June 19 deadline. 

The admissions team for the Master of Computer Science (MCS) and Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will not penalize students for the adoption of P/NP, CR/NCR, and other grading options on transcripts for courses completed in Spring 2020.

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Flexible start times 

Starting in June, Macquarie Business School is introducing entry into the Global Master of Business Administration (GMBA) in all terms. This means you can now apply and start your MBA journey in any of the six terms per year: January, March, May, June, August, or October. 

Gies College of Business’ newly launched one-year Master of Science in Management (iMSM) is taking in both an August and October cohort, so you have a choice of when to start your degree learning.


As we continue to work with our university partners to develop new ways to support our community during this crisis, it is our hope that every learner will have the ability to continue on their chosen path despite the challenges we face in the world today. We are grateful to our partners for their efforts in making it easier for you to apply to Coursera’s online degrees. 

Please continue to visit our Degrees Hub to see a full listing of online Master’s and Bachelor’s degree programs offered on Coursera. In each of these programs, you’ll earn the same degree as on-campus students, and you’ll do so 100% online, on your schedule.


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