Ball State University has partnered with Coursera, one of the world’s largest online learning platforms, to offer two flexible online master’s degree programs in the high-demand fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, Ball State and Coursera will together offer Online Master of Science programs in Computer Science and in Data Science. The programs will be developed and taught by faculty from Ball State’s College of Sciences and Humanities, and will feature a performance-based admissions process with no prerequisites or application required for admittance.

“As a nationally recognized leader in delivering quality, innovative online degrees, as well as a top institution for social mobility, this partnership with Coursera is a natural next step for us to expand higher education access,” Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “We are proud to offer these two new, affordable master’s degrees in high-demand fields as we respond to workforce needs in our own state of Indiana and beyond.”

Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford University computer science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. The company, which boasts more than 118 million registered learners as of Dec. 31, 2022, targeted Ball State as its first higher education degree program partner in Indiana due to its existing affordable graduate degree options; its experience with large, scaled programs; its ability to offer working learners asynchronous delivery options; and its industry-aligned programs providing skills most needed by employers.

“We’re delighted to announce two new degrees with Ball State University, an institution that shares our commitment to providing accessible and transformative learning opportunities to all,” said Marni Baker Stein, chief content officer at Coursera. “By offering performance-based admissions and removing prerequisites, we hope to enable learners of all backgrounds to pursue a high-quality degree—empowering them with the skills they need to not only excel in their careers, but to leave a positive impact on the world.”

The performance-based admissions process serves capable learners ready to start their next educational journey without transcripts, tests, application fees, or other hurdles. Students taking these programs, no matter their background or prior education, can opt to take three 3-credit courses. If they earn a “B” or better, then they gain admission as a Ball State graduate student in the Master’s in Computer Science or Data Science programs.

Also, in an effort to provide affordable access to STEM degrees in these high-demand fields, students taking these programs will be charged only in-state tuition and fees.

Ball State’s online Master of Science in Computer Science program is built specifically for learners with non-technical backgrounds. It emphasizes hands-on learning experience in high-demand areas such as machine learning, data analytics, cybersecurity, and software engineering. Students can also deepen their knowledge in more specialized areas with electives including artificial intelligence (AI), web development, and data visualization. The curriculum will incorporate industry content to enhance career outcomes, preparing graduates for roles in software development, network and systems engineering, and more.

The Online Master of Science in Data Science program, meanwhile, is also designed for learners with non-technical backgrounds. Students in this program will not only gain strong foundations in math, computer science, and statistics, but will also gain hands-on experience in big data that they can apply immediately in their careers. The curriculum, which will incorporate industry content from SAS Institute, Inc., and others, will focus on high-demand skills in data science, machine learning, predictive modeling, and more. Graduates will be prepared for careers in fields such as business analysis, data analysis, and business intelligence.

“Ball State’s College of Sciences and Humanities (CSH) is all about preparing students to analyze situations, think critically, solve problems, and communicate their ideas clearly,” said Dr. Maureen McCarthy, CSH dean. “The ability to offer these two master’s degrees to a wider audience and impact these learners’ trajectory to become innovative and successful 21st Century global citizens is exciting.”

For more information about these online degree programs, visit the Computer Science and Data Science web pages. To learn more about the 100 additional online degrees, certificates, and educator licenses available at Ball State, contact Ball State Online at 1-800-872-0369 or at