Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals

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Below are the top discussions from Reddit that mention this online Coursera specialization from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Offered by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Data Structures and Algorithms in C++. Learn fundamentals of computer science while ... Enroll for free.

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Taught by
Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider
Teaching Assistant Professor
and 16 more instructors

Offered by
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This specialization includes these 3 courses.

Reddit Posts and Comments

0 posts • 35 mentions • top 23 shown below

r/UIUC • comment
6 points • Jorvines

/u/wadefagen teaches a class that is essentially the curriculum of cs225 at, I went through this course prior to taking cs225 last semester and it helped a lot.

r/cpp • comment
1 points • naroqu

Here you go :) I audited this a little while ago and loved it! Nice to find something in C++

r/learnprogramming • comment
1 points • ttyttyq

Haven't finished it yet but it's pretty good so far. The instructor speaks clearly so that's a plus, big pet peeve when every other word is um or uh lol. You can audit each course individually for free which is what I'm doing.

r/UIUC_MCS • comment
1 points • rickchum0607

Is this specialization course you used to pass the exam?

r/UIUC_MCS • comment
1 points • SeaweedSmooth

**Status**: Under Review

**Application Date**: 09/23/2020

**Decision Date**: N/A

**Institute Acceptance Date**: N/A

**Education**: QS World Top 30 in CS, Computer Engineering, Major GPA 3.5

**Experience**: 2 years in Semiconductor, 2 years in Web Dev

**Recommendations**: 1 from CS professor

**Comments**: B+ in data structure proficiency exam.

A in Algorithms and Data Structures, Probability; B in Operating Systems, Linear Algebra, C in OOP.

Have all three certificates from UIUC Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals Specialization, hopefully, it makes up for the C in OOP a bit.

Also applied to UT Austin Online MCS.

r/UIUC_MCS • comment
1 points • goldenbear_10

There are some courses in the program that use C++. I'm taking Cloud Computing Applications this spring and I believe there as an option to use Java for some things, in addition to Python. From my research, it seems C++ is more prevalent and it's the language used in the Coursera courses in preparation for the pre-entrance data structures exam.

r/OMSCS • comment
3 points • eknanrebb

This is a pretty solid and well-rated course from UIUC:

That said, the comment about courses from Coursera/EdX not being as rigorous is totally true. I took the Stanford algorithm courses on Coursera. The homeworks are much easier than in the actual courses. Or look at any discrete math class on Coursera (e.g. UCSD's is a highly rated one) and then compare to undergrad math for CS from MIT OCW (where they post the actual problem sets/solns and exams). Totally different difficulty level.

Final example, I took Andrew Ng's Coursera ML course and then actually took CS229 at Stanford. The actual grad class at Stanford (especially the homeworks and projects) took 10x as much work. So the online classes are good but there are definite limits to how challenging the instructors can make them without way more support than is feasible on Coursera/EdX.

r/UIUC_MCS • comment
1 points • Jonathan_Hopping

r/WGU_CompSci • comment
1 points • type1advocate

I can 100% recommend the Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals specialization on Coursera from The University of Illinois. It's meant as preparation for the entrance exam for their Master's Program, which is ranked #5. It will take you far beyond what is required for 867 and start preparing you for the DS&A courses as well. I'm through the 2nd course now and it's been a fantastic learning experience so far.

r/OMSCS • comment
1 points • optimaln

Undergrad: Monash University (top Aussie uni)

Degree & GPA: Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering, 73/100 (2.9/4)

Work Experience: SDET 2.5 yrs, SWE 2 yrs

Recommendations: 2 academic professors, 1 tech lead

Additional Info:

I had computer architecture, programming, and operating systems courses in my undergrad, besides the required math but no full-blown courses on data structures and algo. I took the UIUC MOOC for applying to their program and included that here as well. I have included some other relevant MOOCs and certs I've taken over the years.

Professionally I have worked on some cool stuff with machine learning, search engines, and distributed systems. Currently a SWE at a pretty large global tech company.

I am worried about my low GPA. I have made an attempt to explain it in my background statement but I really don't how forgiving they are about this. Applied for Spring 2022.

r/coursera • comment
1 points • lirimo
r/UIUC • comment
1 points • MosesOfWar

This is a course the Coursera found here: .

It's a self-paced three class 'course'. Theoretically, it's a 12 week program, but you can finish each 'week' in a day if you dedicate enough time to it. It's literally a course of base data structures and base OOP in C++.

r/learnprogramming • comment
1 points • jared552910

This is the course I took. It was highly rated and teaches in C++. I recommend learning this subject in C++ because you'll gain a deeper understanding of DS&A.

r/UIUC • comment
1 points • dc_political_acct_2
r/UIUC_MCS • comment
1 points • djoldman

Now would be a great time to consider the DS proficiency exam.

Your C++ knowledge of pointers, etc. will come in handy. Cram/fly through the prep course:

If you do well on the exam, it will help your application.

r/cpp • comment
1 points • ChiefMoHD

Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals Specialization on Coursera

r/OMSCS • comment
1 points • justinpwilliams

Forgot to mention, Which is a nice sequence prepping students for the similar UIUC program. I took it and it was a great intro to data structures and OO.

r/cpp_questions • comment
1 points • pritesh_shri

UIUC started this Data Structures & Algorithms specialization on Coursera. Moreover, it based in C++ :

r/UIUC_MCS • comment
1 points • wuyujiangacademy

I am not really sure if mine is a conditional admission or a rejection.

" The Department of Computer Science has carefully reviewed your application to the online Master of Computer Science degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We perform a holistic review of all applications in part to ensure our admitted students have the necessary prerequisites to successfully complete the advanced graduate coursework of our top-5 CS program. Your application would have been accepted except for missing at least one of the necessary prerequisites.

For students that do not have the necessary prerequisites in a form we can verify (such as graded credit-bearing coursework), we have set up the Data Structures Proficiency Exam. Passing the exam with a B+ or better indicates that you have the necessary prerequisite material in data structures and algorithms needed to succeed in our graduate-level CS coursework. Information about the exam is available at

We have set up a three-MOOC specialization sequence, called Accelerated CS Fundamentals, to help applicants prepare for this exam. This specialization sequence is not necessary to take the exam but is a helpful method to review (or learn in more depth) the material covered in the exam. Information about the MOOC specialization is available at

Only for applicants whose native language is not English: Please review the English proficiency requirements for "full-status admission" available at

Please contact the department at [email protected] by July 31, 2020 if you have questions about the Data Structures Proficiency Exam or deadlines for submitting eligible scores.

r/UIUC_MCS • comment
1 points • the_mech_tech

you do this specialization (from Coursera) and then take an online exam via ProctorU to get a B+ and then they'll consider waiving Data Structures/ OOP (see more details here:

r/javahelp • comment
1 points • Cmgeodude

After learning Java, C basics will feel pretty familiar. Besides the boilerplate, the first times you'll hit major differences are:

  1. Strings. Java abstracts this away, but Strings are just arrays of chars. In C, there are libraries that can help you work around this.
  2. User input: You'll need to dereference values to save input values to them. This is as easy as putting an ampersand in front of the variable name you're saving the value to: scanf("%d", &myVar); // scans an int value to the (address of the) variable myVar. In my opinion, this is actually easier than in Java.
  3. Array sizes! Many of the most popular C compilers won't accept undefined array sizes. While I can store a variable as a size in Java and fill it in later, in C I cannot do that. You can get around this using pointers. Pointers are just variables that point to an address in memory rather than the value(s) in that address. Pointers are defined by adding a * before the variable name.
  4. Pointers almost immediately imply memory allocation. Both pointers and memory allocation are quite a bit easier than people make them out to be. Let the computer do the math. Need an array of numElements integer values?
  5. int* myArray = malloc(sizeOf(int) * numElements); // this works on all compilers
  6. int myArray[] = new int[numElements]; // works just fine in xCode and similar compilers. It is just like in Java.


Codecademy has a free C++ course. C++ is its own language with its own standards, but you almost necessarily have to learn the basics of C in the same process. Everything C works in C++, though the opposite isn't necessarily true. If you learn C++, you'll be able to adapt to C in a matter of hours.

Learn C - Free Interactive C Tutorial ( is not the most attractive/user-friendly tutorial, but it's free and gives you a playground to practice your new C skills.

Coursera has a Computational Thinking with C Programming specialization. It's paid, but you can theoretically learn the material without paying (you just won't get graded on the exercises).

If you're feeling ready to tackle data structures, this course (paid again, sorry) on Udemy has a fairly good review of C/C++. The very basics look so much like Java that you won't have to worry about missing those. There is a pretty good review of all the material I listed above at the beginning of this course, so you'll be off to a pretty easy starting point. Challenging yourself with data structures in C/C++ is a great way to take the plunge.

Once you're feeling pretty comfy in C/C++, this Coursera specialization (also paid) is challenging and amazing. If you get through this, you're effectively a C and C++ programmer.

I'm squarely in the camp that doesn't think that C is the best starting point for programming/CS, but I know that you don't have a choice with your course content. That said, if your interest is to learn CS and you already know the basics in a higher level language (Python, JS, Ruby, Java, or C#, among the most popular), take a few hours to learn the very, very basics of assembly. Assembly for architectures like the 6502 is simple and helps make C concepts make a lot more sense. That will give you a much clearer idea of what's going on under the hood and why C does things the way it does. If you just want to get to programming and don't care about Two's complement arithmetic, interrupts, Z-flags, and ALUs, you probably don't need to dig in that far and understand register-by-register/flag-by-flag what is happening in the processor. In that case, skip assembly and play with an Arduino or something to learn C.

r/OMSCS • comment
1 points • undercoverOMSCS

I think so, this and DS & Algo from UCSD on Coursera shld be the soft pre-req's.

I think GT have missed an opp - which can be remedied - to build an on-ramp to OMS with a CS foundation series of MOOC's which also qualifies for entry to the program.

UIUC have closed the gap, as have NYU with Bridge to Tandon.