I am a 4th year Electronics engineering student studying in India. I applied to Master's of Science in computer science programs (I wish to change fields) offered by 11 universities in the US, but my application was rejected by all 11 of them.

I am planning to apply to Master's in Computer Science courses for the fall 2017 term, and trying to strengthen my application.

An important part of my application that I wish to address is the lack of formal background courses. Most universities list some courses (particularly : algorithms, datastructures, operating systems, programming languages) as prerequisites to the Master's degree in Computer science, and I possess formal background in none (even though I possess a lot of informal background, but looking at the rejections, it seems that this is not enough).

The last question that I asked addressed (or should I say still addressing) the dilemma whether I should consider enrolling in a graduate pathway program over taking MOOC's. After looking at the responses, and looking many other similar questions, the consensus seems that taking MOOC's is only looked as an indicator of how motivated a student is, and not how much knowledge did the student gain.

To address this problem, I am thinking about (right now just thinking) devising a system that I would follow, that would guarantee to an outsider (the admissions committee) that I have mastered the topic. I quite frequently learn a lot of subjects from MIT's open courseware, and I am thinking of some way (more like an organisational system) to more formally present the things that I have learnt in such a way that reflects the understanding and mastery of the coursework.

MIT OCW courses, and for that matter courses on EdX and Coursera include a lot of material that is actually included in the courses that take place at these universities, and a lot of this material can be used to assess how much a person understands the topic. I think the only problem that needs to be addressed is how to represent the outcome each aspect of the course (say tutorials, recitations, lectures, quizzes, ...)

My final AIM is to design a system (and obviously follow it), and then write down the results (could be daily, weekly, only the test results, ... anything) such that these results clearly represent what and how much have I learnt over a course.

Any and all advise will be helpful. Thank you.

  • If lacking prerequisites is really your problem, then an admissions committee wants to see that someone they trust (faculty at another university, for example) believes you can do the work in grad school (as indicated by your grades and recommendations from those faculty). They don't want to personally evaluate all your ad-hoc makeup work themselves - that's really not their job. A MOOC curriculum is not going to give you what you need.
    – ff524
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 1:40
  • i could not identify the question being asked.
    – user14140
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 7:56
  • @ff524 Could you please turn your comment into an answer?
    – jakebeal
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 2:39


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