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A wealth of programming challenges to help you learn

MicroMasters® Program in
Algorithms and Data Structures

What you will learn

  • Understand essential algorithmic techniques and apply them to solve algorithmic problems
  • Implement programs that work in less than one second even on massive datasets
  • Test and debug your code even without knowing the input on which it fails
  • Formulate real life computational problems as rigorous algorithmic problems
  • Prove correctness of an algorithm and analyze its running time

This MicroMasters program is a mix of theory and practice: you will learn algorithmic techniques for solving various computational problems through implementing over one hundred algorithmic coding problems in a programming language of your choice.

No other online course in Algorithms even comes close to offering you a wealth of programming challenges that you may face at your next job interview. To prepare you, we have invested thousands of hours designing challenges as an alternative to multiple choice questions that you usually find in MOOCs. We believe in learning through application, especially when it comes to learning algorithms.

For each algorithm you develop and implement, we have designed multiple tests to check its correctness and running time — you will have to debug your programs without even knowing what these tests are! It may sound difficult, but we believe it is the only way to truly understand how the algorithms work and to master the art of programming.

Expert instruction
8 graduate-level courses
Progress at your own speed
1 year
288 - 360 hours of effort
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. UCSanDiegoX's Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters® Program

  2. 8–10 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    Learn how to design algorithms, solve computational problems and implement solutions efficiently.

  3. 8–10 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    Learn about data structures that are used in computational thinking – both basic and advanced.

  4. 8–10 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    Learn how to use algorithms to explore graphs, compute shortest distance, min spanning tree, and connected components.

  5. 8–10 hours per week, for 3 weeks

    Learn about NP-complete problems, known as hard problems that can’t be solved efficiently, and practice solving them using algorithmic techniques.

  6. 8–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    Learn about pattern matching and string processing algorithms and how they apply to interesting applications.

  7. 8–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    Learn how dynamic programming and Hidden Markov Models can be used to compare genetic strings and uncover evolution.

  8. 8–10 hours per week, for 3 weeks

    Learn how graphs are used to assemble millions of pieces of DNA into a contiguous genome and use these genomes to construct a Tree of Life.

  9. 8–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    Synthesize your knowledge of algorithms and biology to build your own software for solving a biological challenge.

  10. How To Earn The MicroMasters Program Certificate
    Complete and successfully earn a verified certificate in all 8 courses plus the capstone project course.

    Take Your Credential To The Next Level
    Learners who successfully earn the Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters program certificate are eligible to apply for admission to the School of Individualized Study (SOIS) Master of Science in Professional Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology.

    If a learner applies for admission to the SOIS Master of Science in Professional Studies program at Rochester Institute of Technology, and is accepted, the MicroMasters program certificate will count towards 25% of the coursework required by this program.

    • The median salary for Software Development jobs in the US is $102,280 per year (source: Bureau of Labour Statistics)
    • Career prospects include software engineer, data scientist, and site reliability engineer.

Meet your instructors

from The University of California, San Diego (UCSanDiegoX)
Pavel Pevzner
Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science
The University of California, San Diego
Daniel Kane
Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering & Dept. of Mathematics
UC San Diego
Alexander S. Kulikov
Visiting Professor
UC San Diego
Michael Levin
Chief Data Scientist
Neil Rhodes
UC San Diego
Phillip Compeau
Assistant Teaching Professor
Carnegie Mellon University

Experts from UCSanDiegoX committed to teaching online learning

Program endorsements

Yandex believes that mathematical prowess and knowledge of algorithms are key. A drive to learn and expand one’s knowledge, especially in such fast-developing fields as artificial intelligence, computer vision and speech recognition, is another crucial factor for someone to join the Yandex team. A data structures and algorithms MicroMasters is a chance for anyone to develop the skills they can apply across a growing number of spheres and industries.

Irina Kaburova, Head of Recruitment Service, Yandex

Enrolling Now

8 courses in 1 year
Pursue the Program


  • You will receive an individual verified certificate for each Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters program course that you pass as a verified student. Students passing the final capstone exam and all 7 courses and the capstone in the Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters program courses on a verified track will receive a MicroMasters program certificate.

  • Yes. If you are interested in the Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters program certificate, you must successfully pass and receive a verified certificate in each of the 7 courses as well as successfully pass the final capstone exam.

  • Completing the listed prerequisites or ensuring equivalent understanding of the knowledge of the prerequisites is strongly recommended in order to be successful in the course work.

  • Students must achieve a grade of 70% or higher for a passing grade in each of the 7 courses in the Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters program.

  • The last course of this MicroMasters program is a Capstone, and passing it after passing all 8 courses of the MicroMasters program is all you need to get a verified certificate for this program. The capstone will be offered 2-3 times per year.

  • Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this program: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this program in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.


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