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Path to a free self-taught education in Computer Science!
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The OSSU curriculum is a complete education in computer science using online materials. It's not merely for career training or professional development. It's for those who want a proper, well-rounded grounding in concepts fundamental to all computing disciplines, and for those who have the discipline, will, and (most importantly!) good habits to obtain this education largely on their own, but with support from a worldwide community of fellow learners.
It is designed according to the degree requirements of undergraduate computer science majors, minus general education (non-CS) requirements, as it is assumed most of the people following this curriculum are already educated outside the field of CS. The courses themselves are among the very best in the world, often coming from Harvard, Princeton, MIT, etc., but specifically chosen to meet the following criteria.
Courses must:
When no course meets the above criteria, the coursework is supplemented with a book. When there are courses or books that don't fit into the curriculum but are otherwise of high quality, they belong in extras/courses or extras/readings.
Organization. The curriculum is designed as follows:
Duration. It is possible to finish Core CS within about 2 years if you plan carefully and devote roughly 18-22 hours/week to your studies. Courses in Core CS should be taken linearly if possible, but since a perfectly linear progression is rarely possible, each class's prerequisites is specified so that you can design a logical but non-linear progression based on the class schedules and your own life plans.
Cost. All or nearly all course material prior to Pro CS is available for free. However, some courses may charge money for assignments/tests/projects to be graded. Note that Coursera offers financial aid. Decide how much or how little to spend based on your own time and budget; just remember that you can't purchase success!
Process. Students can work through the curriculum alone or in groups, in order or out of order.
Content policy. If you plan on showing off some of your coursework publicly, you must share only files that you are allowed to. Do NOT disrespect the code of conduct that you signed in the beginning of each course!
How to contribute. Please see CONTRIBUTING.
Getting help. Please check our Frequently Asked Questions, and if you cannot find the answer, file an issue or talk to our friendly community!
Curriculum version: 8.0.0
(see CHANGELOG)
This course will introduce you to the world of computer science.
Topics covered:
computation
imperative programming
basic data structures and algorithms
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming using Python | 9 weeks | 15 hours/week | high school algebra |
All coursework under Core CS is required, unless otherwise indicated.
Topics covered:
functional programming
design for testing
program requirements
common design patterns
unit testing
object-oriented design
Java
static typing
dynamic typing
ML-family languages (via Standard ML)
Lisp-family languages (via Racket)
Ruby
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
How to Code - Simple Data | 7 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | none |
How to Code - Complex Data | 6 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | How to Code: Simple Data |
Software Construction - Data Abstraction | 6 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | How to Code - Complex Data |
Software Construction - Object-Oriented Design | 6 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | Software Construction - Data Abstraction |
Programming Languages, Part A | 4 weeks | 8-16 hours/week | recommended: Java, C |
Programming Languages, Part B | 3 weeks | 8-16 hours/week | Programming Languages, Part A |
Programming Languages, Part C | 3 weeks | 8-16 hours/week | Programming Languages, Part B |
paid
Topics covered:
linear transformations
matrices
vectors
mathematical proofs
number theory
differential calculus
integral calculus
sequences and series
discrete mathematics
basic statistics
O-notation
graph theory
vector calculus
discrete probability
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Essence of Linear Algebra | - | - | pre-calculus |
Linear Algebra - Foundations to Frontiers (alt) | 15 weeks | 8 hours/week | Essence of Linear Algebra |
Calculus 1A: Differentiation | 13 weeks | 6-10 hours/week | pre-calculus |
Calculus 1B: Integration | 13 weeks | 5-10 hours/week | Calculus 1A |
Calculus 1C: Coordinate Systems & Infinite Series | 13 weeks | 5-10 hours/week | Calculus 1B |
Mathematics for Computer Science^{1} | 13 weeks | 5 hours/week | Calculus 1C |
^{1}: Students struggling with MIT Math for CS can consider taking the Discrete Mathematics Specialization first. It is more interactive but less comprehensive, and it costs money to unlock full interactivity.
Skip to the second course (Nand2Tetris) when the first course (CS50) moves away from C. (Why?)
Topics covered:
procedural programming
manual memory management
boolean algebra
gate logic
memory
computer architecture
assembly
machine language
virtual machines
high-level languages
compilers
operating systems
network protocols
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Introduction to Computer Science - CS50 (alt) | 12 weeks | 10-20 hours/week | introductory programming |
Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris (alt) | 6 weeks | 7-13 hours/week | C-like programming language |
Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: Nand to Tetris Part II | 6 weeks | 12-18 hours/week | one of these programming languages, From Nand to Tetris Part I |
Introduction to Computer Networking | 8 weeks | 4–12 hours/week | algebra, probability, basic CS |
ops-class.org - Hack the Kernel | 15 weeks | 6 hours/week | algorithms |
Topics covered:
divide and conquer
sorting and searching
randomized algorithms
graph search
shortest paths
data structures
greedy algorithms
minimum spanning trees
dynamic programming
NP-completeness
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part I | 8 weeks | 4-8 hours/week | any programming language, Mathematics for Computer Science |
Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part II | 8 weeks | 4-8 hours/week | Part I |
Topics covered:
Agile methodology
REST
software specifications
refactoring
relational databases
transaction processing
data modeling
neural networks
supervised learning
unsupervised learning
OpenGL
raytracing
block ciphers
authentication
public key encryption
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Databases | 12 weeks | 8-12 hours/week | some programming, basic CS |
Machine Learning | 11 weeks | 4-6 hours/week | linear algebra |
Computer Graphics | 6 weeks | 12 hours/week | C++ or Java, linear algebra |
Cryptography I | 6 weeks | 5-7 hours/week | linear algebra, probability |
Software Engineering: Introduction | 6 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | Software Construction - Object-Oriented Design |
Software Development Capstone Project | 6-7 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | Software Engineering: Introduction |
After completing every required course in Core CS, students should choose a subset of courses from Advanced CS based on interest. Not every course from a subcategory needs to be taken. But students should take every course that is relevant to the field they intend to go into.
The Advanced CS study should then end with one of the Specializations under Advanced applications. A Specialization's Capstone, if taken, may act as the Final project, if permitted by the Honor Code of the course. If not, or if a student chooses not to take the Capstone, then a separate Final project will need to be done to complete this curriculum.
Topics covered:
debugging theory and practice
goal-oriented programming
GPU programming
CUDA
parallel computing
object-oriented analysis and design
UML
large-scale software architecture and design
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Compilers | 9 weeks | 6-8 hours/week | none |
Software Debugging | 8 weeks | 6 hours/week | Python, object-oriented programming |
Software Testing | 4 weeks | 6 hours/week | Python, programming experience |
LAFF - On Programming for Correctness | 7 weeks | 6 hours/week | linear algebra |
Introduction to Parallel Programming (alt) | 12 weeks | - | C, algorithms |
Software Architecture & Design | 8 weeks | 6 hours/week | software engineering in Java |
Topics covered:
parametric equations
polar coordinate systems
multivariable integrals
multivariable differentials
probability theory
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Multivariable Calculus | 13 weeks | 12 hours/week | MIT Calculus 1C |
Introduction to Probability - The Science of Uncertainty | 18 weeks | 12 hours/week | Multivariable Calculus |
Topics covered:
digital signaling
combinational logic
CMOS technologies
sequential logic
finite state machines
processor instruction sets
caches
pipelining
virtualization
parallel processing
virtual memory
synchronization primitives
system call interface
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Reliable Distributed Systems, Part 1 | 5 weeks | 5 hours/week | Scala, intermediate CS |
Reliable Distributed Systems, Part 2 | 5 weeks | 5 hours/week | Part 1 |
Electricity and Magnetism, Part 1^{1} | 7 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | calculus, basic mechanics |
Electricity and Magnetism, Part 2 | 7 weeks | 8-10 hours/week | Electricity and Magnetism, Part 1 |
Computation Structures 1: Digital Circuits | 10 weeks | 6 hours/week | electricity, magnetism |
Computation Structures 2: Computer Architecture | 10 weeks | 6 hours/week | Computation Structures 1 |
Computation Structures 3: Computer Organization | 10 weeks | 6 hours/week | Computation Structures 2 |
^{1} Note: These courses assume knowledge of basic physics. (Why?) If you are struggling, you can find a physics MOOC or utilize the materials from Khan Academy: Khan Academy - Physics
Topics covered:
formal languages
Turing machines
computability
event-driven concurrency
automata
distributed shared memory
consensus algorithms
state machine replication
computational geometry theory
propositional logic
relational logic
Herbrand logic
concept lattices
game trees
and more
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Introduction to Logic | 10 weeks | 4-8 hours/week | set theory |
Automata Theory | 8 weeks | 10 hours/week | discrete mathematics, logic, algorithms |
Computational Geometry | 16 weeks | 8 hours/week | algorithms, C++ |
Introduction to Formal Concept Analysis | 6 weeks | 4-6 hours/week | logic, probability |
Game Theory | 8 weeks | x hours/week | mathematical thinking, probability, calculus |
These Coursera Specializations all end with a Capstone project. Depending on the course, you may be able to utilize the Capstone as your Final Project for this Computer Science curriculum. Note that doing a Specialization with the Capstone at the end always costs money. So if you don't wish to spend money or use the Capstone as your Final, it may be possible to take the courses in the Specialization for free by manually searching for them, but not all allow this.
Courses | Duration | Effort | Prerequisites |
---|---|---|---|
Robotics (Specialization) | 26 weeks | 2-5 hours/week | linear algebra, calculus, programming, probability |
Data Mining (Specialization) | 30 weeks | 2-5 hours/week | machine learning |
Big Data (Specialization) | 30 weeks | 3-5 hours/week | none |
Internet of Things (Specialization) | 30 weeks | 1-5 hours/week | strong programming |
Cloud Computing (Specialization) | 30 weeks | 2-6 hours/week | C++ programming |
Full Stack Web Development (Specialization) | 27 weeks | 2-6 hours/week | programming, databases |
Data Science (Specialization) | 43 weeks | 1-6 hours/week | none |
Functional Programming in Scala (Specialization) | 29 weeks | 4-5 hours/week | One year programming experience |
OSS University is project-focused. You are encouraged to do the assignments and exams for each course, but what really matters is whether you can use your knowledge to solve a real world problem.
After you've gotten through all of Core CS and the parts of Advanced CS relevant to you, you should think about a problem that you can solve using the knowledge you've acquired. Not only does real project work look great on a resume, but the project will also validate and consolidate your knowledge. You can create something entirely new, or you can find an existing project that needs help via websites like CodeTriage or First Timers Only.
Another option is using the Capstone project from taking one of the Specializations in Advanced applications; whether or not this makes sense depends on the course, the project, and whether or not the course's Honor Code permits you to display your work publicly. In some cases, it may not be permitted; do not violate your course's Honor Code!
Put the OSSU-CS badge in the README of your repository!
[![Open Source Society University - Computer Science](https://img.shields.io/badge/OSSU-computer--science-blue.svg)](https://github.com/ossu/computer-science)
<a href="https://github.com/ossu/computer-science"><img alt="Open Source Society University - Computer Science" src="https://img.shields.io/badge/OSSU-computer--science-blue.svg"></a>
Upon completing your final project, submit your project's information to PROJECTS via a pull request and use our community channels to announce it to your fellow students.
Your peers and mentors from OSSU will then informally evaluate your project. You will not be "graded" in the traditional sense — everyone has their own measurements for what they consider a success. The purpose of the evaluation is to act as your first announcement to the world that you are a computer scientist and to get experience listening to feedback — both positive and negative — and taking it in stride.
The final project evaluation has a second purpose: to evaluate whether OSSU, through its community and curriculum, is successful in its mission to guide independent learners in obtaining a world-class computer science education.
You can create this project alone or with other students! We love cooperative work! Use our channels to communicate with other fellows to combine and create new projects!
My friend, here is the best part of liberty! You can use any language that you want to complete the final project.
The important thing is to internalize the core concepts and to be able to use them with whatever tool (programming language) that you wish.
After completing the requirements of the curriculum above, you will have completed the equivalent of a full bachelor's degree in Computer Science, or quite close to one. You can stop in the Advanced CS section, but the next step to completing your studies is to develop skills and knowledge in a specific domain. Many of these courses are graduate-level.
Choose one or more of the following specializations:
These aren't the only specializations you can choose. Check the following websites for more options:
PS: A forum is an ideal way to interact with other students as we do not lose important discussions, which usually occur in communication via chat apps. Please use our forum for important discussions.
Now that you have a copy of our official board, you just need to pass the cards to the Doing
column or Done
column as you progress in your study.
We also have labels to help you have more control through the process. The meaning of each of these labels is:
Main Curriculum
: cards with that label represent courses that are listed in our curriculum.Extra Resources
: cards with that label represent courses that were added by the student.Doing
: cards with that label represent courses the student is current doing.Done
: cards with that label represent courses finished by the student.
Those cards should also have the link for at least one project/article built with the knowledge acquired in such course.Section
: cards with that label represent the section that we have in our curriculum.
Those cards with the Section
label are only to help the organization of the Done column.
You should put the Course's cards below its respective Section's card.The intention of this board is to provide our students a way to track their progress, and also the ability to show their progress through a public page for friends, family, employers, etc. You can change the status of your board to be public or private.