MIT ReACT Computer and Data Science Certificate Program

Applications are now closed. Admissions will be announced early September. Thank you to all who applied.

The 2020-2021 Computer and Data Science Certificate Program will launch this September. The resilience and courage of our refugee learners has been and will continue to be a source of motivation and inspiration as we at MIT ReACT adjust to the challenges of our ever changing world. 
Drawing upon the creativity and ingenuity of our students, for whom overcoming distance has always been the norm, we are committed to broadening the reach and improving the inclusivity of our programs through the entirely online delivery of MIT academic content, immersive virtual bootcamps, and internship and networking opportunities. 
We are grateful for the generous support of the Western Union Foundation and other supporters for making the 2020 cohort possible. 
About the Program
Learners in the 2020-2021 cohort of the MIT ReACT Computer and Data Science Certificate Program will be able to accelerate their education and careers through a blended learning program guided by four core pillars: 
MicroCredentials: Learn foundational knowledge and skills in computer and data science through online MIT coursework.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Work with a global team of innovators in the MIT Innovation Leadership Bootcamp, an online program in entrepreneurial creativity, leadership, and problem solving. 
Professional Internships: Advance your career through a paid onsite or remote internship with a member of our network of partnering organizations.
Networks: Join a robust network of university and industry leaders, peers, and others to open up new avenues of academic and professional development. 


The ReACT agile model has been designed with consideration for the complex needs of refugees and internally displaced persons. We welcome applications from refugees and internally displaced persons from anywhere in the world. A significant number of positions in the 50 person cohort will be reserved for women and applicants of refugee or displaced status. In additions to refugee candidates, we encourage local citizens from low-income and underserved communities of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Colombia, and Uganda to apply. Admitted students must be at least 18 years of age or older. 


Applicants that advance to the first round will complete a proctored online math examination (free of cost) to demonstrate the requisite analytical math skills needed for successful participation in the program.  Applicants must also demonstrate a level of English fluency to complete course requirements. 


Program Logistics

Start Date: September 15, 2020


Please note that reliable access to a computer and internet is necessary for the completion of the program.


A PDF verson is available here which can be used to prepare answers. However, applications must be submitted using the online portal.

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Applications for the DEDP MicroMasters Program are closed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Should Apply?

Refugees, displaced people, or citizens from underserved communities of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Colombia and Uganda over the age of 18 who:


1) are registered as refugees, asylees, or displaced people with a UN agency or the appropriate local government agency.


2) are passionate about continuing their learning with a particular interest in computer and science, innovation, and entrepreneurship.


3) advanced understanding of algebra, geometry, logarithms and exponentials, and probability and/or programming logic.


4) are proficient in English: to succeed in the program a minimum TOEFL Internet-based score of 90 (577 paper-based) or equivalent is recommended.  Applications will be screened to assess English language fluency in speaking and writing. 

Applicants must take an online math examination administered by MIT ReACT on the MITx on edX platform in order to be accepted into the program.


Motivated self starters who strive for excellence,  and are looking to work hard and appreciate both the rigor of the MIT experience and the opportunity to engage with like-minded students, and the MIT community.


Why should I participate in the MIT ReACT Certificate in Computer and Data Science Program?

The MIT ReACT Certificate in Computer and Data Science offers access to MIT online courses, networking opportunities, and connections to academic and career pathways. ReACT learners will engage with MIT faculty and students, local and international experts, social entrepreneurs and business leaders, opening up powerful networks to grow opportunities in your education and career.  


Successful students will gain new skills, an expanded network, and the possibility of new professional pathways. You also get a nice certificate in a very fancy folder.  And a T-shirt.


How do I apply?

Application is open and available as of July 7, 2020, with an application deadline of August 15, 2020.  Application can be found here


Do I need to have a background or degree in Computer Science?

No, but strong English comprehension and math skills are highly recommended.


Can internally displaced people apply?

Yes, internally displaced individuals with appropriate documentation are eligible to apply.


Can refugees of all nationalities apply?

Yes. Unfortunately, learners from Iran and Sudan may not be able to participate in this program. While edX has received licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer some courses to learners from these countries, unfortunately, our licenses do not cover the courses in our Computer and Data Science Certificate program. 


Do I have to be a certain age to apply?

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.


Do I have to be a refugee to participate?

The program is open to registered refugees, asylees, or displaced persons. Citizens of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Colombia and Uganda are also eligible to apply to the Computer and Data Science Program.


What is the time commitment?

The MIT ReACT Certificate in Computer and Data Science program is a year long and includes 5-6 online courses and an online bootcamp. Each component requires an average of 10-15 hours of work per week. You should also be prepared for a 3-6 month part-time internship (flexibility on the internship length is determined on per student basis).


What is the cost of the program? 

There is no financial cost to participating students, aside from your own access to the internet and computer.  All program costs, including exam fees and certificates, will be paid for by MIT ReACT.


Do I need a computer?

As the program is run entirely online, it will be essential to have reliable access to an internet-connected computer throughout the program.



Do I have to participate in all program elements? 

We believe connections, community, and team building are key to the success of our students. Highly engaged participation is a critical part of the program. 


Our year-long Certificate in Computer and Data Science program leverages online MITx courses, MIT Bootcamp, and workshops to deliver interactive, experiential learning in a virtual environment. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the program will be delivered entirely on-line in 2020-2021. In future years, we aim to return to our blended learning model, bringing together online and on-site learning. 


With that in mind, we also appreciate the special circumstances facing our students and are open to making accommodations when they are unable to participate in individual program elements due to schedule or connectivity. We will work with students on a case-by-case basis to develop a learning plan that suits the program and their needs.


What are the core program elements and key dates of the Certificate in Computer and Data Science? 

The MIT ReACT Certificate in Computer and Data Science is composed of the following core elements:

-Orientation (September 28-30, 2020, est. dates)

-MIT Innovation Leadership Bootcamp (October 5 - December 14, 2020)

-MITx Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python  (January 22 - March 25, 2021 est. dates)

-MITx Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science (March 25 - June 10, 2020, est. dates)

-MIT xPro: Data Science and Big Data Analytics: Making Data-Driven Decisions (dates TBD)

-MITx Electives: Option of 1 or 2 self-paced MITx electives

-Part-time Internship (3-6 months depending on availability)

-Occasional ReACT online workshops and guest speakers 


What support will participants receive during the program? 

Students will participate in the live workshops led by MIT-trained staff, will have free access to and support in the curriculum’s courses, and will have support in securing paid internships. Students may also have the opportunity to attend in-person networking events, pending the state of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the duration of the program.


Upon completion of the program, will I receive a certificate?

Yes. You will receive the MIT ReACT Certificate in Computer and Data Science after completing all the course elements with passing grades. In addition to the MIT ReACT certificate, learners will receive individual certificates of completion for the MIT Innovation Leadership Bootcamp and MITx and xPro course certificates.  


General Questions


What is MIT ReACT?

MIT ReACT is an institute-wide initiative that identifies, aggregates and cultivates ideas, solutions, and best practices that allow talented refugees and displaced populations worldwide to access relevant learning resources and professional development opportunities.


Our year long certificate in Computer and Data Science and MicroMaster programs leverage MITx courses and curriculum, and workshops to deliver experiential blended learning. The curricula will be both live and on-line, and feature regional and international experts.



MIT has a history of taking on some of the greatest challenges in the world. Addressing the growing numbers of forcibly displaced people and the crisis in their education needs a coordinated effort. ReACT seeks to incubate  and support a community among experienced educators, scientists, and engineers both at MIT and across the globe to improve and coordinate access and quality in education for refugee students regardless of background or prior academic achievement.


What programs does MIT ReACT offer?

MIT ReACT integrates digital and blended learning models that are robust and designed to provide students with skills, networks, and pathways. Our objective is to deliver a unique MIT driven learning experience that delivers marketable skills that help students who complete the program find employment and further academic possibilities.


I am an organization or company interested in joining the MIT ReACT network. How do I get started?

We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to and we will set up a time to connect.