What is this?

The MCIT hackathon creates opportunities for MCIT students to compete against each other and create a project to present to recruiters. Changing industries or trying to get into tech without a tech background is difficult. Recruiters often want to see projects on students’ resumes. Hosting the hackathon after students complete their first semester allows them to apply the lessons they learned in their computer science courses.

During the pandemic, we need to connect with our classmates. In teams of 2-5, students will build a program that will test their skills as programmers. If students do not have teams, we offer a matching system so that they can meet their classmates. Projects should challenge the teams and offer new lessons in planning, software development, and working in teams. We recommend learning a new language over winter break and testing your skills in this environment!

To our future competitors, we want for you to have fun with this! Make the most out of it and build something that you’ll be proud of. MCIT won’t teach you everything about coding; it gives you the framework to be a great coder, learn new languages, and solve the problems of tomorrow. We can’t wait to see what you’re going to make.

When is this?

Dates: January 13 – 17, 2021 (Wednesday – Sunday)
Ideas can be generated before January 13, but no coding!


We will be hosting the following workshops during the course of the hackathon:

  • GitHub: How to effectively collaborate using Git & How to submit your README proposals
  • Pop Lecutres: MCIT Students teach mini-lectures on cool elective or extracurricular content
  • Career Panel: MCIT Alum speak to how MCIT helped them pivot into Software Engineering, Product Management, Data Science, and Research - respectively
  • Recruiting Prep: MCIT Alum and second-years help with resume reviews and mock interviews

If you are an MCIT student or alum interested in hosting a workshop, please reach out to Rebecca Sassower at rsass@seas.upenn.edu.


We do not enforce a specific theme because of the nature of the program and hackathon. We do require a proposal to be submitted by the end of the first night (January 13) of the hackathon, flexible of time zones. We will also suggest projects (that will be useful to the MCIT community) and provide ideas to help brainstorm.


We are proud to offer a free Udemy course to all of our participants that are members of a team that submitted a project and video presentation. Even if you did not finish your project to completion, submit a video presentation to discuss what you did and what stopped you from finishing.

Students who create an AR/VR project using the EchoAR platform, will also compete to win a $50 gift card and a year of the premium tier of the platform. 


Projects will be judged by alumni and there will also be a community vote. Teams will be evaluated for superlative prizes. Judging criteria *do not* include:

  • How well-written your code is (Cleanliness and commenting only matter for collaboration!)
  • How good the idea is (Take advantage of our list!)
  • How well the project solves a problem (You can create something totally useless!)

Teams that create an AR/VR project will also be judged by EchoAR to win the prizes mentioned above.


Only MCIT-In Person students are able to take part in the hackathon. 

If you are an MCIT Online student, we suggest you reach out to MOSA in your Slack workspace to find when your next hackathon is taking place. 



Teams will be required to submit a video presentation presenting their project. This presentation should include an overview of the project’s stack, purpose of the project, major challenges, and a demo of the software running. No need to be fancy, as long as you describe your process. You'll upload your video to Youtube and submit the link when submitting your project here.

Please see Brian Perriello's demo recording in the master guide for reference.

Hackathon Sponsors


Creativity Winner (2)

This team had the most creative project. They thought outside of the box and made something unique.

Complexity Winner (2)

This team had the most complex project. They came into the hackathon with high ambitions to get a lot done.

Presentation Winner (2)

This team had the most stellar presentation. They effectively communicated their collaborative approach, technical challenges, and use-case(s).

Most Beneficial to MCIT (2)

This team created a project that will most greatly benefit MCIT moving forward.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Theresa Breiner

Theresa Breiner
Software Engineer, Google

Sandor Aguilar

Sandor Aguilar
Support Engineer, SAP

Tierra Sharae

Tierra Sharae
UI/UX Designer, Stealth Startup

Shruti Sinha

Shruti Sinha
Software Engineer, AWS

Judging Criteria

  • Most Creative Prize
    How unique or innovative is the execution of the project? Did the team think outside of the box in response to their challenges or to collaborating remotely?
  • Most Complex Prize
    How technically interesting or difficult is the execution of the project? Did the team stretch themselves or learn something new?
  • Best Presentation Prize
    How organized and engaging is the presentation? Did the team effectively communicate their approach, challenges, and use-cases?
  • Most Beneficial to MCIT
    This team created a project that will most greatly benefit MCIT moving forward.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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