Course Syllabus

Welcome to CS105: Introduction to Python

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Learn fundamental programming concepts using the Python 3 programming language, a high-level interpreted language that is easy to read write, with powerful libraries that provide additional functionality.


Course Introduction

This course is an introduction to fundamental programming concepts by way of the Python 3 programming language. Python 3 is a high-level interpreted language that has many benefits, including easy-to-read and easy-to-write syntax and powerful libraries that provide additional functionality. Even though Python 3 is a great programming language for beginners, it is also used extensively for practical applications in engineering and data science. This course is intended for people with no or very little prior programming experience. It covers a range of topics, such as data types, control flow, functions, file operations, and object-oriented programming. When you finish this course, you will be able to create Python programs for a variety of applications.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Python 3
  • Unit 2: Operators
  • Unit 3: Input and Flow Control Statements
  • Unit 4: Data
  • Unit 5: Functions
  • Unit 6: Basic Data Structures II – Tuples, Sets, and Dictionaries
  • Unit 7: File Handling
  • Unit 8: Regular Expressions
  • Unit 9: Exception Handling
  • Unit 10: Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • write Python programs within an Integrated Development Environment (IDE);
  • explain and apply the basic variable types int, float, str, and bool;
  • apply operators and operator precedence;
  • write programs that apply control structures, lists, strings, sets, tuples, and dictionaries;
  • write programs that import libraries for a variety of applications, such as random numbers and data visualization;
  • write interactive programs that ask for and use input from the user;
  • write programs that use functions and methods;
  • apply data visualization tools for basic data analysis;
  • translate search terms into regular expressions;
  • handle errors and exceptions in Python programs by using try, except, and finally statements; and
  • use object-oriented programming and object methods to write code that is easy to read and maintain.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.


Tips for Success

CS105: Introduction to Python is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 36 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 5:10 PM