If you’ve ever dreamed of taking classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), your dream just got a lot easier to achieve.
In an effort to foster innovation and reach more students, MIT has begun offering several programs of study online. While you can’t earn a degree solely from online coursework, you can earn the MITx MicroMaster’s credential, which allows you to enter an accelerated program to earn your master’s degree on-campus at MIT or at other participating schools.
What is the MIT MicroMaster’s credential?
The MITx MicroMaster’s credential program is a free online program that has no prerequisites. That is, you can earn this credential without first obtaining a bachelor’s degree, or even a high school diploma or GRE.
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MIT states that 10,000-30,000 students from 180 countries are participating in this program at any given time.
The program consists of about one semester’s worth of MIT classes, or about five to eight classes, depending on the program of study. To get credit for each class, you must pass an in-person, proctored exam. You may take each exam at the conclusion of each class, or you can opt to take them all at once. MIT has testing locations around the world.
After you have passed all the tests in your program of study, you will be awarded the MIT MicroMaster’s credential.
What can I do with a MicroMaster’s credential?
You can do three things with your MicroMaster’s:
1. If you’d like to earn your master’s degree from MIT, you can apply for admission. If you are accepted, your MicroMaster’s credential allows you to finish your coursework in an accelerated fashion—generally about two semesters (spring and summer). It’s important to note that you will be required to complete your coursework on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA.
3. You can use your credential to advance in your career. Because the online coursework is as rigorous at on-campus MIT courses, many employers see the tremendous value in the credential.
How much does it cost?
The program includes five tuition-free classes. However, there is a cost to take the final exam for each class. That charge is determined on a sliding scale depending on your income, and can be anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
Of course, if you go on to earn your master’s degree, you will have to pay tuition, room and board, and all of the other costs associated with college attendance.
What courses of study are offered?
You can earn an MIT MicroMaster’s in four different areas of study:
Supply chain management
Principles of engineering
Data, economics, and development policy
Statistics and data science
What other online learning opportunities does MIT offer?
MIT offers a wide variety of courseware through edX. Along with Harvard, Berkeley, and a host of other prestigious institutions, MIT allows free access to many of its programs via something called a MOOC, which stands for Massive Online Open Courseware. While you cannot earn credits through this program, you do have the benefit of learning from MIT’s top professors for free.
MIT also has several Professional Education Digital Programs, through which students can earn a certificate through a mix of online and in-person training. Training programs may be offered on-campus or on-site if a company has a group of participants.
Trish Sammer is Nitro's managing editor. Her work has appeared in Woman’s Day, Redbook, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Forbes. She has also written for various corporate clients, including the tech giant SAP, The Franklin Institute, and PSE&G. When Trish isn’t busy acting as a writing ninja for other people, you can find her … well, writing about other stuff, like divorce and blended family life. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, their combined brood, and the world’s laziest dog. Read more by Trish Sammer