MIT Pilot program reimagines admissions process, introduces “MicroMaster’s.”
This story originally ran on MIT News.
EdX co-founder and partner MIT announced today a pilot program allowing learners worldwide to take a semester’s worth of courses in its top-ranked, one-year Supply Chain Management (SCM) master’s program completely online, then complete an MIT master’s degree by spending a single semester on campus.
MIT also announced a new academic credential for the digital age: the “MicroMaster’s,” which can be earned on edX by students who pass a comprehensive examination upon the successful completion of the series of Supply Chain Management edX MOOCs.
The blended Master’s degree pilot will feature a new way of structuring admissions to a professional master’s program at MIT. Learners worldwide with access to edX can take any of the first semester’s worth of courses online. Those who do well in each course, and then score well on a subsequent comprehensive proctored examination, can earn an MITx MicroMaster’s, and their performance will significantly enhance their chances of being accepted to the full master’s program, which they can then complete in a single semester on campus.
The MicroMaster’s will have no admissions requirements, and will be open to anyone. The coursework will be available for free. Learners can qualify for the MicroMaster’s by paying a modest fee for verified certificates and by passing a proctored exam.
For students who apply to the full master’s program and are admitted to spend a semester on campus, the MicroMaster’s will count toward a semester’s worth of MIT credit. MIT will seek to partner with companies and other organizations to offer financial support to students in need who are admitted to the SCM master’s program via the MicroMaster’s path.
“The new MicroMaster’s is an important modular credential for the digital age, and promises to serve as academic currency in a continuous, lifelong learning world,” says Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. “It also affords an evolutionary path for universities in the face of mounting prices, and a way to leverage technology to blend online and on-campus learning pathways.”