Fourteen universities around the world are today launching modular master’s degree programs in which students can complete up to half of the course work online, earn a credential and then decide whether they want to apply to pursue the full degree.
The launch of the 19 programs, known as MicroMasters, follows a pilot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT has since early this year tested the model in its supply chain management program. Learners start the program by taking massive open online courses hosted on edX, the MOOC platform MIT helped found. After completing five MOOCs, learners who pay a fee can either call it quits and walk away with a certificate — or apply and, if accepted to MIT, eventually earn a master’s of engineering in logistics.