MicroMasters online courses offered by EdX are a set of masters-level online programs that offer an alternative to a traditional masters degree.
You may choose to take these courses and earn the credential on it's own, or, potentially earn credits toward a full degree. Created by, and offered at, many top-ranked graduate schools, these micro certifications are gaining traction in higher education.
While courses offer the same challenge as a masters degree program, MicroMasters programs are designed for distance learning. They are shorter than a full degree program and hyper focused on a specific topic such as supply chain management or artificial intelligence. Most programs consist of five or six courses and a final capstone project.
Each student takes and works to successfully complete their series of classes on edX.org. Then, to show their mastery over the subject matter, students may have to take one or more proctored exams.
Earn a Micro MicroMasters Credential
To earn a Micro MicroMasters credential from their university, students need to pass these exams and meet any other criteria of their program. For instance, you may have to achieve a university-set minimum grade.
Pursue Your Career or Earn a Full Masters Degree
MicroMasters programs are validated by top tier companies to ensure a competitive advantage. Additionally, you can apply to a university that accepts your MicroMasters certificate for credit and, if accepted, the certificate will accelerate your Master's degree.
How a MicroMasters Program Works
In some universities, admissions to a MicroMasters program could be described as ‘inverted’. Why inverted? Well, in traditional masters programs, students begin their courses once they are admitted. By contrast, in a MicroMasters program, learners may get started on their online courses without the need to apply for admission. That said, there could be prerequisites for some programs.
If you are someone who cringes at the thought of lengthy paperwork, you might find it simple to enroll in a MicroMasters program. Typically, all you do to begin is create an account and fill in the online form. Then you could register for each individual course and the capstone project from this account.
Apply to a Masters Program
Students who successfully complete their MicroMaster Credential and decide to apply to the related masters program must then apply to the school and program for consideration . Usually they will have to submit a standard graduate application at their school of choice and meet entry requirements.
Top 5 REasons To Consider a MicroMasters Program
MicroMasters programs might provide a convenient and flexible way for motivated learners to build potentially useful career skills and get a head-start on a masters degree. You could choose a program that mirrors your goals and take online courses on a schedule that fits your needs. Study topics that matter to you and your career path - at your own pace.
Save Time and Money
If you are a professional and can’t take time off to earn a traditional masters degree, the MicroMasters program may be an accessible and affordable option. You may choose to take the Certificate on its own. Some programs are supported by well-established companies for the industry-relevant skills they might provide . Or, as an alternative, use the MicroMaster to potentially reduce the credits, time and money you invest on a full graduate degree associated with your studies.
Accelerate Your Masters
The MicroMasters could provide a faster path to a masters degree. Completion does not guarantee admission to a full master program but it could make it simpler. Once you have achieved your certificate, you may apply to the university that honors it, for credit. If you are accepted, the credit weight has the potential to accelerate your masters. Note that each MicroMasters Credential may have a different credit weight, so this is not a one size fits all process. However, in the program notes, there is usually a list of possible next steps for those who do want to apply their credits to a masters degree. Be sure to speak with your intended graduate program to make sure it will honor your micromaster program for credit.
Study Key Concepts
Many of the MicroMasters programs are put together with a series of courses recognized by industries as being relevant. While not a guarantee of employment, the courses are often planned-out to help students study key concepts and/or gain skills.
Refresh Your Resume
Perhaps you earned your bachelors degree a while ago and want to bolster your skills and resume. Maybe you are in a career and hope to transition or enhance it. A MicroMasters may be a great solution to keep abreast of recent techniques, research and technology. Study topics that might help you gain a competitive edge in fields such as cybersecurity, business management, artificial intelligence and more.
Update Your Academic Portfolio
Not ready for a masters program? A MicroMasters credential is also a stand-alone addition to your academic portfolio. It offers a potential pathway to university credit that could add value to your present skills and knowledge base.
Choose Your EdX MicroMasters Program
To get started, check out the featured MicroMasters programs below. Click on the icon to learn more about each program. The enrollment process is simple, and you could be on your way to continued education in no time! Drive your career and your knowledge in a new direction. Take the next step towards your MicroMasters now.
A MicroMasters in Business Analytics is designed to empower learners to make data-driven business decisions and predict outcomes. Coursework often delves into data, statistics, mathematical modeling and computing tools.
The Digital Leadership MicroMasters program explores strategies to drive and transform businesses in today’s digital economy. You could work to develop the knowledge and skills to lead organizational change, people, and teams.
The MicroMasters in Managing Technology and Innovation focuses on how to deal with disruptive change in the marketplace. Explore tools to assess risk and position an organization in times of uncertainty.
A Digital Product Management MicroMasters program is oriented to the ins and outs of how to create product roadmaps. Coursework spans marketing a product on social media, business analytics, systems design thinking, and more.
The Evidence-Based Management MicroMasters Program could teach learners how to assess evidence and use it to inform managerial decisions. Examine ways to establish a search strategy and communicate with stakeholders.
The MicroMasters in Project Management could help learners develop the in-depth knowledge to lead teams and manage various projects. Take courses that could help you acquire the tools and techniques to oversee a project through its lifecycle.
The MicroMasters in International Hospitality Management could help students gain in-depth insight into the global hospitality industry. Coursework is likely to address topics such as marketing for the luxury traveler, technology, human resources, and strategy.
The International Business Management MicroMasters program could help you develop management skills and knowledge that are key for those who conduct global business. Students may gain the ability to lead, identify risk, and communicate effectively.
A balance of theory and practical skills, the Global Development MicroMasters program could bolster technical and managerial abilities to tackle challenges in development. Students may study how to analyze and respond to problems with an adaptive mindset.
The MicroMasters in Entrepreneurship program embraces the point of view that leadership can be taught. Coursework could help students gain skills in finance, accounting, marketing and human resources..
The Marketing in a Digital World MicroMasters program could help learners develop a grasp of the key concepts and practical skills at play in today’s marketing profession. Coursework may address how to create and sustain a brand.
The International Law MicroMasters program could help you master the language and institutions of international law. Courses may address domestic governance, human rights, war, investment law and more.
The Instructional Design and Technology MicroMasters program could help you learn how to design and operate digital and mobile learning platforms. Coursework is likely to discuss educational theory, data analytics and more.
Learners in a UX MicroMasters program could study how to understand user needs and factor them into product design. Coursework may cover human behavior, usability tests, project design, UX surveys and more.
Potentially acquire the ability to include bioinformatics tools in your laboratory as you work to earn your MicroMaster in Bioinformatics. In this program, you are likely to explore the dynamic blend of biology, computer science and mathematics.
Aim to master technical knowledge in a Solar Engineering MicroMasters program. Some of the topics you explore include systems design, solar systems installation and quality assurance through videos, readings, exercises and real-world cases.
The MicroMasters Program in Biobased Sciences is aimed at current energy, chemical and biotech industry professionals. It is likely to focus on the use of chemical and biotechnological tactics to produce energy-carriers, chemical building blocks and more.
The MicroMasters in Human Rights program takes an in-depth look at human rights as a multidisciplinary field covering history to activism, development, and more. Explore key and current issues like: poverty, inequality, climate change, and social justice.
The MicroMasters in Social Work program could provide students with a greater grasp of professional social work. Coursework is likely to address the impact of policy on social services and how social policies affect practice with individuals, families and communities.
Explore statistics, probability and machine learning in a Data Science MicroMasters program. Study how to collect, clean and analyze big data. In this unique series of courses, you might develop a grasp of mathematical and computational tools..
Students in a Robotics MicroMasters program could refine their grasp of automation and sensing. Explore key mathematical concepts and research. You might acquire the tools to design, build and program robots that could solve real-world problems.
The Software Testing and Verification MicroMasters program is designed to help you gain key knowledge about software testing concepts and techniques. You could study how to plan, execute and manage software testing as you explore software test cases.
The Big Data MicroMasters program discusses the analytical methods used to transform data into decisions that inform change within organizations. Students could work to build technical and computational skills.
A MicroMasters in Analytics: Essential Tools and Methods program could help you become proficient with data collection, storage, analysis, and visualization tools like R, Python and SQL. Study how and when to apply these tools in a business context.
Students in a Cybersecurity MicroMasters programs could develop their grasp and expertise in network security, forensics and risk analysis. Study how to perform digital forensic analysis of cybercrime, as well as protect computer networks from breaches.
The MicroMasters in Professional Android Developer program could help you explore aspects of Android Application Development, like JAVA, app development, AdMob and more. Students could also prepare to take the Google Associate Android Developer Certification Exam.
The MicroMasters in Artificial Intelligence program could help you develop a grasp of basic A.I. concepts and how to apply them to real-life problems. Work to master the essentials of machine learning and algorithms through a variety of courses, like robotics, animation and CGI motion.
Students in a Software Development MicroMasters could learn about new technologies (e.g. Java, JUnit, IntelliJ IDEA, Typescript) and new software systems. Study how to write programs using a systematic approach, and to design programs that are easy to maintain.
Still Have Questions? FAQ About the MicroMasters Credentials
MicroMasters programs are recent, even though the universities that offer them have established graduate programs. Perhaps the answers to some of these frequently asked questions will help clarify what the experience could entail.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a MicroMaster?
The time it takes to complete a MicroMaster varies because each program has its own specific requirements. In some programs, the average length of each course could be about six to seven weeks, but there are longer and shorter programs as well. Also, each MicroMaster program requires a different effort level in terms of how many hours per week each course could take. The nice thing is that these details are listed out in each program detail page. This is a really great feature if you are on a time budget and need to plan-out your weeks in advance.
Can I Accelerate the Time to Completion?
There is no way to reduce the time needed to take and pass all your courses. To earn the MicroMasters Credential, you need to successfully earn a verified certificate in all the courses when they are scheduled. Since the courses are on an instructor-led rather than self-paced timetable, you likely can’t accelerate time to completion.
What Happens When I Complete a Course?
As a verified learner, when you successfully complete a MicroMasters course, you receive an individual verified certificate. If you satisfactorily finish all the courses in a MicroMasters Program in the verified track, you will receive a MicroMasters Credential (certificate).
How Do I Take My Exams?
MicroMasters exams are taken via an online proctoring service that edX.org uses to provide monitoring for certain exams. Learners who take proctored exams are required to follow a set of defined rules to receive a Satisfactory result from the proctoring service
Do I Need to Be a Verified Student to Earn a MicroMasters Credential?
You do need to be a verified student to earn the MicroMasters Credential. In fact, if the credential is your aim, you must successfully complete, and receive a verified certificate in each of the courses set by your program.
Which Institution Offers the Verified Certificate?
Certificates are issued by edX under the name of the school listed on your program description page. They are delivered online through the platform edX.org.
Is the MicroMasters Credential Always Transferable?
The MicroMasters Credential is not always transferable to any school for credit. In most cases, the school that offers the program grants the credit. Some schools may accept transfer credits from another university’s MicroMasters program. If this is the case, you can easily see who accepts the credits on the program detail page next to the heading “Institutions Offering Credit”.
Is Completion of a MicroMasters Credit a Guarantee of Admission to a Masters?
The fact that you earned your MicroMasters certainly warrants good cheer but it does not guarantee admission to a full masters program. You must apply to, and be accepted into, the on-campus or online degree program that is associated with your MicroMasters program. The fact that you achieved the credential however may provide an admissions office some insight into your capability, as you can list it on your application.
How Many Credits Can I Transfer to a Masters Degree?
The exact credit value that you earn and potentially transfer to a masters degree program is determined by each school, so it will vary. Most program description pages state this type of information, as well as which masters degree is related to the MicroMasters program you choose.
How Much Does a MicroMaster Program Cost?
To earn a MicroMasters credential you need to enroll in the Verified Certificate track for each of the MicroMasters courses in the series. The prices can vary across courses and any given MicroMasters program. Generally, they might range between $600-$1,400 per program. You can find the exact amount listed in the program detail page.
Is Completion of a MicroMasters a Guarantee I Will Get a Job?
Different companies may recognize individual programs but this does not guarantee an interview or a job. A MicroMasters program might, however, help students gain certain tools which could be useful in their endeavors. Also, when you earn a certificate, it is in a digital format, which could be easily shared on your LinkedIn page and resume. This is one way to highlight to your networks what you have attained and learned.
What if I Am New to Online Education?
You may be new to an online education, but MicroMasters programs make use of current technology, digital tools and interactive media to make the experience as approachable as possible. Learners access their course content, videos, textbooks, assignments and discussion forum via an online course management system. It is all available through your browser, so you generally do not need any additional software.
What is EdX?
EdX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider that was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012. They offer courses from well-recognized universities and institutions to learners in many countries around the globe.
Can Anyone Enroll in a MicroMasters Program?
Since a MicroMasters is made up of graduate-level courses, some classes could require prerequisite knowledge. If this is the case, these requisites are listed on the enrollment page for the course.
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This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Specific School Disclosures.