Coursera Partners with Leading Universities to Offer Master’s Degrees at a More Affordable Price

If you’re a reg­u­lar Open Cul­ture read­er, you’re already famil­iar with Cours­era, the ed tech com­pa­ny, which, since its found­ing in 2012, has giv­en the world access to online cours­es from top universities–e.g. cours­es on Roman Archi­tec­ture (Yale)Mod­ern and Post­mod­ern Phi­los­o­phy (Wes­leyan), and Bud­dhism and Neu­ro­science (Prince­ton). And you’ve per­haps noticed, too, that Cours­era has recent­ly bun­dled cer­tain cours­es into “Spe­cial­iza­tions”–essen­tial­ly areas of concentration–that let stu­dents spe­cial­ize in fields like Deep Learn­ing and Data Sci­ence.

But what if stu­dents want to deep­en their knowl­edge fur­ther and get a tra­di­tion­al degree? In what per­haps marks the begin­ning of a sig­nif­i­cant new trend, Cours­era has part­nered with lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties to offer full-fledged grad­u­ate degrees in a more afford­able online for­mat. As described in the video above, HEC Paris (the #2 busi­ness school in Europe) now offers through Cours­er­a’s plat­form a Mas­ter’s in Inno­va­tion and Entre­pre­neur­ship. Designed for aspir­ing entre­pre­neurs, the pro­gram con­sists of 20 cours­es (all online) and takes an esti­mat­ed 10–16 months to com­plete. The total tuition amounts to 20,000 Euros (rough­ly 23,500 U.S. dol­lars), a sum that’s con­sid­er­ably less than what exec­u­tive edu­ca­tion pro­grams usu­al­ly cost.

For stu­dents look­ing for a broad­er edu­ca­tion in busi­ness, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois at Urbana-Cham­paign has launched an entire MBA pro­gram through Cours­era. Con­sist­ing of 18 online cours­es and three cap­stone projects, the iMBA pro­gram cov­ers the sub­jects usu­al­ly found in b‑school programs–leadership, strat­e­gy, eco­nom­ics, account­ing, finance, etc. The com­plete cur­ricu­lum should take rough­ly 24 to 36 months to com­plete, and costs less than $22,000–about 25%-33% of what an on-cam­pus MBA pro­gram typ­i­cal­ly runs.

(The iMBA is actu­al­ly one of three degree pro­grams the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois has launched on Cours­era. The oth­er two include a Mas­ters in Account­ing (iMSA) and a Mas­ter of Com­put­er Sci­ence in Data Sci­ence (MCS-DS).)

Now, in case you’re won­der­ing, the diplo­mas and tran­scripts for these pro­grams are grant­ed direct­ly by the uni­ver­si­ties them­selves (e.g., the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois at Urbana-Cham­paign and HEC Paris). The paper­work does­n’t car­ry Cours­er­a’s name. Nor does it indi­cate that the stu­dent com­plet­ed an “online pro­gram.” In short, online stu­dents get the same tran­script as bricks and mor­tar stu­dents.

Final­ly, all of the degree pro­grams men­tioned above are “stackable”–meaning stu­dents can (at no cost) take an indi­vid­ual course offered by any of these pro­grams. And then they can decide lat­er whether they want to apply to the degree pro­gram, and, if so, retroac­tive­ly apply that course towards the actu­al degree. Essen­tial­ly, you can try things out before mak­ing a larg­er com­mit­ment.

If you want to learn more about these pro­grams, or sub­mit an appli­ca­tion, check out the fol­low­ing links. We’ve includ­ed the dead­lines for sub­mit­ting appli­ca­tions.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Note: Open Cul­ture has a part­ner­ship with Cours­era. If read­ers enroll in cer­tain Cours­era cours­es, it helps sup­port Open Cul­ture.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

New Deep Learn­ing Cours­es Released on Cours­era, with Hope of Teach­ing Mil­lions the Basics of Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence

MOOCs from Great Uni­ver­si­ties (Many With Cer­tifi­cates)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.