MIT opens doors with first blended Master’s degree offered exclusively to online learners
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Top U.S. higher education institution Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has unveiled its newest Master’s program in data, economics, and development policy (DEDP).

But there’s a catch: it’s the first to be offered exclusively to online learners.

Only those who have completed the MITx MicroMasters online course in DEDP can go on to do the degree program.

Available through popular online learning platform edX, anyone from around the world can take the MicroMasters program, which is run by the institute’s Department of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

Students who perform well in the MicroMasters program can then apply for the Master’s program and may get the chance to pursue the full degree on campus at MIT.

Once accepted on to the program, students’ online work will be converted to academic credit and they will be able to spend a semester at MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts on an accelerated track to obtain their Master’s degree.

In the summer, students will then have to complete a capstone project comprising an internship and a written report to gain first-hand experience and put their skills to practice.


This unique admissions process is expected to open new doors for those looking to study at MIT.

Esther Duflo, a professor in Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Department of Economics, said: “Policymakers, NGO activists, and businesspeople in developing countries are increasingly aware of the importance of good data and rigorous evidence for designing and choosing policies and projects — and implementing them effectively.”

“To become good producers and consumers of evidence, they need staff with a strong quantitative and analytical background. Today, few programs provide such training, and the available options are expensive and time-consuming. The blended master’s in DEDP, anchored at MIT, the home of J-PAL, is an ideal solution to this challenge,” she added.

Those interested in enrolling for the MicroMasters program can apply now for courses that will commence in February 2017, while the DEDP Master’s degree will be launched in 2019.

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