MOOC master’s degree outpaces on-campus programs

The Georgia Institute of Technology has received a considerably larger number of applications for its MOOC-inspired online computer science master’s degree than applicants for its on-campus counterparts combined.

Georgia Tech’s MOOC master’s degree drew much media attention last summer.

Over an enrollment period of 21 days, 2,359 people applied for Georgia Tech’s online computer science master’s degree program, a survey of the course found.

The total number of enrollment for all traditional, campus-based computer science master’s degrees for the entirety of last year was 1,806.

“[That’s] very strong application numbers with virtually no marketing,” Georgia Tech noted in a summary of the survey.

That doesn’t mean the program has gone without publicity.

The program is based on – and uses the technology behind – massive open online courses (MOOCs) built by Udacity, but differs in that none of the courses are free.

In total, the program would cost a student more than $6,500, which is still a deep discount when compared to the $44,000 price tag for on-campus students.

That discount, and that the program is the first MOOC-like degree of its kind, inspired a flood of national news coverage when the experiment was announced in May.

See Page 2 for a more detailed breakdown of what the applicants are like.

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