Today, Coursera announced a partnership with University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign College of Business to offer its first online MBA – dubbed the “iMBA”. The iMBA program will be built on top of Coursera Specializations. Students enrolled in the iMBA program will get additional high engagement interactions with peers and faculty at the University of Illinois. All the courses which are part of the iMBA curriculum, will be available for free on Coursera.
This is the second such announcement in recent weeks. Recently, edX announced a partnership with Arizona State University to create the Global Freshman Academy (GFA). The GFA will give learners anywhere in the world the opportunity to earn freshman-level university credit by completing online courses from ASU on edX.org.
Unlike GFA, to enroll in iMBA degree students must go through admissions process. According to Coursera Co-Founder Daphne Koller, “the iMBA will open doors to people who wouldn’t have qualified for a graduate degree under traditional admissions criteria“.
It’s not unlikely that, over the next five years, we will see many graduate degree programs offered in a similar way, putting learners first.
– Daphne Koller, Co-Founder and President of Coursera
Admissions for Spring semester 2016 begins June this year. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, only 200 students students will be admitted in its pilot phase.
iMBA Program Cost
The program is expected to cost $20,000 @ $250 per credit.
The iMBA program consists of 8 different specializations. Each Specialization is a credential in itself which can be combined to comprise a full MBA degree. Learners who complete six Specializations along with their high engagement extensions will be eligible to apply for admission (at any stage) and earn a degree from the University of Illinois’ College of Business.