Micromasters Vs Masters Programs

Sep 07, 2019

Micromasters programs differ from traditional programs, as they do not offer a master's degree but will lead to a certificate. Learn more about different Micromasters and how they compare to full master's degree programs.

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Micromasters programs are delivered online by the open source course provider edX and consist of several courses that lead to a certificate in a specific field of study. These programs are each sponsored by corresponding industries, or possible employers, and allow you to apply your certificate to a full master's program at a partner university, usually eliminating some of the credit requirements. In this article, we will compare Micromasters programs to their full master's degree counterparts and go over some common entrance requirements.

Micromasters vs Full Master's Degree Programs

Social Work Micromasters vs MSW

The social work Micromasters program is made up of 6 courses that touch on such subjects as diversity, social justice, and social welfare policy. These courses can be done at your own pace and will last anywhere from 5-8 weeks. When you have successfully completed all 6 courses, you will receive a verified certificate. From there, you may apply to the University of Michigan's Master of Social Work program, which is normally a 60-credit program that includes field placements and can be completed in 16 or 20 months, depending on if you take summer classes. Other MSW programs may have similar credit requirements and time frames. With your Micromasters certificate, however, you will only need to earn 45 credits to complete your MSW, and with full time attendance, you can complete your degree in only 3-4 terms.

Artificial Intelligence Micromasters vs Master of Computer Science

With 4 classes in total, the artificial intelligence Micromasters program consists of courses on CGI motion, machine learning, robotics, and the basics of AI. After completing this program, you can apply for admissions to the Master of Computer Science program at Columbia University, where your certificate will count for 7.5 of the 30 credits needed to complete the full computer science master's degree. Other Master of Computer Science degree programs also require around 30 credits along with an optional thesis but will not accept your Micromasters certificate in exchange for credits.

Information Systems Micromasters vs MS in Information Technology Management

The information systems Micromasters program includes 3 courses that center on the basics of cloud computing, digital technology and innovation, and managing different kinds of data, with each class lasting about 12 weeks. When you complete these courses, you can then apply to Indiana University's master's degree program in IT management. Full master's programs of this type usually require 10 courses or around 30 total credits and can sometimes require a capstone project. With your information systems Micromasters certificate, Indiana University's program will only require 21 credits of courses on security management, digital marketing, and big data.

MBA Core Curriculum Micromasters vs MBA

You can take core Master of Business Administration classes in the MBA Core Curriculum Micromasters program. This is a 7-course program that includes classes on marketing, data analysis, corporate finance, and financial accounting among other business topics. When you finish this Micromasters program, you can then apply to the University of Maryland's online MBA program. Normally, this online program requires 54 credits, but with the Micromasters certificate, you will need to earn 40 credits. Other online MBA programs may require around 42 credits in total, and specialized MBAs may require more credit hours. Also, the timeline to finishing your online MBA will vary, with 24-28 months being the average.

Admittance Requirements for Micromasters and Master's Programs

Micromasters programs do not have any enrollment requirements, which means everyone can participate in the programs; however, some Micromasters courses will require prerequisite college-level courses or knowledge. Completing a Micromasters programs will not guarantee your admission to the partner university's master's program, but it will sometimes waive specific admittance requirements. For example, the information systems Micromasters program waives the GRE/GMAT requirement for Indiana University's master's degree in IT management. When applying to a full master's program, you will need to meet all the requirements of that specific program.

Micromasters are programs that feature a group of courses that lead to a certificate, but they will not give you a full master's degree. However, you will be able to apply your certificate to a partner university, reducing the number of credits for that specific master's degree, making it easier and faster to complete.

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