FAQ: Coursera MasterTrack certificate program – Business Insider – Business Insider - Freelance Rack

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

FAQ: Coursera MasterTrack certificate program – Business Insider – Business Insider

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Coursera; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

As remote lifestyles become more common, many students and workers are flooding online learning platforms and affordable and flexible educational programs are taking on new value.

Many such offerings are available through sites like Coursera. Their MasterTrack programs, in particular, offer a portion of an on-campus master’s program online for cheaper prices and with less of a time commitment than is traditionally found in a physical classroom setting.

Students work at their own pace and receive access to real-world projects, live sessions, and office hours. When they’ve completed the program, students receive a certificate for their resume and LinkedIn to demonstrate aptitude and a commitment to individual growth.

If they then choose to pursue a full Master’s degree, most MasterTracks provide instructions on how students may transfer those online credits into an on-campus program in order to skip some courses and save time and money (though details such as to how much your online work equates to on-campus varies by program). Others offer scholarships for full Master’s programs to those who complete the program online. 

edX also offers MicroMasters, which are slightly different from Coursera’s MasterTracks. There are fewer edX options than MasterTracks, but they offer up to 50% of Master’s programs online and are eligible for financial assistance. MasterTracks are not, and typically don’t exceed one-quarter of a Master’s program curriculum.

Here’s everything you should know if you’re considering enrolling in a Coursera MasterTrack.

Coursera MasterTrack FAQs:

MasterTrack Certificates are for those who want to develop skills for career advancement and receive a certificate from a university to back it up. It’s also a good option for those who aren’t yet sure about a full program, or need a flexible time commitment or lower financial commitment before enrolling in a full master’s program. 

Each MasterTrack is a stackable, for-credit program comprised of several courses completed over a few months. In some cases, they allow students to earn credit toward the full master’s degree program from which the MasterTrack Certificate program is based, though this varies by institution.

MasterTrack courses cost between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on the specific program. 

Students can pay all at once, and receive a 5% discount for doing so. Otherwise, there are payment installation programs available for a handful of programs.

How does receiving credit for an online MasterTrack certificate work and can you apply it towards a full master’s program? 

Students receive a certificate upon completion of a MasterTrack to share on their resume and LinkedIn to demonstrate aptitude and a commitment to individual growth.

Additionally, once you have completed your MasterTrack program, you can apply to the institution’s full master’s program. If admitted, your certificate will sometimes transfer and equate to a certain number of classes or credits in the program. However, the exact details vary by program. 

For instance, you may apply to the MScA degree from the University of Chicago after the online Machine Learning for Analytics MasterTrack Certificate program and, if admitted, your MasterTrack Certificate will equate to the first two classes in the program (approximately 18% of course requirements), allowing you to enjoy a headstart on your degree.

For the Supply Chain Excellence MasterTrack Certificate, your MasterTrack would equate to three credits (one course). For ASU’s The Big Data MasterTrack, learners would be awarded nine of the 30 credits required to complete the program.

Other programs don’t work this way. For instance, completing the Blockchain Applications MasterTrack Certificate from Duke makes you eligible to earn a scholarship that fast tracks your application process, and covers 10% of tuition for the Duke University’s Master of Engineering in FinTech. But, it doesn’t technically count as credit. 

According to Coursera, MasterTrack Certificates are quite similar to the full program experience for which they are designed to precede. They feature live expert instruction and feedback combined with interactive, team-based learning. 

Coursera offers 15 MasterTracks in topics that range from Machine Learning for Analytics from the University of Chicago to Blockchain Applications from Duke University, and Sustainability and Development by the University of Michigan.

Most programs include four to six courses, but that count can vary and range anywhere from two to six.

According to Coursera’s MasterTrack team, expect more programs in the future as the site builds out its offerings. 

Browse the list of all MasterTracks here

It varies. The range is about four to eight months, depending on the program. However, the time commitment is flexible and self-paced, especially in comparison to an entire master’s program.

Students will not have access to the course content forever. They’re given access based on the estimated time it takes to complete the program.

According to Coursera’s MasterTrack team, there are enrollment caps depending on the bandwidth of each university partner, the instructors, and their faculty.

Coursera provides best practices for their partners on factors like an ideal student to faculty ratio.

If a student completes a MasterTrack program and decides to pursue a master’s degree from the university that offered it on Coursera, will they have a better chance of being accepted? 

Currently, MasterTrack Certificate holders do not receive preferential treatment during the application process, which is conducted independently by the university, according to Coursera.

But, it’s worth noting that a student’s success in the online program likely helps build the case that they’d continue to do well in the on-campus program. 

No, unfortunately. MasterTrack courses are available only to learners who have paid for the full program. You may not subscribe to a MasterTrack or pay for individual courses within a MasterTrack.

Financial aid or free audit access is not available for MasterTrack courses.

Note: Similar MicroMasters programs from edX are available for financial aid.

Students have two weeks following the start of the first course session to receive a refund on the payment.

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