Earlier this month the College of Computing (COC) announced that a partnership with Udacity and AT&T to offer the first professional Online Master’s of Science degree in Computer Science (OMS CS) that can be earned by students exclusively through the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) delivery format.
This degree program will be available at a reduced cost than a traditional residential degree program and, although final costs have not been formally announced, the total tuition for the program is initially expected to be less than $7,000 according to the Tech’s announcement.
“There is constant evolution in higher education and we don’t want to only be a part of it we want to lead it and we are very excited to be the first that offer not only courses for credit but an accredited degree using the MOOC [format],” said Dr. Zvi Galil, COC Dean.
Initial enrollment will be limited to a few hundred select students from both Georgia Tech and AT&T corporate affiliates with opening enrollment matriculation during the Fall 2014 semester. With time, the degree program will be expanded on to being available to the general public to apply to the degree program as well. The open online format of the OMS CS courses will also be available free of charge for anyone wishing to access it, but degree-seeking students will be virtually separated from students who are only accessing content.
Students will be required to have a BS in CS from an accredited institution or related degree with possible need to take and pass remedial courses. Formal admission will require the selection through a graduate admission committee that will meet periodically. The COC claims through their announcement that Tech will admit all applying students who satisfy the basic admissions prerequisites and qualifications, without an enrollment cap being placed.
“We’re going to make sure that [the courses] are of high quality and that they’re available…and ultimately we’ll provide about as many courses in the online degree as we do for our on campus degree,” said Charles Isbell, Senior Associate Dean of the COC.
Academic integrity will be an expectation with exams also being proctored using national proctoring standards and the access to 4,500 physical proctoring facilities as well as working with online proctoring institutions.
As Galil said in the announcement of this degree, “The OMS CS will set a new agenda for higher education – real, rigorous and marketable graduate education in computer science will now be available to tens, even hundreds of thousands of additional students around the world.”