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Boston University Announces Online MBA on edX

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Boston University: Questrom School of Business

Earlier this week, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business announced it will be launching an online MBA on edX. The new program will be the 10th MOOC-based master’s degree offered on edX and will receive its first student cohort in fall 2020.

(For a complete list of rigorous online degrees, head to our article 35+ Legit Master’s Degrees You Can Earn Completely Online.)

In 2019, Times Higher Education ranked Boston University at position #74 in its world universities ranking. US News ranked it at position #42 in its US universities ranking and at position #50 in its US business schools ranking.

Reaching New Students with Online Degree

The online MBA aims to provide professionals with the knowledge, skills, and network required to advance their management careers.

Boston University already offers multiple on-campus MBAs targeted toward different types of students, including full- and part-time programs. By offering an MBA online, they hope to conquer a new student segment — global learners — and to counteract waning student interest; in five years, applications to the university’s on-campus MBA have declined by 14%.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to Boston University: MBA applications have been declining across the US. So much in fact that a couple of months ago, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign announced that its online MBA would be replacing its on-campus MBA.

Curriculum Builds on Previous MOOCs and Microcredentials

To address the needs of global learners, the online MBA was built upon input from Questrom School of Business’ alumni and industry partners, and insights from Business Education Jams, a series of international symposiums on business education.

The new program comprises five modules:

  • Creating Socially Responsible Businesses in the Digital Age
  • Leveraging Global Business Opportunities
  • Developing the Innovative Mindset
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Leading with Integrity

These certainly subsume some of the courses and microcredentials already offered by Boston University on edX, such as Business Analytics for Data-Driven Decision Making and Digital Leadership.

The new program promises to be relevant to students’ current jobs, facilitate networking opportunities, and emphasize both technical and soft skills such as communication. Each module ends with an integrated project, bringing together all the concepts covered in the module.

Modules are offered three times a year — in Spring, Summer, and Fall — allowing students who take five modules consecutively to complete the degree in 21 months.

edX’s Most Expensive Degree to Date

The total cost of the online MBA is $24,000, making it edX’s most expensive degree to date. By comparison, the same degree offered on campus costs about $150,000 if taken full-time or about $100,000 if taken part-time.

Despite being significantly more affordable than its on-campus counterpart, the new program faces serious competition from Illinois’ slightly cheaper, longer-established iMBA, which is offered on Coursera, costs $21,000, and has over 2,000 students.

MicroMasters is a Pathway to Admission

To have a chance of being accepted, applicants need to have a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution, or an international equivalent. They need to submit university transcripts, a resume, an essay, and in some cases, english proficiency scores. Finally, they need to complete an online interview.

As the program is geared toward professionals, three years of work experience are recommended before applying.

Boston University is developing a new MicroMasters to serve as a stepping stone toward its online MBA. Completion of the MicroMasters will improve chances of acceptance into the full degree program. And if the student is accepted, the MicroMasters will count toward his graduation requirements.

Applications to Boston University’s online MBA will open on August 16, 2019. The first student cohort will start the program in September 2020.