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EdX Newest Credential: MicroBachelors

MicroBachelors are the long-anticipated undergraduate version of edX’s MicroMasters programs.

EdX's first two MicroBachelors
EdX’s first two MicroBachelors

Earlier this month, edX announced MicroBachelors, a new microcredential that lets learners explore an academic topic, may help them earn academic credit, and can serve as an on-ramp to a full bachelor’s degree.

When edX launched MicroMasters in 2015, speculations about MicroBachelors soon followed. But these only crystallized in 2018, when EdSurge confirmed that edX had started developing MicroBachelors.

MicroBachelors are an undergraduate version of MicroMasters. They consist of entry-level undergraduate courses dedicated to a particular subject. They take about 6 months to complete, with a weekly workload of 5 to 10 hours. And they lead to a verified certificate of completion.

MicroBachelors can serve as standalone qualifications or as stepping stones toward full degrees. Each MicroBachelors is tied to one or several bachelor’s degree programs. If after completing a MicroBachelors, a student applies and is accepted into one of the associated degree programs, his MicroBachelors will count toward his degree.

With MicroBachelors, edX now offers five different types of microcredentials. Below is a list of edX’s other microcredentials as well as their growth over the years. To learn more about the company and its offering, read our analysis of edX’s 2019.

EdX’s microcredentials growth
2016 2017 2018 2019
XSeries 45 32 29 40
MicroMasters 20 43 51 56
Professional Education 53 64 62 73
Professional Certificates 0 35 91 123
Total 118 174 233 292

First MicroBachelors

So far, EdX has released two MicroBachelors and announced a third:

MicroBachelors in Information Technology: This program is offered by Western Governors University (WGU), costs $1,500, and includes three courses:

Students who complete this MicroBachelors will receive academic credit from WGU that can count toward seven of WGU’s IT-related bachelor’s degrees.

MicroBachelors in Computer Science Fundamentals: This program is offered by New York University (NYU), costs $500, and includes three courses:

Note that although this MicroBachelors was created by NYU, students who complete it won’t receive academic credit from NYU. Instead, they’ll receive credit from the Thomas Edison State University. EdX has yet to announce which bachelor’s degrees the MicroBachelors may count toward.

Finally, Arizona State University will be offering a MicroBachelors in Professional Writing. The program’s launch date and cost are unknown at this point.

Manoel Cortes Mendez Profile Image

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Software engineer and online graduate student in computer science passionate about education, technology, and their intersection.

Comments 3

  1. Stavroula Koulocheri

    Very interesting!! Thanks EdX!

  2. Mohamed

    This is formedable initiative thanks to Edx

  3. Steve Foerster

    MOOC providers and IHEs should stop using degree nomenclature for things that aren’t degrees. They’re not “MicroMasters” or “MicroBachelors” or “mini-MBA”, they’re certificate programs. Which is fine, but enough with the BS already — and I don’t mean Bachelor of Science.


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