Udacity Will Offer Masters Degrees in CS From Georgia Tech

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by FilMor, May 15, 2013.

  1. FilMor

    FilMor New Member

    In yet another groundbreaking online education deal (between Udacity and Coursera, there are at least two per week!), Udacity will now offer masters degrees in computer science via a partnership between Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing and AT&T. These MOOC degrees will cost less than $7,000 and be labeled separately as an “Online Master of Science” degree.

    Udacity Will Offer Masters Degrees in CS From Georgia Tech - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD

    Frequently Asked Questions - OMSCS

  2. Jeff Walker

    Jeff Walker New Member

    Very interesting. A school with a very good reputation... $7000 total cost... Yeah, I would have been all over this had it been available in 2003. I will definitely suggest this to some of my students. Why it has to be "online master of science"... that's a little frustrating.
  3. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    I can't wait to see the doctoral offering.....:silly:
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It should be labeled that it's from Udacity rather than Georgia Tech since that's who'll be answering all the student questions. Watch this one closely, folks, because it might not fly very well.
  5. Sauron

    Sauron New Member

    This is an exciting development for MOOCs and online education; should it succeed, then more top tier schools may follow. The price is incredible and is a lot less expensive than less prestigious schools. The degree is distinguished as an online degree but I think most HR departments can figure out if a degree was attained online.
  6. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    It does carry the imprimatur of Georgia Tech, and its association with GT should go a long way. I am excited about this, because it may start the distance education market to slide downward on online education costs. There is no reason why online schools that do not mirror the classroom experience should cost so much.
  7. Jeff Walker

    Jeff Walker New Member

    That's the trick, isn't it? I mean, I would have gone for a $7k Georgia Tech masters over a $40k UIUC masters (which did mirror the classroom experience, by design) had it been available at the time. And given the quality of the classes in the MOOC world (Harvard! Stanford!) theoretically the quality should be good (and potentially great).

    As a college instructor, I do wonder where the MOOC rabbit-hole will ultimately lead us. I understand why this degree is at the graduate level and in computer science and is offered by a top-name school. U of Phoenix offering the exact same degree wouldn't work. But the MOOC world is going to change things.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    People keep saying "MOOC" here, but these courses aren't MOOCs. These are simply online courses that Georgia Tech is outsourcing to Udacity with the understanding and acceptance that the student-faculty ratio will be extremely high.
  9. novadar

    novadar Member

    It sure looks and smells like a MOOC to me, anyone can take the classes, but only those admitted to the GA Tech Program can get the Masters. They even mention developing an alternative credential for those not able to be accepted to the MS. They also speak to a great scale down the road. Massive is a subjective term but everything else seems to be in place.

    In one of the videos the Associate Dean says it will be a "Master of Science" he does not use the "Online Master of Science" label. Part of me doubts that the physical diploma will say "Online Master of Science". There maybe some notation on the transcript but GA Tech can only issue degrees for which they are granted authority by the University System of Georgia.

    I am really excited by this. I wish however it were in IS or IT. I don't have a CS undergrad and I sense they will be very firm on their stated prerequisite of BS in CS or BS in related field. I anticipate we will see this from other Universities soon. What will really blow this whole paradigm up will be an MBA. Something with looser prereq's. You know that someone has to be working on it right now.

    Me, I am holding tight for the first MOOC Doctoral program. Steve, you know you will have to examine a MOOC Doctorate very, very carefully! What would be perfect is a MOOC Doctorate related to Distance Education.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Heh. The core of doctoral study is the research one does under the supervision of someone who actually knows you and is familiar with what you're doing. MOOCs are great for some things, but that? Not so much. :smile:

    Although doing doctoral research about MOOCs? That has definite possibilities!
  11. Sauron

    Sauron New Member

    This new venture is very much a MOOC. The coursework will be available to anyone without formally matriculating and Sebastian Thrun spoke of scaling to support upwards of ~5,000 students. I imagine the non-matriculated students would be at least the same number if not greater. The online component will not be the standard BlackBoard fare or variant that is used in most online courses today.
  12. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I agree that the name is frustrating, but offering a degree for a fraction of what it would cost if done in a traditional format probably required someway to differentiate it, primarily for political reasons.
  13. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    So there could be as many as three different kinds of students in the program:

    - "Open" students, who are just taking the classes on a non-credit, non-degree basis;
    - "OMS Degree" students, who are admitted into the GA Tech OMS program and who are pursuing the degree;
    - "Alternative Credential" students, who are not admitted into GA Tech but may get some kind of alternative credential, perhaps from Udacity.

    However, it seems like there could be one group of potentially interested students that hasn't been mentioned.
    What about the students in to the traditional, residential GA Tech MS degree program?

    Obviously, if you are in the residential program, then you presumably prefer that mode of study. But even so, you might find it convenient to take a few online OMS courses, and apply them for credit towards the traditional MS degree.

    It will be interesting to see if GA Tech allows that -- or if they decide that the OMS coursework isn't really appropriate for their traditional MS students.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2013
  14. novadar

    novadar Member

    Cal Dog, you are absolutely right, there are so many variants here. It will be fascinating to see how it plays out.

    Pure speculation here but I suspect the "Alternative Credential" will be available to any "Open" student who meets the criteria and probably pays a small fee.

    Here is the blurb about the "alternative", it sounds like it will have a Yellow Jacket branding as well.

    (Full Disclosure here, I went to Virginia Tech. The Hokies and Yellow Jackets have developed a pretty nasty football rivalry since Va Tech joined the ACC, I guess I did not need to disclose that, ah, what the hell!)

    "Georgia Tech and Udacity also will develop a separate credential for those students who successfully complete courses but do not qualify for full graduate standing. "

    Georgia Tech Announces Massive Online Master's Degree in Computer Science | College of Computing
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Very well, you all convinced me.

    Probably for a lot of people, but not necessarily -- some may just want an F-1 visa, and the opportunity to work in the U.S. for a year that follows it.
  16. novadar

    novadar Member

  17. novadar

    novadar Member

    More fascinating details on this development. Take a close look at the image of the financial statement at the top of the page. It shows the designation as MSCS. There is no OMS--On-line Master of Science to be found. Also, perhaps even more interesting is that the document states "the program can admit non-degree seeking students (students who will take a course or two, for credit, but are not admitted to the MSCS)" I think this would be the first instance of Graduate Level credit from a MOOC.


    Documents shed light on details of Georgia Tech-Udacity deal | Inside Higher Ed
  18. novadar

    novadar Member

  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  20. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Wholesale democratization of higher education

    The $7,000 Master’s Degree That’s Scaring Colleges
    Credit.comBy Mitchell D. Weiss | Credit.com

    We covered this provider before, another view at it posted today.

    The $7,000 Master

    The Georgia Institute of Technology announced it plans to offer a fully online master’s degree in computer science for roughly one-seventh the price of its on-campus equivalent – less than $7,000.


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