MicroMasters Program in
Data, Economics, and Development Policy

Grapple with some of the world’s most pressing problems from a rigorous, data-driven perspective.

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The payment for the DEDP courses has moved to MITx Online. As always, you can keep auditing courses for free and pay a fee to pursue a certificate. If you have any questions, contact our support team at dedp-micromasters-support@mit.edu.

About the MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy

MIT’s Department of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) designed the MicroMasters® program credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) to equip learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. Through a series of seven online courses with proctored exams, learners will gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, and probability and statistics, while engaging with cutting-edge research in the field.

The program is unique in its focus on designing and running randomized evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social programs and its emphasis on hands-on skills in data analysis. The methodologies for alleviating global poverty covered in these courses are taught by Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and pioneers in the field of development economics.

To earn the DEDP MicroMasters program credential, learners complete three core courses (Microeconomics, Data Analysis for Social Scientists, and Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations) and two of four electives (The Challenges of Global Poverty, Good Economics for Hard Times, Foundations of Development Policy, and Political Economy and Economic Development) as well as take their corresponding proctored exams on MITx Online. The proctored exams will be available on the paid track of your chosen course as of the Fall 2022 term (courses starting September 6, 2022 or after). The five courses can be taken in any sequence, and the curriculum gives learners the flexibility to choose which electives they take. Learners who receive the MicroMasters program credential will then be eligible to apply to MIT’s new Master's program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. If accepted, students will earn MIT credit for the MicroMasters program courses, and will be able to pursue an accelerated on-campus Master’s degree at MIT.

How the DEDP MicroMasters Program works

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Who should enroll?

  • Policymakers and practitioners from governments, NGOs, international aid agencies, foundations, and other entities in the development sector
  • Academics and evaluators looking to re-tool and apply data-driven perspectives to social and development programs
  • Students interested in pursuing admissions to graduate programs in development economics, public policy, political science, or related fields
  • Social entrepreneurs, managers and researchers in the development sector

What you will learn

  • To identify and analyze the root causes of underdevelopment using principles of economics
  • To interpret the findings of empirical research that evaluates the effectiveness of anti-poverty strategies, policies, and interventions
  • Practical knowledge on how to design and implement rigorous randomized evaluations and other econometric methods of evaluating policies and programs
  • Tools of comparative cost-effectiveness analysis for informed policy-making
  • Fundamentals of microeconomics, development economics, probability, and statistics
  • Hands-on skills in data analysis using the R programming language

Enroll in Upcoming DEDP Courses: Sign Up for an MITx Online Account

If you would like to continue participating in your course(s), please take the following steps to create an MITx Online account:

  1. Visit the new MITx Online site at https://mitxonline.mit.edu and create an account.
  2. Check your inbox for a confirmation email and finish your profile.
  3. Click on any course to see more details.
  4. Click the red “Enroll Now” button on any course page.
  5. If you want to earn a certificate, you must complete your payment on the MITx Online platform here: https://mitxonline.mit.edu/. Otherwise, you can also take the course as an auditor.
  6. Get learning!

If you have any questions or need help creating an MITx Online account, please reach out to our support team at dedp-micromasters-support@mit.edu

Benefits of the MicroMasters Program in DEDP:

  • Reach: Our courses are open to anyone with computer and internet access - there are no formal prerequisites. Anyone can participate!
  • Rigor: Courses offer the same challenge as residential MIT classes - and combine theoretical tools with practical skill-building.
  • Flexibility: Courses run between one to three times per year - you can spread out the coursework and exams based on your schedule.
  • Access: You are charged between $250 and $1000 per course - depending on your ability to pay. You can learn your personal course price directly through your MicroMasters program dashboard.
  • Credit: Learners admitted to the blended Master’s program will earn MIT credit for their MicroMasters program courses.


The cost of courses in this program varies depending on your ability to pay. You can start by auditing classes for free and upgrade to the paid track at a later point. Learn more about course pricing, or simply go to your MicroMasters program dashboard to enter your income and calculate your own course price.

Annual Household Income:

  • $0 - $25,000 : $250 USD per course
  • Over $25,000 - $50,000: $350 USD per course
  • Over $50,000 - $75,000: $500 USD per course
  • Over $75,000: $1,000 USD per course

We offer a limited number of learners a $100 course price coupon for one course, applicable for that semester only. Any coupon must be used for the course within the semester it was awarded. To qualify for one of these coupons, you must have an annual income of less than $10,000 USD and must submit your documents through MITx Online. Submissions are accepted beginning when enrollment opens until the deadline, which you can find on the "Upcoming Dates" page in the "More Info" section on the right side of the page. The deadline is one week before the financial aid documents deadline and two weeks before the payment deadline.

If you wish to be considered for the $100 pricing each semester, you will need to contact the course team or MicroMasters Support at dedp-micromasters-support@mit.edu to reset your personalized price. You will then submit your income and be prompted to provide documents to verify your income. These documents will be reviewed by the DEDP team. Selected learners will be notified via email and asked to select the course for which they would like to use the $100 course pricing.

Due to constraints, we are not able to offer this course pricing to everyone who qualifies. Learners with an annual income of less than $10,000 USD who are not offered the $100 course pricing will be given a course price of $250 according to the pricing tiers above. You can choose to pay this amount to take the exam during that course offering.

Future Course Dates

Summer 2023: starts May 30, 2023
Fall 2023: starts Sep 12, 2023

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