Questions about the program

arrow_drop_down What is the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy?   ¶

The MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) is a new credential offered by MITx that is designed and administered by MIT’s Department of Economics, with substantial support from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). The MicroMasters program consists of five intensive online classes covering the theoretical foundations of microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, as well as practical skills in data analysis, the design of randomized evaluations, and other econometric methods of evaluating policies and programs. In addition to the online coursework, which consists of lectures, short quizzes, homework assignments and exams, students also have to pass in-person proctored exams in each of the five classes. Testing sites will be available all around the world. The cost of each class (including the proctored exam) is between $100 and $1000 dollars, depending on students' ability to pay.

arrow_drop_down Why should I enroll?   ¶

Today, the international development community is more focused on evidence-based policy and results-driven development than ever before. Increasingly, understanding and producing rigorous empirical work using microdata plays a central role in many development professionals’ careers – and employers in governments, NGOs, foundations, international agencies, and others are actively looking for people with stronger technical skills than were required in the past.

If you want to acquire a powerful set of tools and skills to understand and tackle the problems facing world’s poor, get trained in data analysis, engage with cutting-edge research, and learn how to design and evaluate social policies that strive to solve some of the world's most pressing challenges, this program is for you. No matter where you are in the world, you can now join courses taught by faculty based at MIT’s world-famous economics department and at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a world leader in policy-relevant research – on your own schedule, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional Master's programs in the field.

Beyond earning a valuable credential certifying your command of the principles of economics, the design of randomized evaluations, and data analysis to employers and graduate school selection committees, MicroMasters graduates are also eligible to apply to the Department of Economics' first-ever Master's program: the Master's program in Data, Economics and Development Policy. In fact, we will only consider graduates of our MicroMasters program, with the performance in the online courses and proctored exams as a key factor guiding our admissions process! A unique feature of this master's program is that accepted students earn MIT credit for the classes they completed online: If admitted, you will arrive on MIT's campus in Cambridge with one semester of coursework under your belt, fast-track your Master's program, and earn an MIT graduate degree within approximately half a year of arriving in Cambridge.

arrow_drop_down How do I enroll in the MicroMasters program?   ¶

You have to enroll in all our MicroMasters courses through the portal. Click here to start this process today. Once you have paid for your first MicroMasters class, you are considered a member of our MicroMasters cohort and are eligible for additional support from MIT teaching assistants and other features not available to course auditors. Some of these features are available now and more will be coming soon.

arrow_drop_down How do the MicroMasters classes compare to residential courses offered at MIT?   ¶

Our MicroMasters courses offer the same challenge and learning as the residential courses taught at MIT. In fact, most lectures are recorded in real MIT classroom settings, so you’ll be able to experience lectures in the same way residential students at MIT experience them! The questions we’ll ask you to work through in your assignments are also very similar to the problem sets and assignments that MIT students complete for these courses. We use edX as a means to deliver world-class educational content to a global audience, accessible to anyone with the willingness to learn.

arrow_drop_down What skills and knowledge will help me succeed in the MicroMasters program?   ¶

Prior training in or exposure to economics, development, political science, public policy, public health, statistics, or related fields will be an asset, and we recommend that you enter the program with a solid understanding of proficient level algebra and calculus to keep up with the pace of the classes. In classes that require the use of the R programming language for data analysis, we will offer a beginner’s module to get you started.

arrow_drop_down I have no prior experience in economics, statistics, or programming. Can I still enroll?   ¶

Yes, you can! We welcome learners from all fields and backgrounds. There are no formal prerequisites: anyone who wants to enroll, can. 

Please note the above FAQ regarding what skills and knowledge will be useful and also be sure to refer to the course specific homepages.

arrow_drop_down How long does it take to earn the MicroMasters credential?   ¶

This depends entirely on how much time you are able to commit. At a minimum, you can complete all five online courses in approximately three months and sit the corresponding proctored exams shortly after (but these would be very busy months!). We expect that most students will decide to spread out the coursework over several semesters. We designed our MicroMasters with an eye to accommodating different learning needs and schedules – so you can take the classes over whatever time span works for you.   

arrow_drop_down How much time do I need to commit to complete each class?   ¶

Classes are designed such that you will need to spend approximately 12 hours per class per week, depending on your prior familiarity with the material. The coursework equates to a full semester course load at MIT. We also recommend that you budget some additional time at the end of each course to review the material and prepare for the proctored exam associated with each class.  

arrow_drop_down Is there any way to reduce the time needed to take and pass a class?   ¶

No, the course lengths are fixed and instructor-paced, meaning that we will release new material to work through every week. However, if you are very comfortable with the material, you may want to take all five classes in a single semester and earn your MicroMasters credential within approximately four months.

arrow_drop_down How often will the classes run?   ¶

All five classes and associated testing sessions will be offered three times per year. Semesters start in February, June, and September and will run for twelve weeks. Precise launch dates will be listed on the MicroMasters portal.

arrow_drop_down What is the deadline for enrolling in the next semester of courses?   ¶

The next semester of courses will begin on February 6, 2018 and the deadline to enroll is March 6, 2018.

arrow_drop_down Will I be able to interact with other MicroMasters learners and staff?   ¶

We're working hard to build our MicroMasters portal into a vibrant, interactive, and collaborative learning and networking space that connects you with other learners from all over the globe, gives you the teaching support you need to succeed in our classes, and allows you to interact with some of the best development economists in the world. Some of these features will be available in February, and more will be coming soon.

arrow_drop_down Do you recommend specific classes to get started?   ¶

Yes, we do! We recommend that you get started by delving into 14.73x: The Challenges of Global Poverty and 14.100x: Microeconomics.

arrow_drop_down What are the passing criteria for each of the MicroMasters classes?   ¶

To pass a MicroMasters class, students need to attain passing grades both in the online component of the course (delivered on edX) and the proctored exam. The specific grade cut-offs for the online component of each class are detailed in the relevant course syllabi on edX. Note that only students who attain a passing grade in the online component will be authorized to register for the proctored exam. Your final MicroMasters course grade will be calculated as follows:

  • edX course: 40%
  • proctored exam: 60%  

arrow_drop_down I have taken some of these classes in the past. Do I have to take them again?   ¶

We have some great news: If you have taken and passed any of the courses that are now part of our MicroMasters, you do not have to retake them. You will, however, have to pay the course fee in order to sit the proctored exam. Please reach out directly to for further information

arrow_drop_down I have completed graduate-level courses that cover similar subjects. Can I get credit for these classes?   ¶

Unfortunately, we are not able to grant credit for courses completed at other institutions – only students who have passed all five required courses and corresponding in-person exams will be awarded the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy.

arrow_drop_down I oversubscribed to more courses than I wish to take, how can I un-enroll from a course?   ¶

You can un-enroll through your edX dashboard at Simply click on the setting menu (gear icon) next to the course you'd like to un-enroll from.

arrow_drop_down I have already paid for my course, but would like to unenroll and enroll in the next semester. What steps do I need to take?   ¶

Please follow the unenrollment steps above. Once you have unenrolled from the course, you can email us at and we can assist you in shifting your course purchase. Please note you will still need to enroll in the next semester of the course through edX once it has opened.

arrow_drop_down May I use two or more edX accounts to complete the courses?   ¶

No. Each student must have a single edX ID (username and email account) that must be used throughout the five courses. Using two different edX accounts is considered cheating. We take academic honesty very seriously and will be monitoring this diligently. Should we become aware of any suspicious activity, we reserve the right to remove course credit, not award a MicroMasters certificate, revoke a MicroMasters certificate, ban you from future MITx Economics classes, and exclude you from consideration for admission to the MIT blended Master’s program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy without warning.

arrow_drop_down What is the blended Master's program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy?   ¶

The blended Master's in Data, Economics and Development Policy is a new degree program offered by MIT. It is “blended” in the sense of combining online learning with one semester in residence at MIT. It is the first master's program to be offered by MIT's department of economics. Only students who have successfully completed the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy are eligible to apply. Admitted students receive MIT credit for their MicroMasters classes, and will be able to earn a Master of Data, Economics, and Development Policy degree within approximately half a year.

arrow_drop_down What would my time at MIT look like should I be admitted to the blended Master's program?   ¶

During their semester in residence at MIT, students complete four classes drawn from the fields of microeconomics, development economics, econometrics, and an elective, and attend a dedicated lunch seminar to discuss policy issues and research topics. Immediately following their semester in residence, students will complete a capstone project during the summer months, which consists of an internship in which they apply the knowledge gained during the program and a report on their internship project.

arrow_drop_down Can I apply to the blended Master's program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy without having completing the MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy?   ¶

No. We will only consider students who have earned the MITx  MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy .

arrow_drop_down Will I need a bachelor's degree to apply to the blended Master's program?   ¶

No, you won't. You will, however, need to have completed our MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy before applying.

arrow_drop_down Does completion of the MITx MicroMasters credential guarantee admission to the Master of Data, Economics, and Development Policy program?   ¶

No. While your performance in the MicroMasters coursework and proctored exams will play a very important role in determining admissions, it won't be the only criterion we take into account. While grades and scores are important, it’s really the match between the applicant and the Institute, and whether we think a particular applicant is a good fit for our new Master's program that will drive our selection process. You will also have to demonstrate excellent command of the English language. 

arrow_drop_down When will I be able to apply to the blended Master's program?   ¶

The admissions process will start in 2019. 

arrow_drop_down When will the first blended Master cohort arrive on MIT's campus?   ¶

We expect the first cohort to start taking residential classes at MIT in the spring of 2020.

arrow_drop_down Will scholarships be offered for the blended Master's program?   ¶

We're excited to announce that we will be able to fund several learners from Africa for the blended Master's. You can find more information here.

arrow_drop_down I have questions not answered here. How do I get in touch?   ¶

You can reach our team via We look forward to hearing from you!

Questions about personalized course pricing

arrow_drop_down How much do the classes cost?   ¶

The cost of each class (including the proctored exam) is between $100 and $1000 dollars, depending on students' ability to pay.

arrow_drop_down Whose income should I report?   ¶

Report your taxable household income (the combined income of all people that are part of your household or place of residence). If you live with, or are financially supported by, your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) please enter their combined taxable income instead.

arrow_drop_down What documents do you require to verify the income information I entered?   ¶

Submit a signed photocopy of the most recent federal tax return of all income earners in your household as defined above.

If you aren't the sole earner in your household (e.g. if you are supported by your parents), please add a title page stating your name so we are able to match the names on the documents you submit to your application.

arrow_drop_down What if I am unable to provide you with a tax return?   ¶

We will also accept a notarized income statement (i.e. a statement of annual salary, printed on the official letterhead of your employer, including the employer’s address and contact information, and signed by the employer). The income statement you submit must be signed by an authorized notary and contain an official seal/stamp and contact information. If your household income is based on more than one earner, you must submit notarized income statements for each earner.

If you aren't the sole earner in your household (e.g. if you are supported by your parents), please add a title page stating your name so we are able to match the names on the documents you submit to your application.

arrow_drop_down What if no one in my household is employed?   ¶

Please submit either one of the following: a signed federal tax return (where you filed for zero income), a photocopy of an official receipt or check of unemployment benefits received, or a notarized letter verifying your unemployment status. If you cannot provide any of these documents, please submit a statement itemizing how your household supports itself on no income.

arrow_drop_down What should I do if my financial documents are written in a language other than English?   ¶

Please submit notarized income statements in English. If you are unable to provide documents in English, please submit a translation of the statement(s) along with the original, notarized income statement. If you are submitting a tax return in a language other than English, please submit a translation with the original tax return. We do not require the translation to be certified – you can translate the document yourself.

arrow_drop_down I want to take my proctored exam(s) during the fall 2017 testing session (Jan 23 2018 - Feb 5 2018). What's the payment deadline?   ¶

The deadline for payment is October 27th.

arrow_drop_down What is the deadline for submitting my financial documents?   ¶

To facilitate the timely verification of your declared income and ensure that your eligibility for a particular course price can be confirmed in time for the proctored exam you are planning to sit, we recommend that you submit your documents to us as soon as possible.

If you are planning to sit the proctored exam in the fall 2017 testing session (Jan 23 2018 - Feb 5 2018), your financial documents have to reach us by October 20 We won’t be able to process documents after this date, so please make sure that you have the relevant documents ready in time!

arrow_drop_down How can I send my financial documents to MIT?   ¶

You can send your documents by fax or postal service. To minimize delays, we recommend you send the documents via fax. Do not send your documents as an email attachment.

Our fax number is:

+1 (617) 715-5799.

Our mailing address is:


DEDP MicroMasters

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue E19-235D

Cambridge, MA 02139

United States of America

arrow_drop_down Can I send my documents as an email attachment?   ¶

Unfortunately we are unable to accept documents sent to us by email. Please use the fax number or postal address provided.

arrow_drop_down How soon will I hear from you after submitting my documents?   ¶

You will receive a notification when the documents you submitted have reached us. If, based on your mailing carrier’s estimate, the documents should have reached us but you did not receive a notification within five working days of their expected delivery date, please first contact your mail carrier to inquire about the status of your shipment before reaching out to us directly.

Once we have confirmed the receipt of your documents, we will usually process them within three working days, and you will receive a notification when the verification process is complete.

arrow_drop_down How can I ensure my documents reach MIT if I choose to send them by mail?   ¶

If you are unable to fax the documents and choose to mail them instead, we recommend that you select a carrier that offers mail-tracking services in order to avoid ambiguity around the expected delivery date, and track the status of your shipment.

arrow_drop_down Can I start the classes and pay later?   ¶

Yes, absolutely! We also encourage you to enroll in the audit versions of our courses while your documents are under review – especially if the semester is about to start!

arrow_drop_down Are there advantages to paying earlier?   ¶

Paying for the classes now will give you access to additional support from our teaching assistants and other features exclusive to students enrolled in the MicroMasters track. Some of these features will be available in February, and more will be coming soon. To take full advantage of all of these benefits, we recommend that you pay as soon as you decide to pursue the MicroMasters credential. Committing to the class early is also a great way to give yourself an incentive to complete the course!

arrow_drop_down I already took one of the MicroMasters courses and paid for a verified certificate. Do I need to pay again to take the exam?   ¶

If you passed a MicroMasters course with a verified certificate, you will still need to take the associated in-person exam and pay when you register.  However, anyone who has earned a verified certificate will receive a $50 credit toward their MicroMasters exam. We’re working on adding this feature to our website, so if you’d like to utilize the discount, please feel free to create an account but wait to pay until you receive a message from us. When the discount is available, you’ll receive an email with further instructions. The exam deadline will not be for several months, so you should not be concerned with waiting.

arrow_drop_down I made a mistake when entering my income data. What should I do?   ¶

Please contact us directly at to explain the situation. Our team will then be able to assist you.

arrow_drop_down Is there any additional financial support available?   ¶

Yes! The Al Ghurair Foundation is now supporting students in our MicroMasters cohort as part of their Open Learning Scholars Program. Please visit their website to view eligibility criteria and apply.

arrow_drop_down Is it possible to get a refund for a course if I choose to un-enroll?   ¶

We will grant refunds to learners within 14 days of their payment. Please note that we are not able to grant refunds once the online course has finished. Should you have any questions about whether you are eligible for a refund, feel free to reach out to us directly at

arrow_drop_down I have already paid for my course, but my progress on edX is shown as "Audit Track." Did something go wrong?   ¶

As the MicroMasters payments are done through our separate portal, this information is not reflected on edX.Therefore despite being listed as "Audit Track" through edX, so long as your MicroMasters profile reflects your payment you are considered fully enrolled in the MicroMasters track!

Questions from universities and employers

arrow_drop_down I work for a university and I’m interested in exploring whether to introduce a blended Master’s program that will grant students credit based on the classes and exams they completed as part of their MITx MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. Where can I find more information?   ¶

We would be very happy to provide you with more information. Please get in touch with our team at

arrow_drop_down I work for an organization whose employees would benefit from the training offered by your MicroMasters classes. Where can I find more information?   ¶

Please contact our team at We would be happy to provide further details and discuss different ways of using our classes for staff training purposes.

Questions about the proctored exam

arrow_drop_down How many proctored exams do I need to take to earn the MicroMasters credential?   ¶

Overall, you will have to sit five proctored exams to earn the MicroMasters credential – one for each class.

arrow_drop_down When can I take the proctored exams?   ¶

We will offer three testing sessions per year that will last two weeks each. The testing sessions will start approximately two weeks after the end of each semester, so you have some time to go over the course materials and prepare. You can either choose to take the proctored exam immediately after finishing a class, or complete several classes before registering to take the exam for a course. If, for example, you need to travel to reach the nearest test center, you may choose to take all five proctored exams during the same testing session. 

arrow_drop_down When is the fall 2017 testing session?   ¶

The fall 2017 testing session will take place from January 23 to February 5, 2018.

arrow_drop_down When can I register for the proctored exam?   ¶

Registration will open shortly after the end of the semester, once the online course grades have been determined. You may register for the proctored exam once 1) you have passed the online course and 2) paid for the class.

arrow_drop_down Where can I take the proctored exams?   ¶

You can search for the nearest authorized testing center on the Pearson Vue website.

arrow_drop_down How long will each exam last?   ¶

Each exam will last 75 minutes.

arrow_drop_down Can I take more than one exam per day?   ¶

Yes. In some cases, you may find that your preferred testing site is unable to accommodate very lengthy testing appointments on your preferred day. To avoid this scenario, we recommend that you schedule your testing session(s) as soon as the semester ends.

arrow_drop_down How do I request disability accommodations?   ¶

MIT is committed to providing access to qualified students who have disabilities. If you need an accommodation to access the exam, please contact us as soon as possible at

arrow_drop_down How are disability accommodation requests reviewed?   ¶

Per the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodation requests are reviewed on an individual basis to determine necessity and reasonableness in order to provide equitable access. Accommodations are not a guarantee of performance or exam completion. Please note: Some Pearson testing locations and test times may not be able to support particular accommodations, so please make disability accommodation requests early in order to allow time for review and implementation.

arrow_drop_down How should I prepare for the exams?   ¶

To prepare for the exam, you should go through all course lectures and assignments – especially the ones you struggled with during the semester. In addition, we recommend that you watch a Pearson Vue tutorial to familiarize yourself with the testing format.

arrow_drop_down What do I need to bring to the exam?   ¶

You will be required to present one form of original (no photo copies), valid (unexpired) government issued ID that includes your name, photograph, and signature. The first and last name that you used to register must match exactly the first and last name on the ID that is presented on test day. You can view the full ID policy, including any additional allowances to this policy, here. If you have any questions or concerns about the ID you are required to bring with you to the testing center for admittance for your exam please contact Pearson VUE Customer Service.

No personal items may be taken into the testing room. This includes all bags, books not authorized by the sponsor, notes, phones, pagers, watches, and wallets. You will be asked to store these personal belongings in a locker at the testing center.

arrow_drop_down When should I arrive for the exam?   ¶

We ask that you arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will give you adequate time to complete the necessary sign-in procedures. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late to your appointment, you may be refused admission and will not be permitted to test.

arrow_drop_down What should I expect once I reach the testing site?   ¶

Once you arrive, you will be asked to read a test center rules agreement that outlines the test center requirements for your exam(s). You will then be asked to present your government-issued primary identification. After your ID is reviewed, you will be asked to follow required admission steps that will include taking a photograph, providing an electronic signature, and capturing your palm-vein scan. Prior to entering the testing room to begin your exam, you will be asked to store any personal belongings in a locker and will then be escorted into the testing room to begin your exam.

Click on this link to view a short video on what you can expect at a Pearson Vue Test Center. 

arrow_drop_down How will I find out how I did on the exam?   ¶

Your proctored exam grade will be displayed on your MITx MicroMasters portal dashboard.

arrow_drop_down What if I fail the proctored exam for a class? May I retake it?   ¶

Yes. The course fee includes two exam attempts. Learners wishing to retake the exam may do so during the next testing session, i.e. after the subsequent run of the class has been completed.

arrow_drop_down Can I retake the exam during the same testing window?   ¶

No. You will have to wait until the next testing session, i.e. after the subsequent run of the class has been completed.


Future Courses Dates

Spring 2018: starts Feb. 6, 2018
Summer 2018: starts June 5, 2018
Fall 2018: starts Sept. 25, 2018

More Info

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