About the Program

arrow_drop_down What is the MITx MicroMasters credential 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.

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 three electives (The Challenges of Global Poverty, Foundations of Development Policy, and Political Economy and Economic Development) online and pass their corresponding in-person exams. Learners who receive the MicroMasters program credential will then be eligible to apply to MIT’s Blended 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.

arrow_drop_down What are the two different track options?   ¶

DEDP has two tracks. 1) You can enroll in this course on the MicroMasters track. If you pay the MicroMasters course fee, pass this online class, and pass an additional in-person proctored exam, you will have fulfilled this component of the MicroMasters credential. You will then receive a certificate. 2) You can also enroll in this course on the audit track, for free. With this track, you will learn the same material but you will not receive a certificate or credit.

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 the world’s poor,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 J-PAL, 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. Earning a certificate signals to employers and graduate selection committees your command of the principles of economics, the design of randomized evaluations, and data analysis.

MicroMasters credential holders are also eligible to apply to the Department of Economics' first-ever Blended Master's program: the Master's program in Data, Economics and Development Policy. In fact, only DEDP credential holders are eligible to apply to the Master’s program and performance in the online courses and proctored exams is 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 after just eight months of studying Cambridge.

arrow_drop_down How do I enroll in the MicroMasters program?   ¶

Our MicroMasters program is delivered through the online platform edX.org. Using this link you create an account and register for whichever classes you wish to take. By registering for the classes, you are put on the audit track to take the courses for free. However, if you are interested in the paid track and receiving the certificate(s), you must make an account on the DEDP online portal in order to complete your payment. Use this link to create an account on our DEDP portal. This will prompt you to enter your personal and financial information to determine your personalized course pricing. By paying on the online portal and passing the online portion of the course, you are then eligible for taking the proctored exam and receiving a certificate from MITx.

arrow_drop_down Why does DEDP use personalized course pricing? Is this transferable to any other MITx MicroMasters courses?   ¶

DEDP is unique in having the personalized course pricing. We want anyone who wants to learn to have the opportunity to do so! Our personalized course pricing, based on income level, strives to make world-class teaching accessible to learners all over the world.

However, because this is unique to DEDP, your personalized pricing cannot be transferred or used for other MITx courses offered through edX.

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 I haven’t received a verification email yet. What do I do?   ¶

When first creating an edX account, you should be sent a verification email to complete the process. However, sometimes this email does not go through successfully. In this case, please reach out directly to info@edx.org for their support team to help resolve the issue.

About Learner Success

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.

Before each course, there is a “Course Preview” option. This is a taste of the content and exercises that will be covered in each course. If you are new to these subjects, or eager to refresh your memory, each course preview also includes some available resources. These resources may also be useful to refer to over the course of the semester.

A score of 60% or above in the course previews indicates that you are ready to take the course, while a score below 60% indicates that you should further review the concepts covered before beginning the course.

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 What is the expected time commitment per week?   ¶

Each week, each individual course releases a lecture, broken into a series of mini-videos, with finger exercises and homework assignments that correspond with the material. This usually takes approximately 10-12 hours per week, but may vary depending on the individual learner.


arrow_drop_down How can I 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. Each individual course has a discussion forum in which learners can post any question or comment they have; the board is monitored by the TA for each class. The course staff also sends out course emails on a weekly basis to update learners of the upcoming week’s lectures and assignments. Additionally, all paid learners are able to access both a DEDP Discussion and Job forum. The link is available here.

arrow_drop_down Do you recommend specific classes to get started?   ¶

The courses may be taken in any order and at any time. However, for those looking to specifically sequence the courses, we tend to recommend beginning with Microeconomics (14.100x) as it is a good introduction as well as it is a core, required course on the path to the MicroMasters credential.

arrow_drop_down How do I know if I’m prepared to take these courses?   ¶

Before each course, there is a “Course Preview” option. This is a taste of the content and exercises that will be covered in each course. If you are new to these subjects, or eager to refresh your memory, each course preview also includes some available resources. These resources may also be useful to refer to over the course of the semester.

A score of 60% or above in the course previews indicates that you are ready to take the course, while a score below 60% indicates that you should further review the concepts covered before beginning the course.

arrow_drop_down What is the honor code?   ¶

By enrolling in a course on edX, you are joining a special worldwide community of learners. The aspiration of edX is to provide anyone with an internet connection access to courses from the best universities and institutions in the world and to provide our learners the best educational experience internet technology enables. You are a part of the community that will help edX achieve this goal. edX depends upon your motivation to learn the material and to do so with honesty and academic integrity.

By enrolling in an edX course, you have agreed to the edX Honor Code, which means that you will:

  • Complete all graded material (graded assignments and exams) with your own work and only your own work. You will not submit the work of any other person or have anyone else submit work under your name.
  • Maintain only one user account and not let anyone else use your username and/or password. Having two user accounts registered in this course will constitute cheating.
  • Not return to a previous semester of the course in order to utilize assignment or exam answers for the current semester.
  • Not engage in any activity that would dishonestly improve your results, or improve or hurt the results of others.
  • Not collaborate with anyone other than staff on the graded assignment or exam questions. This means comparing answers, working as teams, or sharing answers in any way.
  • Not post answers to problems that are being used to assess student performance.
  • Always be polite and respectful when communicating across the platform (with other learners and the staff).

We will strictly enforce the honor code pledge. Students found violating this pledge will be dealt with directly. If we become aware of any suspicious activity we reserve the right to remove credit, not award a certificate, revoke a certificate, ban from any and all DEDP courses as well as notify edX for other actions. We take academic honesty very seriously at MIT. With the introduction of the MicroMasters Credential, the importance of honesty in work has been elevated to a higher level than before and we will diligently monitor this.

About the Learner Portal

arrow_drop_down How can I edit my personal information, including my name, current address, phone number, etc.?   ¶

Learners can edit their personal information by editing their profile at https://micromasters.mit.edu/learner. Click on the pencil icon near your name.

After you change your address or name, it will take 12-24 hours for Pearson to be updated and for you to be able to schedule your exam again.

arrow_drop_down How can I unsubscribe from the mailing list?   ¶

We're sorry to hear that you wish to leave MITx MicroMasters mailing list.
You can unsubscribe from our mailing list by following this link:
https://micromasters.mit.edu/settings/

arrow_drop_down How can I update my email address?   ¶

Please go to edX.org to update your email address. After that , your updated email will propagate to the portal site. You can find more detailed instructions on how to change your email address on edX from here.

arrow_drop_down How can I delete my account on the MicroMasters portal site?   ¶

There are two simple steps:

  1. Please delete your edX account first by following the instructions here.
  2. To delete the account on the MicroMasters portal, please email us your edX account name and email address, and we will manually delete your account.

Please note that when you delete your edX account, you won't be able to log in to the MITx MicroMasters portal any more.

About Course Information

arrow_drop_down Do I need to take all 5 MicroMasters courses at once?   ¶

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

Please note that if you intend to apply in late December/early January for the Blended Master’s program, you will need to have received the DEDP MicroMasters credential. This means by the end of December, you must have passed your five courses and proctored exams in order to be eligible to apply. Please plan accordingly so that if your intention is to apply for the Blended Master’s, you will have the ability to do so.

arrow_drop_down How often will the classes run? Where can I find a schedule for all upcoming course runs?   ¶

All five courses run three times each year: spring (beginning in February), summer (beginning in June), and fall (beginning in September). These courses run for 11 weeks. The course material is then followed by a week to schedule exams, followed again by two weeks for administering proctored exams. Please refer to the dates and deadlines page for more information about upcoming course, scholarship, and other important information.

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

Please refer to the dates and deadlines page for more information about upcoming course, scholarship, and other important information, including information on when the courses begin and when payment is due.

arrow_drop_down I paid for my MicroMasters course, but edX still says I am auditing. What do I do?   ¶

No worries! This is actually correct. Because we use a separate portal for our payment due to our personalized course pricing, everyone’s edX profile lists them as auditing. However, as long as you’ve received confirmation of your payment via the MicroMasters portal, you are fully enrolled in the course and are on the certificate track.

arrow_drop_down What does it mean to audit a course?   ¶

Our goal is that whoever wants to learn the DEDP course material has the ability to do so. Therefore, we created an audit track for learners where no payment is required. Essentially, you can take the course completely free. With this track, you will learn the same material but you will not be eligible to take the proctored exam nor receive a certificate or credit.

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

To pass a MicroMasters course, 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 vary and 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 weighted as follows:

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

arrow_drop_down If I fail or unenroll from a course, can I take it again? How will this affect admission to the Blended Master’s Program?   ¶

Yes! By completing your personalized course payment, you are eligible to take the online course whenever and however many times you wish. This means if you fail or unenroll, you have the option to re-enroll whenever you wish. Additionally, you can take the proctored exam up to two times - whenever you’d like. We want the courses and timing to be accessible and flexible if need be.

We only keep the highest grade you receive, both on the online portion and proctored exams, so any prior low scores will not influence your future application to the Blended Master’s.

Please note the edX honor code allows you to take the course as many times as you wish. However, you may not access the old material to use to complete finger exercises and homework assignments.

arrow_drop_down If I fail the proctored exam, can I take it again to try and get a better score?   ¶

Yes! By completing your personalized course payment, you are eligible to take the proctored exam up to two times. You also have the option to keep your current online course score or take the course again to try to get a higher grade.

arrow_drop_down Can I take the course now but take the exam in a future semester?   ¶

Yes! By completing your personalized course payment, you are eligible to take the online course whenever and however many times you wish. Additionally, you can take the proctored exam up to two times - whenever you’d like. We want the courses and timing to be accessible and flexible if need be. Please reference the dates and deadline page for more information about future course sessions and proctored exam time periods.

arrow_drop_down Can I still successfully pass a course if I enroll after it has already started?   ¶

We do not recommend enrolling in a course more than one week after the start date of the course. Course work builds on material covered in previous weeks. Students with relevant background knowledge and prior experience may find it possible to catch up, but this is not guaranteed. Please note that it is not possible to grant assignment extensions for any reason.

arrow_drop_down Can I make up the assignments that I’ve missed?   ¶

Unfortunately, no dates or deadlines can be extended. We understand that this can be very frustrating, especially during extenuating circumstances, but this is our course policy due to the platform we use. However, please refer to the FAQ about dropping lowest grades for more information on how this will impact your grade.

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 program, 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 micromasters-support@mit.edu 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 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, prevent proctored exam registration, 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.

Please refer to the FAQ about the Honor Code or review the edX Honor code on the course pages.

arrow_drop_down Why can’t I register for my proctored exam yet?   ¶

Registering for the proctored exam occurs the week following the conclusion of the coursework. This is because only those who have passed the online course are eligible to take the proctored exam. . We recognize this can be frustrating to many learners, but we have to ensure that only those who have paid and passed the course are sitting for the exam.

About Payment

arrow_drop_down What are the two different track options?   ¶

DEDP has two tracks. 1) You can enroll in this course on the MicroMasters track. If you pay the MicroMasters course fee, pass this online class, and pass an additional in-person proctored exam, you will have fulfilled this component of the MicroMasters credential. You will then receive a certificate. 2) You can also enroll in this course on the audit track, for free. With this track, you will learn the same material but you will not receive a certificate or credit.

arrow_drop_down How much do the courses cost?   ¶

Due to our personalized course pricing, the cost depends on the learner’s ability to pay (based on household income). The range in course pricing is $100 to $1000 USD - this can be referenced on the DEDP Homepage. Once you have created your edX account, please go to the MicroMasters portal and enter your financial information. This will customize your personalized pricing.

arrow_drop_down What's the payment deadline?   ¶

Please refer to the dates and deadlines page for more information about upcoming course, scholarship, and other important information. This will provide information on when the courses begin and when payment is due.

arrow_drop_down I have already paid for my course, but would like to transfer it to a future semester. What steps do I need to take?   ¶

There is no action required. If you have already paid, you are eligible to take the course(s) at any time now or in the future. Feel free to refer to the dates and deadlines page to see future semesters’ dates. Please note that your payment also includes up to 2 proctored exam attempts.

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

Yes, we will grant refunds to learners within fourteen (14) days of their payment. Please note that we are not able to grant refunds once the online course has finished.

Once you have successfully un-enrolled from the course(s) within (14) days of payment, you must then email us direct at micromasters-support@mit.edu to request a refund. Please note, all refund requests must be submitted via email within (14) days of payment. Any requests submitted after (14) days of payment will not be eligible for a refund.

Should you have any questions about whether you are eligible for a refund, feel free to reach out to us directly at micromasters-support@mit.edu.

arrow_drop_down Can I start the classes and pay later?   ¶

Yes, you can begin the classes and pay later. However, if you intend to take the proctored exam at the end of that semester, please make sure you submit your payment (and documents if required) by the payment deadline. Please refer to the dates and deadlines page to see the relevant dates for payment and documentation.

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

Please contact us directly at micromasters-support@mit.edu to explain the situation. Our team will then be able to reset your financial aid calculator so you can input the correct information.

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

No worries! This is actually correct. Because we use a separate portal for our payment due to our personalized course pricing, everyone’s edX profile lists them as auditing. However, as long as you’ve received confirmation of your payment via the MicroMasters portal, you are fully enrolled in the course to take for a grade and sit for the proctored exam.

arrow_drop_down Can I get an extension?   ¶

Unfortunately, due to the system and platform we utilize for payments, there is no possible way to extend the payment deadline. However, if you have already begun the course, you may continue to take the class on the audit track, pay in a future semester, and sit for the proctored exam at that time while maintaining your grade from the audited semester.

arrow_drop_down What is a household?   ¶

When reporting your total income, we request that you report the household’s total taxable income. This usually includes yourself, those you are co-dependent with (i.e. a spouse or partner), and/or those you are dependent on (i.e. parents). When submitting your financial documentation, please allow your financial statements to reflect your entire household.

About Financial Aid

arrow_drop_down How do I create a profile to access my personalized course pricing?   ¶

Our MicroMasters program is delivered through the online platform edX.org. Using this link you create an account and register for whichever classes you wish to take. By registering for the classes, you are put on the audit track to take the courses for free. However, if you are interested in the paid track and receiving the certificate(s), you must make an account on the DEDP online portal in order to complete your payment. Use this link to create an account on our DEDP portal. This will prompt you to enter your personal and financial information to determine your personalized course pricing. By paying on the online portal and passing the online portion of the course, you are then eligible for taking the proctored exam and receiving a certificate from MITx.

arrow_drop_down Is there any additional financial support available?   ¶

The Hewlett Foundation has offered to provide scholarships to learners from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) who demonstrate a strong interest in the program. All learners from SSA, old and new, are invited to apply for the chance to receive a scholarship from the Hewlett Foundation that will cover the costs of up to two courses for a semester.

We also encourage students to seek outside funding.

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, we recommend that you submit your documents to us as soon as possible.

If you are planning to sit the proctored exam in the upcoming testing session, please refer to the dates and deadlines page. We won’t be able to process documents after the listed date, so please make sure that you have the relevant documents ready in time! If you submit the documentation after the deadline, you will still be able to take the online portion of the course during the current semester; however, once the deadline has passed, you are no longer eligible to take the proctored exam during the upcoming testing session but you can instead take the exam in a future semester.

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:

J-PAL

DEDP MicroMasters

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue E19-235D

Cambridge, MA 02139

United States of America

Please note you must have a financial profile created in order to have your documents approved.

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

Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot accept documentation via email. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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

Once your documentation has been received, your verification of personalized pricing should be processed within one to five business days. However, especially as the document deadline approaches, the process may take slightly longer.

You will receive an email when the submitted documents have been received. Following this confirmation, you will receive a notification that the verification is complete. At this time, you may log onto your MicroMasters portal and complete your online payment.

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 Whose income should I report?   ¶

Report your taxable household income. Please refer to the FAQ above regarding “household” if you need any further clarification.

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 your documentation is not in English, please also provide a translation. Additionally, see the FAQ answer below if you are unable to provide our team with a tax return.

*Please note that you must include a cover page to any mail or fax with your name or the name of the MicroMasters learner in order to ensure the documentation is verified for the correct person.

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 are unable to provide any of this information, you may use this document to submit a statement itemizing how your household supports itself. Please keep in mind this must also be notarized.

*Please note that you must include a cover page to any mail or fax with your name or the name of the MicroMasters learner in order to ensure the documentation is verified for the correct person.

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 this document itemizing how your household supports itself on no income (this must be notarized).

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 Do I need to include anything other than the actual documentation?   ¶

We require that learners also attach a cover sheet to both faxes and mail with your first and last name. We ask this to ensure the documentation and verification is added to the correct learner.

Contact Information

arrow_drop_down MicroMasters Email   ¶

You may contact our team via email at: micromasters-support@mit.edu

arrow_drop_down DEDP Mailing Address   ¶

You may contact our team via mail at:

J-PAL

DEDP MicroMasters

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue E19-235D

Cambridge, MA 02139

United States of America

arrow_drop_down DEDP Fax Number   ¶

You may reach our team via fax at: +1 (617) 715-5799

Future Courses Dates

Fall 2019: starts Sept. 3, 2019
Spring 2020: starts Feb. 4, 2020

More Info

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