Georgia Tech Embraces MOOC Model For MS In Computer Science

Now you can get a master’s degree in Computer Science from a prestigious university online. The New York Times has reported that the Georgia Institute of Technology is planning to offer the CS degree via the MOOC (massive open online course) model.

According to the Georgia Tech MS Computer Science program of study website, students can choose specializations in topics such as computational perception and robotics, which includes courses in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomous multi-robot systems among student choices; interactive intelligence, which include courses in knowledge-based AI and natural language; or machine learning, which offers electives in the topic for theory, trading and finance, among other options.

MOOCs from their start two years ago – when a free artificial intelligence course from Stanford enrolled 170,000 students – have drawn millions, the article says. The school boasts one of the country’s top computer science programs, it notes, and the MOOC-based online master’s degree in the field will cost students $6,600 compared to the $45,000 on-campus price. Georgia Tech thinks it will be a draw for up to 10,000 students annually, many from outside the U.S.

The plan, according to the NY Times, is for Georgia Tech to provide the content and professors and to get 60 percent of the revenue, and for Udacity to offer the computer platform, provide course assistants and receive the other 40 percent. Zvi Galil, the dean of the university’s College of Computing, notes in the piece that “no one really knows if [the program] will go to scale,” and that the plan is just to prove that it is possible “to make a high-quality degree program available for a low cost,” the article says.

The NY Times also notes others’ skepticism about the effort's sustainability. Read the whole story here.