Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to Launch an Online MBA with Coursera

Program to cost around $20,000; applications set to open in June

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has partnered with the online education platform Coursera to launch a new online MBA program.

The program is called the "iMBA" and is the first MBA program to be offered through Coursera. While the curriculum will be freely available to everyone, the cost of officially enrolling in the program (and receiving the MBA degree) will cost around $20,000.

The online MBA is divided into a set of specializations, which can be used as "building blocks" to customize the learning experience. Learners can take individual courses for free, with the option of paying around $3,000 to enroll in a specialization, through which they can demonstrate skills using career-relevant projects, and earn a certificate upon completion.

Those who complete at least six specializations will be eligible to apply for admission to Urbana-Champaign's College of Business and earn the official MBA degree.

Tuition for the two-year, in-class MBA program from Urbana-Champaign's College of Business is currently $21,974 per year for Illinois residents and $32,974 for non-resident and international students. For comparison's sake, the "Distance MBA" program from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, which is currently ranked in the Online MBA Ranking from The Financial Times, costs around $25,000 based on current credit-hour fees. 

The following specializations will be offered as part of the new Coursera/Urbana-Champaign online MBA program:

  • Improving Business Finances and Operations
  • Strategic Management
  • Leadership and Management
  • Business Tools for Successful Execution
  • Business Environments and Corporate Responsibility
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Digital Marketing

The Digital Marketing specialization is available now. "Improving Business Finances and Operations" will be available on May 27th.

Official applications will open in June. For the iMBA's Spring 2016 intake, students must apply by August 2015. The program is designed for working professionals with 3+ years of work experience.

For more information, please see the iMBA program webpage at Coursera.

Image: "The Business Instructional Facility at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus)" by / Creative Commons (cropped and rotated)

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