As universities ponder whether and how to offer affordable, high-quality instruction over the Internet, all eyes are on the Georgia Institute of Technology. The school recently announced plans to offer an online master’s degree in computer science for less than $7,000 — a fraction of what such a degree would cost in an on-campus setting. The new program will use what are known as “massive open online courses,” which are available for free to non-credit students. For-credit students in Georgia Tech’s new online degree program will get opportunities for extra help, and exams would be taken at proctored centers.
The master’s program will be available as a pilot effort in the fall of 2014 and then expand dramatically. To receive credit, a student would have to be accepted by Georgia Tech, which eventually hopes to enroll 10,000 students in the online program.