Last week MIT announced a new path to earning it’s one-year Supply Chain Management (SCM) master’s degree. Students can take the first semester of courses online at edX, earning a “MicroMaster’s” degree. After successful completion of the micro-master’s degree, students can apply to the full program, complete a semester of residential courses, and earn the full degree.

I like this new form of inverted admissions for many reasons. Anyone can now access the knowledge and course content without having been admitted to the program. Applicant’s can save time and resources spent taking standardized tests, writing essays, and compiling application materials. The admissions office has a more robust filter for applicants. Online alumni now have a physical connection to campus.

The last point is especially important to me. As I mentioned in my previous post, alumni should have a physical connection to a university. A full year would be nice (to properly experience a Boston winter!), but a semester is acceptable.

What is really novel about this inverted admissions concept is that it offers students an equal  opportunity to prove they can hack it in the program. Everyone has the exact same materials. There is no variance for GMAT anxiety, or inability to write an essay, etc. You can either handle the work or you can’t.

It will be interesting to see the results of the first class of micro-master’s graduates, and if outer universities follow suit.